Vank town, the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
Gandzasar monastery complex is located in Vank town, the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. It was built in the 10th-13th centuries. The church was named after the hill located in front of the monastery. That hill is famous for its silver and other metals mines.
The first reference to this church did Catholicos Anania Mokatsi in the 10th century. According to him, the church Saint Hovhannes Mkrtich was built in 1216-1238 by the Duke of the Artsakh Hasan-Jalal and already on September 22, 1240, it was officially consecrated. In the 18th century, Gandzasar was liberation movement center till 1815.
Gandzasar monastery complex is surrounded by high walls and includes Saint Hovhannes Mkrtich Church, courtyard, barriers, residential cells, refectory and two-storey building o a school. In the southern part of the monastery is an ancient cemetery. Some artist claims that the church must be classified in the list of masterpieces of Armenian architecture. In this church was buried Hovhannes Mkrtich. The courtyard was founded Hasan and his wife, in 1261.
Anatoli Yakobson, a famous archaeologist, described this church as a “Pearl of Architectural Art”. On the walls of Gandzasar are lots of Armenian inscriptions. In 1909 Hovsep Orbeli counted the inscriptions which were more than 84, in one of them found the history of building’s construction.