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 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.