Odzun, Sanahin and Haghpat monasterys

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Prices for Walking Tours in Yerevan *
3 persons 4-5 persons 6 and more persons
36000  AMD / 245  31000 AMD / 220  23000 AMD / 190 

 Tour rates are indicated in drams(AMD) and euro (€) per person

Odzun monastery (VI century) is located in the north of Armenia, in the center of Odzun village of Lori region. In the thirteenth century, Prince Zakareh Zakarian brought drinking cold water with clay tubs to this area and constructed a hospital called Kendanarar. After that, the place was renamed Odznetsi, in honor of the architect Hovhannes, who created the St. Mary church. Odzun monastery was built in the form of a domed basilica, and the bright pink felsite tiles were used as building materials, and the interior was made of basaltic materials. Another peculiarity of the temple is arched galleries, located on both sides of the central entrance. Such architectural solution rarely meets among the Armenian churches. In the XIX century, two bell towers were built in the remote part of the basilica, which harmoniously complemented the appearance of the old temple. The interior of the Odzun temple is quite typical of the Caucasian Christian architecture: high columns, round arches, narrow windows for light. On the walls can be seen Christian paintings as well as various ornaments in the form of grape branches. At the end of the hall, at the top of the altar, there is the picture of the Virgin and the infant Jesus. There are cross-stones, gravestones and various monuments around the Central Temple. The largest monument here is the gravestone, placed on the stair. Different parts of the gospel and the history of Christianity in Armenia are engraved on different sides of this graveyard. In 2012-2014, Odzun monastery was completely renovated by a group of Armenian and Italian engineers. The structure had been reinforced with new materials and decks, and the front part has been cleaned of organic matter. During the restoration, fragments of ancient 6th-century jewelry and household items were found that correspond to the timeline of the temple construction. During the repair of the dome, a bottle of wine was discovered, in which a note was written about the end of the restoration in 1889.

