Noravank Monastery

Noravank – “the new monastery” – was built in XIII-XIV centuries from an unusual for Armenia bright red-yellow stone. The monastery was surrounded by the same red picturesque rocks of the gorge of the Amaghu River. The central church of the Burtalashen complex has a unique design with a recognizable cantilever staircase. It is richly decorated with bas-reliefs. The monastery was built by the most renowned architect of Medieval Armenia, Momik. Noravank is also famous for being the only church in Armenia which, based on the architect’s concept, depicts God the Father on the bas-relief at the entrance to the church of Saint Stephen the First Martyr (St. Stepanos in Armenian). Besides, Momik was one of the best in history masters of khachkar carving. His most significant work, which was included in the Armenia Sacra Exposition in the Musée du Louvre, is currently displayed in the museum of Yeghegnadzor town located in 22 km from Noravank. In only several kilometers down the monastery lies the wine capital of Armenia – Areni village where located is the famous Areni-1 cave complex, where in 2010, the archeologists found an ancient winery and unearthed the world’s oldest shoe. The shoe is currently exhibited in the History Museum of Armenia, in Yerevan.