What to see

Haghartsin Monastery, Dilijan, Armenia

Haghartsin (Armenian: Հաղարծին) is a 13th century monastery located near the town of Dilijan in the Tavush Province of Armenia. It was built between the 10th and 14th century (in the 12th under Khachatur of Taron); much of it under the patronage of the Bagratuni Dynasty.


St. Astvatsatsin Church in Haghardzin (1281) is the largest building and the dominant artistic feature. The sixteen-faced dome is decorated with arches, the bases of whose columns are connected by triangular ledges and spheres, with a band around the drum’s bottom. This adds to the optical height of the dome and creates the impression that its drum is weightless. The platband of the southern portal’s architrave is framed with rows of trefoils.
The sculptural group of the church’s eastern facade differs in composition from the similar bas-reliefs of Sanahin, Haghpat, and Harich. It shows two men in monks’ attire who point with their hands at a church model and a picture of a dove with half-spread wings placed between them. The umbrella roofing of the model’s dome shows the original look of the dome of Astvatsatsin church. The figures are shown wearing different dresses — the one standing right is dressed more richly than the one standing left. The faces, with their long whiskers, luxuriant combed beards and large almond shaped eyes, are also executed in different manners. These are probably the founders of the church, the Father Superior and his assistant.

 Goshavank Monastery, Dilijan, Armenia

(Armenian: Գոշավանք; meaning “Monastery of Gosh”; previously known as Nor Getik) is a 12-13th century Armenian monastery located in the village of Gosh in the Tavush Province of Armenia. Today the monastery is not a functioning religious complex, although it remains a popular tourist destination and has recently undergone some light restoration. The impressive monastery which has remained in relatively good condition also houses one of the world’s finest examples of a khachkar.


Goshavank was erected in the place of an older monastery once known as Nor Getik, which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1188. Mkhitar Gosh, a statesman, scientist and author of numerous fables and parables as well as the first criminal code, took part in the rebuilding of the monastery.At Goshavank, Mkhitar Gosh founded a school. One of its alumni, an Armenian scientist by the name of Kirakos Gandzaketsi wrote The History of Armenia. The architect Mkhitar the Carpenter and his disciple Hovhannes also took an active part in the building of the monastery. The complex was later renamed Goshavank and the village named Gosh in his honor.

Lake Parz («Clear Lake» – Parz Lich), Dilijan, Armenia

Lake Parz («Clear Lake» – Պարզ լիճ – arm.) is a small lake located in a thick forest in the Dilijan National Park east of Dilijan town.

Taking the road East from Dilijan, one reaches in 6.7 km the turn-off right (sign-posted in Armenian) for Parz Lich. Cross the bridge over the Aghstev, bearing West, then take the left fork, which winds through about 8 km of forest to end at a modest green lake, banks slightly muddy (beware ringworm) but excellent for a picnic and forest hikes in a quiet, non-typical setting. The length of the lake is to 385 m and a width is of 85 m. The maximum depth – 5 m.


Jukhtak Vank (Ջուխտակ վանք), Dilijan, Armenia

The near church, St. Grigor, was built probably in the 11th or 12th c. The dome disappeared long ago, and the foundation and walls have been brutally reinforced against the collapsing soft stone below. The W church, S. Astvatsatsin, has this inscription: “In the year 1201, in the Amirdom of Lasha and the Khanate of (missing), I Hayrapet, abbot of S. Petros Monastery, built S. Astvatsatsin with the hope that every sunrise in both vestibules one mass will be offered for me and one for my brother Shmavon, and in all the churches for my parents.” Khachkars. Across the road from Jukhtak is the trail to nearby Matosavank Monastery.


Dilijan National Park – Reserve, Dilijan, Armenia

Dilijan National Park (Դիլիջան ազգային պարկ), occupying 24,000 ha, is located in the North-Eastern part of the Republic of Armenia, in Tavush province (marz). Dilijan National Park is well known for its forest landscapes, rich biodiversity, medicinal mineral water springs, natural and cultural monuments

During excavations in the prehistoric cemeteries of Golovino and Papanino near Dilijan, bronze items of almost three thousand years old were found, including armours, daggers, pitchers, ear-rings and others were found. All those items could be found either in Dilijan museum or in the Hermitage Museum. Dilijan has become an increasingly popular tourist sight thanks to the opening of many inns and cafes. Several new educational and financial projects are set to transform the city.