Tavush Province

Tavush is located at the northeast of Armenia and bordered by Georgia from the north and Azerbaijan from the east. It is domestically bordered by the Gegharkunik Province from the south, Kotayk Province from the southwest and Lori Province from west. The capital and largest city of the province is the town of Ijevan.
Tourism and related services are developing in Tavush. The cultural heritage and the natural monuments of the region attract a large number of tourists.
The town of Dilijan with its beautiful forests is major touristic destination for locals and foreigners. It is also considered a financial centre as much of the Central Bank's operations was moved to Dilijan in 2013. The town is also famous with its sanatoriums and mineral water. Other touristic destinations include the villages of Achajur, Gosh, Teghut and Yenokavan. The most famous architectural complexes are Makaravank, Haghpat and Gpshavank.
Many forests of the province are listed among the protected areas of Armenia, including the Dilijan National Park, the Akhnabad Taxus Grove Sanctuary, the Arjatkhelni Hazel Sanctuary, the Gandzakar Sanctuary, the Ijevan Sanctuary and the Zikatar Sanctuary. There is also a dendropark in Ijevan. Tavush is also rich for its mountain springs, mineral water and small lakes such as the Lake Parz and Lake Gosh.


Makaravank - the spiritual and cultural center of the historic Mahkanaberd, is one of the most famous medieval architectural complexes, representing the great historical and cultural value of Armenian architecture. This monastery complex is also a wonderful example of harmonious architectural structures and nature. Built in X-XIII centuries, the memorial complex consists of 3 churches, a porch a chapel and other buildings. The complex is rich with original variety of sculptural decoration as well as the monasteries Akhtamar, Bgheno Noravank, Gandzasar. Makaravank is built of red tuf , rose andhesit and green stones. Once near the church there was a school which collapsed and eventually disappeared apparently due to landslides or other natural disasters. Passing through the gate in the circuit wall, the main church of 1205, built by Vardan, son of Prince Bazaz, is on the right. Passing through the gate in the circuit wall, the gavit is on the left. The facade of the gavit, which was built with a donation from Prince Vache Vachutian in 1224, bears sculptures of a sphinx and a lion attacking a bull. Inside the gavit, one reaches the earliest church, of the 10th or 11th century. Outside of these is a small Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church attributed to Abbot Yovhannes in 1198 in memory of his parents and brothers, with sculpted a portal. The most ancient structure of all is Makaravank’s 10th-century cross-winged domed church with annexes in the corners, which differs from the ordinary structures of this type by rich carved ornamentation (floral and interlaced linear) on the wall of the altar dais and on the framings of the main windows of the interior.


Goshavank is a 12th- or 13th-century Armenian monastery located in the village of Gosh in the Tavush Province of Armenia. Today the monastery is not a functioning religious complex, although it remains a popular tourist destination and has recently undergone some light restoration. 
Goshavank was erected in the place of an older monastery once known as Nor Getik, which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1188. Mkhitar Gosh, a statesman, scientist and author of numerous fables and parables as well as the first criminal code, took part in the rebuilding of the monastery. The complex was later renamed Goshavank and the village named Gosh in his honor.
The main churches belong to the types widespread in the tenth to the thirteenth centuries; the domed tall or the cross-winged domed building with four annexes in the corners of the central crossing.
St. Gregory Church is found between the three chapels.
Grigor Lusavorich Church in Goshavank, started in 1237 and finished by Prince Grigor-Tkha in 1241, while being true to the type of Armenia’s fifth-century basilicas, is distinguished by the extravagance of its decorations.
The book depository with a bell tower in Goshavank is a structure of unusual composition. Originally, before 1241. there had been in its place a small building with niches for keeping books with a wooden glkhatun type ceiling. Adjacent to it on the western side was a vast premise which probably served as a refectory and an auditorium. 
The khachkars created by the carver Pavgos in Goshavank stand out among the rest. The best of them is a 1291 khachkar with the maker’s name carved in the bottom left star, which is one of the most intricate examples in existence.  

Haghartsin Monastery

Haghartsin is a 13th-century monastery located near the town of Dilijan in the Tavush Province of Armenia. It was built between the 10th and 14th centuries (in the 12th under Khachatur of Taron); much of it under the patronage of the Bagratuni Dynasty. Traditionally, an eagle was soaring over the dome of the main building at its dedication and thus it became commonly known as the monastery of the playing (or soaring) eagle ("Hagh" means a game while "Artsin" a form of "Artsiv" means eagle in Armenian). St. Astvatsatsin Church in Haghartsin (1281) is the largest building and the dominant artistic feature. The gavit of St. Astvatsatsin Church is severely damaged. The ruins show clearly where it stood; however, the walls are almost completely destroyed. The oldest large structure of the complex, the St. Grigor Church, is accessible through its gavit. The 12th-century gavit abutting St. Grigor Church is of the most common type of plan. It is a square building, with roofing supported by four internal abutments, and with squat octahedral tents above the central sections, somewhat similar to the Armenian peasant home of the "glkhatun" type. The small St. Stepanos Church dates back to 1244. In the complex it is situated also The Bagratuni's tomb, where some of the royalty are buried.
The monastery of Haghartsin, together with that of Goshavank, may become part of a natural site based on the state protected area of Dilijan National Park, an important forest in north-eastern Armenia.


Matosavank is a small church hidden in a forested area of Dilijan National Park 3 km northwest from the town of Dilijan. Matosavank was constructed with the oversight of Avag Zakarian, the son of Ivane Zakarian of the Orbelian Dynasty after having vowed his submission to the Mongol invading armies.
The small church of Surb Astvatsatsin of Pghndzahank was built in 1247 and actually consists of two adjoining churches. It was constructed from roughly hewn stones that have been overlaid with plaster within the interior of the building. Rooms include a main hall, book depositories, a portico and each have vaulted ceilings that still stand mostly intact. The western walls of the church sit adjacent to the portico, whereas the southern wall at the altar joins the book depository. Upon the exterior of the structure there is an inscription that tells about the foundation of the church.
The complex is now sadly in a dilapidated condition, but the beautiful cross-stones that are preserved in the interior make an unforgettable impression on all visitors.