Trail Run Project Logo

gem icon Gtichavank Monastery [Suggest Edits]

1 vote
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

Gtichavank is a partially restored 13th century Armenian Apostolic monastery located below the sheer cliffs on the northern side of Togh Mountain. The prominent mountain stands alone in the surrounding fertile valleys and seems today as perfect a location for monastery as it would have in ancient times. Indeed, the Gtichavank site is believed to be much older than historical records indicate. The first mention of it comes from a medieval historian who noted an older Armenian church that once stood there, but was destroyed during Arab invasions in the 9th century.

An inscription on the northern wall of Gtichavank commemorates two bishops who came from Amaras (one of the oldest Christian sites in the region) and built the church between 1241 and 1246. Gtichavank quickly reached the height of its influence and was the seat of a powerful diocese centered in the Dizak Principality (Togh was the administrative center of Dizak). The complex once included include a school, library, scriptorium and living quarters. The church is the most intact of the structures that remain, the exterior having been recently renovated.

The interior is sadly still covered in Soviet era graffiti and is in dire need of restoration. The floor of the gavit is inlaid with tombstones of devoted bishops and Dizak princes. At the entrance is a large khachkar adorned with Jesus, angels and the 12 disciples. The unique construction of the walls can be admired in several places where blocks are missing exposing a massive core of coarse rock and lime mortar sandwiched between finely finished tufa walls. This earthquake-resistant design developed in the Middle Ages proved effective, but limited the size of windows in Armenian churches.

The finely carved alter with geometric patterns and pomegranates remains a testament to the wealth and influence the monastery once had. This site is a diamond in the rough worth seeing before it get a parking lot and souvenir shop.

On the Road: The monastery is free, open to the public and accessible via jeep road from Togh and via several trails. See Gtichavank Loop Trail, Janapar Trail 02 - Togh to Azokh, and Lizards Trail. There is a picnic table and an open grassy area on the grounds where camping would be possible. No toilets or water. There is an unconfirmed spring in the forest below the church along the Togh Mountain Loop Trail.

Gem Type: Historic Site

Shared by:
Janapar Trail

0 Comments

You & This Gem


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Nearby Trails

5.3 mi 8.5 km Gtichavank Loop Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
5.3 mi 8.5 km Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Unknown
Update
9.4 mi 15.1 km Janapar Trail 05 - Avetaranots to Karintak
Intermediate/Difficult
Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
9.4 mi 15.1 km Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Unknown
Update
6.6 mi 10.6 km Janapar Trail 03 - Azokh to Karmir Shuka
Intermediate/Difficult
Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
6.6 mi 10.6 km Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Unknown
Update
4.7 mi 7.6 km Janapar Trail 06 - Karintak to Shushi
Intermediate
Shushi, AZ
Intermediate
4.7 mi 7.6 km Shushi, AZ
Unknown
Update
10.4 mi 16.8 km Janapar Trail 02 - Togh to Azokh
Intermediate/Difficult
Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
10.4 mi 16.8 km Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Unknown
Update
9.9 mi 16.0 km Janapar Trail 07 - Shushi to Stepanakert
Intermediate
Shushi, AZ
Intermediate
9.9 mi 16.0 km Shushi, AZ
Unknown
Update
12.2 mi 19.7 km Janapar Trail 04 - Karmir Shuka to Avetaranots
Intermediate
Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Intermediate
12.2 mi 19.7 km Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Unknown
Update
0.7 mi 1.2 km Lizards Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
0.7 mi 1.2 km Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Unknown
Update
2.3 mi 3.7 km Woodcutters Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Intermediate/Difficult
2.3 mi 3.7 km Qırmızı Bazar, AZ
Unknown
Update
10.3 mi 16.6 km Janapar Trail 01 - Hadrut to Togh
Intermediate
Hadrut, AZ
Intermediate
10.3 mi 16.6 km Hadrut, AZ
Unknown
Update
Shared by Janapar Trail on Sep 3, 2019. All Page Views: 4. Last Month: 2.