Oshakan, Saghmosavank, Hovhannavank


Oshakan is a major village in the Aragatsotn Province of. It is well known to historians and pilgrims of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Oshakan is best known for the Saint Mesrop Mashtots Cathedral which is the burial place of Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. Saint Mesrop Cathedral is the seat of the Aragatsotn Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Just to the south of the town is the Didikond Hill, where excavations have uncovered a fort and five palaces built around the 7th to 5th centuries BC.

The Saghmosavank literally "monastery of the Psalms"is a 13th-century Armenian monastic complex located in the village of Saghmosavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. Like the Hovhannavank monastery, Saghmosavank is situated atop the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river. Their silhouettes dominate the adjacent villages and rise sharp against the background of the mountains crowned by Mount Aragats. The main structures of the monasteries erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan—the Church of Zion in Saghmosavank and the Church of Karapet in Hovhannavank—belong to the same type of cross-winged domed structure with two-floor annexes in all the corners of the building. Subcupola space predominates in the interiors of both churches, which is reflected in the exterior shapes of these structures.

Armenian Alphabet Monument

When Mashtots began working on an Armenian alphabet, it was under great pressure so that it could be used to create a bible for the newly Christian kingdom. Elegantly planned, Mashtots laid out the structure of the alphabet around the religion. To honor his work, Armenian architect J. Torosyan created the stone carvings of every letter near Mashtots’ final resting place in 2005. Set against the backdrop of Armenia’s Mt. Aragats. The letters and a statue of Mashtots pay tribute to the complex and language, a national point of pride of Armenia.


Hovhannavank is a medieval monastery located in the village of Ohanavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. The monastery stands on the edge of the Kasagh River canyon, and its territory is adjacent to the village of Ohanavan. The deep gorge is carved by the Kasagh River. The oldest part of the monastery is the single nave basilica of St. Karapet that was founded at the beginning of the fourth century. The centerpiece of the monastery is the Cathedral built between 1216 and. The Cathedral has a cruciform floor plan, with two storey sacristies in each of the four extensions of the church. The dome has an umbrella-shaped roof, which is unique to Armenian churches. The monastery walls are covered with rich lapidary inscriptions.

DestinationOshakan, Monument of Armenian Alphabet, Saghmosavank, Hovhannavank
Duration10-11 hrs

* The unused portions of the itinerary are not refundable.

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