The Sanahin monastery complex is located in the same village, near the Debed River Gorge, on a small 1000 m high mountain. Alaverdi is on the other side of the river, from where the way to the monastery starts from a historic monument Sanahinyan bridge. The exact date of the establishment of the monastery has not been confirmed. It is known, however, that it was built in the X-XI centuries. The number of monks living here was about a few hundred people. It is supposed that they were Armenian clergymen who were expelled from Byzantium by Roman Emperor Lakapin. During this period, Sanahin acquired the importance of the Armenian Educational Center, and the school in the monastery has turned into a well-known Armenian Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni academy. A lot of attention is paid to studying humanities. There were prominent medieval scholars and enlightener Theodoros, Vartan, Anania, and others known with Sanahin’s nicknames. In the central part of the complex, St. Mary Church (10th century), the Academy building (11th century), the library (1063), the gallery (the end of the 10th century), the belfry (XIII century) St. Gregory chapel (10th century) are situated. St. Astvatsatsin Church is considered to be the oldest structure of the monastery. The basalt-based building is a cross-domed temple with four sides on all parts. Over the centuries the church has been renovated and partly reconstructed. In 1652, the dome was built. The Amenaprkich Church is the largest of all Sanahin monuments. In X century it served as a temple of Lori kingdom. This structure belongs to the same crucifix as the St. Astvatsatsin church. The sights of this structure are located above the eastern front, the sculpture of Kyurike and Smbat kings, holding in hands model of the temple. Along with other Sanahin temples, this temple was also plundered by the Seljuk Turks in 1064, and the Persians in 1104. The case was completed in 1139 by an earthquake. The 10th-century builders left a narrow corridor between the Astvatsatsin Church and the Church of the Holy Virgin Mary, which was the building of the academy. Sanahin stamp is the largest in Armenia. There are not only manuscripts but also all sorts of valuable items of the monastic complex. During the day, the main light enters this room at the door opening and it also serves for ventilation. The role of cupboards here features ten characters of different sizes, shapes, and altitudes. A gallery was built along the southern wall to protect not only from the sun, wind, rain, and snow but also as a cemetery for the noblemen to create a kind of “gateway”. There are still gravestones of Nargiz, Zakare and Ivane Zakaryan sisters. The hall is square, decorated with four central pillars. The outer laconic forms of the lounge have reached us without significant changes. The dome was the last monumental building of the monastery. Unlike wooden towers that often serve as bell towers in medieval Armenia, this is a trident triangular tower on which the hexagonal rotundus is attached. The three floors were used for different purposes: The first is now thoroughly rebuilt, served as a monastic warehouse. A second was used as a chapel consisting of three small chapels. In the spacious and bright room of the third floor, probably was the manuscripts workplace. Next to the main complex is the grave of Zakaryan family. 13th-century St. Amenaprkich church has been preserved outside the monastery. It is a small square building. The existence of the two tabernacles differs this chapel from others, which makes it more likely to be used as a wedding memorial. His right tabernacle was dedicated to Harutyun, the left one to Grigor, probably, belongs to Grigor Tutevordi, whose gravestone is in the monastery. St. Garabed Church is on the top of the forested hill in the east of Sanahin. This is a small, moon-shaped basilica, with two small chapels on the north side. It was built in the 11th century and its lower parts consist of crushed dark green quartzite, called “fish bones”. The layers and the upper part of the church are made of pure basalt tiles. In the village of Sanahin, in addition to the monastery, you can also see Anastas and Artem Mikoyan brothers’ house-museum. They were Soviet politicians and famous pilots. The museum is located several hundred meters away from the monastery. Sanahin is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
Haghpat monastic complex was founded in 976, during the reign of Ashot G Bagratuni and is located on the plateau in the south-eastern part of the village of Haghpat. Haghpat is one of the most important spiritual and cultural centers. In the second half of the 12-14th century, the monastery of Haghpat became the center of the Kyurikyan Dynasty. The royal cemetery of the kings was moved here from Sanahin Monastery. In the 11th century, Tashir was subjected to frequent attacks by Seljuk and Arabs. From the second half of the 12th century, the monastery was passed to the tribe of Arshakouni from Mahkanaberd and then to the family of Zakaryan. In 1223, by the order of Ivan Zakaryan, Haghpat fortress was built to protect the monastery. There are many legends concerning the name of Haghpat. One of them says that when the prince of Sanahin invites the architect to build a monastery, the master comes with his son. During the work, a fight broke out between the father and his son. After a long argument, the boy leaves his job and goes away. On the way, the other prince invites him to build another monastery. When the walls of the building reached such height that it could be seen from Sanahin, the workers told the old master about it. During the non-working day, the old man goes to Haghpat to see how his son’s construction is going on. He looks at the walls for a long time. Everyone is eagerly awaiting the master’s assessment, and finally, by pressing his hand on the wall, he exclaims: “Ah, wall!” (“This is a wall”). Then father and son proclaim peace, and the monastery is called Haghpat. Haghpat monastery is one of the largest monastic complexes in Armenia, which has unique peculiarities of Armenian medieval architecture, accurate illustration, a harmony of the environment and territorial balance. The monastery includes St. Nshan, St. Astvatsatsin church, St. Grigor Church, chapel, printing house, library, bell tower, dining hall, chapels and graves, khachkars. In the 11th-13th centuries, Haghpat School and Printing House became well-known. They taught grammar, rhetoric speech, philosophy, theology, music, and more. Haghpat was also known for his miniature school. Famous Armenian composer Sayat-Nova lived here for several years under the name of a priest.
Parni-Zarnian Cave – A group of monuments is located on the western part of the village of Haghpat, located on the right bank of Jaghatsajur, on the tributary of Debed River, in the north of the Castle of Kayan. The residents of Haghpat call it “Old Berd” or nickname it as “Zarni and Parni”. In ancient times caves served as shelters. Prince Zareh appreciated their value. Here are many manuscripts during the enemy invasions and valuable items of the Haghpat Monastery Complex (years later there were found manuscripts dating back to the 10th and 15th centuries). Two ways lead to this monument group. The first, historically, has a length of almost 650 meters, originates from the mountain range on the western side of the village. The second one, on the Haghpat-Tsaghkashat road, 1350m long, is almost impassable due to stone landslides and water flows. The monument, consisting of a sand-blast fragment of sand, stands at the foot of the cliff. The central entrance opens to the main entrance of the lower cave Zarian Cave, on the western side there is a tower. Behind the wall, there is a fairly large cave, the area of which is 605 square meters. The Parni cave is also attached to the wall, and most likely, it was a shelter. Strengthening and restoration work has been done recently, as a result of which the monument has become accessible to all visitors.


  • Free of charge for children up to six years without a seat (in the lap of parents)
  • Children from 7 to 12 years old – 30% discount
  • Lunch: 7000 AMD or 1000 rubles. Calculation for one person (pure value)
  • The tour program can be edited at the guests’ request
DEPARTURE TIME Tour start time is variable and depends on the season. The exact time of the trip is coordinated on the spot with the guide
Access tickets for museums and historical-cultural centers A professional English speaking guide
Excursion service Water


NOT INCLUDED                 
Food: lunch or dinner during the excursion. We can arrange for food service in advance or can recommend a good restaurant
alcoholic beverages


1.  Odzun

2.  Sanahin monastery

3.  Haghpat monastic complex

4.  Parni-Zarnian Cave


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