Discover Armenia – erase the distance

Sevanavanq

Virtual tour of Sevan monastery


Sevanavank or Sevan Monastery (Սևանավանք) is a monastic complex located on a peninsula at the northwestern shore of Lake Sevan in the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia, not far from the town of Sevan. Initially the monastery was built at the southern shore of a small island. After the artificial draining of Lake Sevan, which started in the Stalin era, the water level fell about 20 metres, and the island transformed into a peninsula. At the southern shore of this newly created peninsula, a guesthouse of the Armenian Writers’ Union was built. The eastern shore is occupied by the Armenian president’s summer residence, while the monastery’s still active seminary moved to newly constructed buildings at the northern shore of the peninsula.
According to an inscription in one of the churches, the monastery of Sevanavank was founded in the year 874 by Princess Mariam, the daughter of Ashot I (who became a king a decade later). At the time, Armenia was still struggling to free itself from Arab rule.

The two churches, Surb Arakelots meaning the “Holy Apostoles” and Surb Astvatsatsin meaning the “Holy Mother of God”, are both cruciform plan structures with octagonal tambours. Both are quite similar in appearance. Adjacent are the ruins of a gavit whose roof was originally supported by six wooden columns. Some of the remains of the gavit and its columns can be seen in the Yerevan Museum of History.
Reconstruction and restoration efforts took place from 1956-57.

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