Saint Gevorg Monastery of Mughni


icon-mapAshtarak 0205, Republic of Armenia

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St. Gevorg or better known as the Mughni church, is located on the southern edge of the Mughni village in the Aragatsotn region of Armenia. Supposedly, it was founded in the first half of the 13th century by Hovhannavank’s congregation.

St. Gevorg’s relics were brought here after its foundation. According to a legend, part of St. Gevorg’s remains was taken from the monastery to Georgia, in order to heal the Georgian King from an illness. Later, the King refused to return those relics to Armenians and instead built St. Gevorg of Mughni Armenian Church in Tbilisi.

St. Gevorg Monastery of Mughni in Armenia was a prominent cultural and religious center where already in 1278 manuscripts were copied. The church was destroyed and restored several times. The monastery also had a school that was founded by bishop Abel Mkhitaryan who later documented the history of the monastery.

The monastery is famous for its beautiful decorations and murals specific to the 17th-18th Armenian church art. Most likely, they were painted in the 17th century by Naghash Hovnatan, who was the author of the decorations of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral and other churches near Yerevan and Agulis. 

The church of Saint Gevork is a rectangular domed basilica built of black, yellow, and red tuff stones. It stands within a rectangular monastery. The church has a single cylindrical drum with a conical umbrella type dome above. From the west side of the church is an open hall decorated with three beautiful arches, on which the 12-column bell tower rises.

 The church is surrounded by a beautiful garden that the villagers take care of. In the churchyard, you will see khachkars (cross-stones), the oldest of which dates back to 932. There is also a khachkar of 1975, which no one knows who brought there. 

St Gevorg Monastery of Mughni used to be a famous sanctuary where lots of people with different diseases came to cure. The day of the pilgrimage to St. Gevorg Monastery of Mughni is the last Saturday in September.


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