Saghmosavank

Saghmosavank Saghmosavank (Monastery of Psalms) is located in Central Armenia, in the Ashtarak region, just north of St. Gevorg of Mughni (Mughni village) and the monastery of Hovhannavank. It overlooks the gorge of the Kasakh River, with Hovhannavank and Mt. Aragats in clear view. The main church, St. Zion, was built in 1215.

The interior of Saghmosavank is unique, from the religious paintings in the small church of St. Karpet to the pillars in the gavit, which merely rest on their foundations, allowing movement and preventing damage in the event of an earthquake. In the main church, steps, with the bottom step deliberately missing, lead to a cell where tbirs (clerks) slept, and were awakened when the first light of morning shone through a small east-facing window. The absence of the bottom step signified the cell was intended only for the young tbir.

Andranik Michaelian, Gayane and Vahe Odabashian, Hasmik Harutyunyan Saghmosavank left a special impression the first time I visited in 1982, from the approach to the monastery, when one looks over the stone wall and fruit trees to catch his first glimpse, to the soft brown color of the outside walls, which blends perfectly with the surrounding nature and the sheer rocks of the gorge of the Kasakh River.

I have returned to Saghmosavank many times. Most recently, I was honored to be kavor (godfather) to Vahe and Gayane Odabashian, friends from Yerevan, when they were baptized in the monastery.



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Photo by Temik Khalapian
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Photo by Temik Khalapian
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Kasakh River (46k)

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Interior detail (47k)

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Khachkars (39k)

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Detail

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