Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century) were important centres of learning. Sanahin was renown for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. The two monastic complexes represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region.

Monastères de Haghbat et de Sanahin

Ces deux monastères byzantins situés dans la région de Tumanian et datant de la période de prospérité de la dynastie de Kiurikian (Xe-XIIIe siècle) furent d’importants centres de diffusion de la culture. Sanahin était célèbre pour son école d’enluminure et de calligraphie. Les deux complexes monastiques représentent la plus remarquable manifestation architecturale de l’art religieux arménien, né de l’alliance d’éléments de l’architecture religieuse byzantine et de l’architecture vernaculaire traditionnelle de cette région du Caucase.

ديرا هاغباط وساناهين

يقع هاذان الديران البيزنطيان في منطقة تومانيان ويعودان إلى مرحلة إزدهار سلالة كيوريكيان (القرنان العاشر إلى الثالث عشر) وقد كانا مركزين مهمين لنشر الثقافة. كان دير ساناهين معروفاً بمدرسة الرسم اليدوي الخاصة به ومدرسة الخط. ويمثّل هذان المجمّعان الدينيان أهم تظاهرة هندسية معمارية للفن الديني الأرمني الذي وُلد من اجتماع عناصر الهندسة المعمارية الدينية البيزنطية والهندسة البلدية التقليدية في منطقة القوقاز.

source: UNESCO/ERI


在基乌里克王朝(Kiurikian dynasty)繁荣时期(大约从公元10到13世纪),土马尼亚地区(the Tumanian region)的这两个拜占庭式修道院是当时重要的学府。萨那欣修道院以其注释和书法学校而举世闻名。这两个修道院建筑群,融汇拜占庭教会建筑风格和高加索地区本土传统建筑风格,形成了自己独特的艺术风格,代表了亚美尼亚宗教建筑顶尖水平。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Монастыри Ахпат и Санаин

Эти средневековые монастыри были возведены в период расцвета Армении при правлении династии Кьюрикян (X-XIII вв.) – тогда монастыри выступали в роли важных центров просвещения. В Санаине находилась знаменитая школа художников-миниатюристов и каллиграфов, располагалось хранилище книг и рукописей. Оба монастырских комплекса представляют собой лучшие образцы эпохи расцвета армянской религиозной архитектуры, уникальный стиль которой сформировался при смешении византийских и местных кавказских традиций.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Monasterios de Haghpat y Sanahin

Situados en la región de Tumanian, los monasterios de Haghpat y Sanahin fueron importantes centros de difusión cultural en el período de prosperidad de la dinastía Kiurikian (siglos X a XIII). Sanahin fue célebre por su escuela de caligrafía e iluminaciones. Los dos conjuntos monásticos son representativos del apogeo de la arquitectura religiosa armenia, en la que confluyen elementos inspirados en el arte arquitectónico bizantino y técnicas de construcción autóctonas de esta región del Cáucaso

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

De kloosters van Haghpat en Sanahin

Armenië werd aan het eind van de 9e eeuw weer zelfstandig met een opleving van de Armeense kunst als gevolg. De twee kloosters van Haghpat en Sanahin in de buurt van de stad Tumanyan dateren uit deze periode van welvaart, ook wel de Kiurikian dynastie (10e tot 13e eeuw) genoemd . De Byzantijnse kloosters waren belangrijke onderwijscentra en herbergden ruim 500 monniken. Sanahin stond bekend om zijn school van illuminatoren en kalligrafen. De twee kloostercomplexen weerspiegelen het floreren van Armeense religieuze architectuur, een unieke stijl die ontstond uit een vermenging van de Byzantijnse kerkelijke architectuur met de traditionele volksarchitectuur van de Kaukasus.


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Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin © Ko Hon Chiu Vincent
Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe the Monastery of Haghpat on the basis of cultural criteria (ii) and (iv) considering that it is of outstanding universal value and an exceptional example of ecclesiastical architecture that developed in Armenia in the 10th to 13th centuries which is unique by virtue of its blending of elements of both Byzantine church architecture and the traditional vernacular building style of this region.

