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Gladzor Monastery, Vayots Dzor Region, Armenia

Gladzor (Tanahat, Tanade) monastery is situated in the Vayots Dzor region (historical Province of Syunik) near Vernashen village. First records about the monastery refer to 795: according to archbishop and historian Stepanos Orbelian a small chapel was built on the burial place of Stepanos Syunetsi. The main church of Tanade monastic complex, St.Stepanos, was built by Proshian princes in 1273-1279. Proshian`s family crest (an eagle squeezing a lamb in its claws) is carved on the southern wall. There you can also see ancient records, bas-relief sculptures portraying different animals, as well as a sun clock at the top of which an image of two peacock drinking water from a bowl is carved. St.Stepanos church, cruciform from inside, has 4 side chapels in each corner two of which (those of the eastern part) are two-storeyed.

Sourb Nshan, the second church of the monastic complex, is situated to the north from St.Stepanos church. It was also built at the end of the XIII century. Its entrance is crowned with an expressive high-relief depicting a hunting scene. There are khachkars (stone-cross) of XIII-XIV centuries on the territory of the monastery. It’s supposed that there was a medieval cemetery.

Tanade Monastery reached the peak of its fame in the end of the XIII and in the beginning of the XIV century. It’s supposed that one of the largest medieval Universities, Gladzor, was opened by Nerses Mshetsi on the territory of Tanade Monastery. Its graduating students got an opportunity for religious and scientific activity as well as teaching practice. The University had a painting school where worked prominent medieval miniature-painters Momik and Toros Taronatsi.

During the archeological excavation held in Tanade monastery in 1970 fragments of one-nave church and secular halls were found. In 1984 the monastery was reconstructed.

By Natalia Ghukasyan,


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