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 Haghpat   with one

   From Haghpat the road continues  S to Tsaghkashat (till 1935 Khachidur).


of Armenia’s most beautiful monasteries (Haghpat 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, self-standing gavit 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.