Long Description

These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th-13th centuries) were important centres of learning. Sanahin in particular was renowned for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. They are exceptional examples of the 'domed hall' ecclesiastical architecture that developed in Armenia from the 10th to the 13th centuries, which blended elements of both Byzantine church architecture and the traditional vernacular building style of this region.

Construction of the main church of the large fortified monastic complex of Haghpat, dedicated to the Holy Cross, began in 966-67 and was completed in 991. The central dome rests on the four massive pillars in the side walls. The external walls are almost entirely covered by triangular niches. The apse contains a fresco of Christ Pantocrator. The building is complete and in its original form, apart from some 11th- and 12th-century restorations, including the large gavit through which access is gained to the church. The plan of the gavit, built in the second decade of the 13th century, differs markedly in style from the main church. A large narthex-type building used for meetings, teaching and funerary rituals is based on vernacular architecture in wood, with the roof supported on four pillars in the centre of the structure. Vaulting divides the interior of the roof into nine sections, the central one of which (yerdik ) is the highest and dominates the interior space, as well as illuminating it. The church is joined by a vaulted passage to a large jamatoun (chapter house), in the same style as the gavit, built in the 13th century. Also connected to the church is the library, a compact square building dating back to the 12th century.

The Sanahin Monastery consists of a large group of buildings on the plateau above the Debet gorge and skilfully integrated into the impressive mountain landscape. The buildings are laid out on two rectangular axes, with their facades facing west. The main church, built in the 10th century, is the Cathedral of the Redeemer. The emphasis of the cross-shaped interior is on the central nucleus and the harmony between the square base and the circular dome. The central dome in this case is surrounded by four two-storey sacristies or chapels. To the west there is a four-columned gavit built in 1181. Its plan is that of a cross inscribed in a square. Lighting is by means of an aperture in the centre of the dome. This is the earliest known example of this type of structure, which owes its origins to Armenian peasant dwellings consisting of square rooms with four free-standing pillars supporting the roof and a central hole to allow smoke to be dispersed.

The Church of the Mother of God (Astvatzatzin), located to the north of the cathedral and connected with it by means of a open-ended vaulted passage, is the oldest building in the complex, built in 934 by monks fleeing from Byzantium. The large library (scriptorium), built in 1063, is square in plan and vaulted, with ten niches of varying sizes in which codices and books were stored. At the south-eastern corner of the library is to be found the small church dedicated to St Gregory the Illuminator. The 11th-century Academy of Gregory Magistros is located between the two main churches. The deep niches along the walls and the abundance of light give this building an exceptional spatial quality. The cemetery, located to the south-east of the main buildings, contains the late 12th-century mausoleum of the Zakarian princes.

Historical Description

Christianity played a crucial role in the development of Armenian art and architecture. The “classic” style developed in the 5th-7th centuries, but its further evolution came to an abrupt halt with the Arab occupation that began at the end of the 7th century. Armenia became independent again at the end of the 9th century and Armenian art was revived when the kingdom was consolidated and national identity re-established. The two monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin date from this period, during the prosperity of the Kiurikian dynasty and the Zakarian Princes. They were important centres of learning, housing some 500 monks, and bear eloquent testimony to the highest achievement of Armenian architecture.

Haghpat, built by the royal Bagratouni dynasty in the Lori district of northern Armenia in the 970s, was known from early times as Sourb Nshan (the Holy Cross) of Haghpat. Construction to the designs of the architect Traat was completed in 991. It suffered from earthquake damage on several occasions, and in 1105 it was taken and burned by the Selcuk prince Amir-Ghzil. Such was the spiritual importance of Haghpat and its neighbour, Sanahin, that the fortress of Kaian was built in 1233 to protect them from the marauding MongoIs, but this was taken by storm in 1241. Nonetheless, monastic life continued and new buildings were added later in the 13th century. There was a period of extensive restoration in the 17th century.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation