Founded in 976, Haghpat was one of the largest cultural centers of Armenia. There was a school, operating in the complex, where acclaimed philosophers and scientists taught grammar, rhetoric, theology, music, and many other disciplines. The monastery was famous for its school of miniaturists. Among the best school artworks is the “Gospel of Haghpat” created in 1211 and decorated by the finest miniatures; today, it is displayed in the Matenadaran, a Museum and Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. One of the most unusual cross-stones (khachqars) – Amenaprkich (the All-Savior) – is located in the monastery area. A stele, carved in 1273, contrary to all traditions, depicts not just a plain cross but a cross with Jesus chained to it. Another interesting fact about this place is that the poet Sayat-Nova lived there in exile for a long time. He was a troubadour (ashugh) in the palace of the Georgian King Irakli (Heraclius) II, disgraced because of his love for the king’s sister Anna. It is believed that Irakli exiled both lovers, and that Anna settled nearby to be able to meet with the poet. Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork “The Color of Pomegranates”, filmed in Haghpat Monastery, tells about the life of Sayat-Nova.  
The architectural complex is located not far from another outstanding monastery – Sanahin. The monasteries are united by an old legend. In 1996, the Monastery of Haghpat was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  


To access the premises of the monastery it's best to not use the front entrance but the side one instead, passing through old wooden wicket-gate. You will only have partial access to monastery buildings. We recommend that you visit with a friend or helper and use a ramp.