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.
The Monastery of Gandzasar is situated on Mountain Vank opposite the homonymous village, in the Martakert region of Artsakh Republic. It was founded before the 10th century. The monastery's Church of St. John the Baptist was built by Prince Hasan-Jalal Dola in 1216-1238.