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Dadivank Monastery

Dadivank (or Khutavank «monastery on the hill») is an ancient monastic complex in Arstakh (NKR). According to Mikhail Assory`s «Chronicle» the first church of this complex was built in the 1st century AD at the burial place of St. Dadi, disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle. Situated in the principality of Upper Khachen (now Karvachar) Dadivank was its cultural and spiritual centre. The first record of Dadivank refers to the first half of the IX century. Throughout its long history the monastery was ravaged and ruined several times during the Arab and Seljuk invasions.

Cathedral church of St.Astvatsatsin is a compositional centre of the monastic complex. It was constructed in 1214 by Prince Vakhtang`s wife, Arzu Khatun, in commemoration of her killed husband and two sons. The fragments of ancient frescoes preserved on the interior walls of the Cathedral. St.Grigor Chapel was built in 1224, which served as a patrimonial burial vault of Aranshahik-Vakhtangian princes.

In the middle of the XIII century Bishop Sargis built two-story belfry in the western part of the complex. Two khachkars (cross-stones) unsurpassed in their beauty are stored in the niche built in the second floor of the belfry. They were placed here under Father Atanas in 1283. In the south-west of the complex there are a number of secular buildings, the most notable of which is refectory built by Bishop Grigor in 1211.

After Soviet Union establishment Dadivank and many other Armenian Monuments was annexed to Azerbaijan Soviet Republic (Karabakh Autonomy). Dadivank was released in March 31, 1993 during the Artsakh (NKR) liberation war. In 1994 Dadivank was again consecrated. Reconstruction of Dadivank monastic complex started in 1999 and is going on up to now. In July 2007 during the excavations were found St. Dadi`s relics.

By Natalia Ghukasyan,


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