Throughout centuries, Armenian monasteries have played a great role in the spiritual, cultural and political life of the Armenian people. These holy sites are recognized not only as centers of prayer, but also as scriptoriums where numerous works and translations were scripted, hand-copied and passed on to generations to come. Many of the church complexes represent magnificent and inimitable samples of the Armenian ancient and medieval architecture.
This is the name of many small chapel-like buildings that are spread throughout Armenia and are mainly located on altitudes or at water sources (they can be also found in human-populated areas). They are considered holy and healing, and have their celebration days.
The Monastery of Holy Savior is one of the oldest buildings in New Julfa (now a quarter in the Iranian city of Isfahan). Its church was built in 1655. It is richly decorated with frescoes authored by Hovhannes Mrkuz, Father Stepanos, and Master Minas. Under the altar of the church is the grave of Khachatur Kesaratsi, founder of the first printing house in Iran.
St. Gregory Monastery of Bardzrakash was founded in the 10th century and is located in the Lori region of Armenia, 2 km from the village of Dsegh, on the slope of a gorge, in a forest. The tribal cemetery of the Mamikonian house is situated in the territory of the monastery. The monastery's Church of the Holy Mother of God was built in 1221 by Marzpan the son of Prince Sargis Mamikonian.
St. John Monastery of Ardvi, which is also known as Srbanes Monastery or John of Odzun Monastery, was founded in the 8th century. It is located not far from the village of Ardvi in the Lori region of Armenia. In the northern church of the monastery is the tombstone of Catholicos John III of Odzun.
The monastery is located to the north-east of the village of Buzhakan in Kotayk marz of Armenia (historical region of Nig), on the slope of Mount Teghenis. Both the mountain and the monastery derive their name from elms ("teghi" in Armenian) that grow in that place. The oldest building of the monastic complex was the Church of the Holy Mother of God that was built in the 6th-7th centuries.
Vorotnavank Monastery is located in Syunik region of Armenia, 14 km north of the town of Sisian. It was founded in the year c. 1000 by Syunik Queen Shahandukht. According to historian Stepanos Orbelian, the oldest church of the monastery, the Church of St. Gregory, was founded by Gregory the Illuminator and later rebuilt by hermit Stepanos.