Retracing steps across the Debed river, take the main road N, passing
the Sanahin bridge, built in
1192. The bridge is elegantly decorated with
stone cats. About one km after
crossing back to the E side of the Debed on
leaving Alaverdi, a cluster of large
modern buildings, the transport
terminal (?), marks the turn-off right to
From Haghpat the road continues S to Tsaghkashat
(till 1935 Khachidur).
monastery) perched atop the
rim of the gorge. This fortified monastery was founded, like
Sanahin, by Queen
Khosrovanush around 976. It has a S. Nshan church finished in 991 by Smbat Bagratuni and
his brother Gurgen, and served as the religious headquarters of the
Kyurikians. The gavit was
built in 1185. A smaller S. Grigor church was built in 1025 and rebuilt
in 1211. There is a huge,
of the Abbot Hamazasp built in 1257, a “grand and marvelous bell
tower” of 1245, and a library built in 1262.
There is a large dining hall incorporated in the defensive wall,
and several other picturesque chapels and mausoleums. Haghpat was a
major literary center in the Middle Ages.