NORAVANK

The complex consists of two churches, one gavit(narthex) and two mausoleums. There are also three basilica zhamatuns(narthex) dating back to the V-VI centuries. For every visitor Noravank is an unforgettable episode of life, a travel to a legend. The road to Noravank already absorbs the mass of the adrenaline in a person. The gigantic rocks, almost touched to each other, and the barely fitted road, remind the visitor of a natural trap. Suddenly, a small valley surrounded by two-hill-mountains opens in front. Words are unable to explain this charming scene. The main church, St. Karapet and its gavit, seems to be incredible and unmanageable even now, in this century of technology. Architects Siranes and especially Momik, the last genius architect of the medieval Armenia, have done everything to make Noravank building idea never to be replicated. On the portal to gavit, the only sculpture in the world- a figurative bas-relief of the Father God is carved, as well as the creation of man. The mausoleum of the mighty princes of the Orbelians are also unique and the idea of the combination of a light and the structure are perfectly solved. The powerful Smbat Orbelian's tomb is being illuminated only on July 12, at 10 am, on his birthday, when the sunlights fall directly on the sculpture of the lion on the gravestone. It's awesome. It seems that Armenians repeat the secret of Abu Simbel and create a spiritual connection between pharaoh Ramesses and King Smbat. And Burtelashen, Momik's invisible miracle, with three-storeyed wonderful sculptures, is built by the order of Prince Burtel as a mausoleum-church. A whole group of cross-stones called ‘aseghnagorts’(embroideried) accomplishes this masterpiece- the creation of talanted master Momik. Talanted Momik is buried in Noravank, and according to his will, the gravestone is a small modest cross; a person who has not sought earthly glory and devoted his talant, given by the God, to people.

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