Goshavank: a monastic complex where an innovative museum is to be opened.
If you have seen our guide to Dilijan, then we are sure, you have already enjoyed the city and are now thinking about where to continue the route. Therefore, do not hurry to leave Dilijan or, the vicinity of Dilijan, to be more precise. There are wonderful monastic complexes not far from the city, and you can say you have seen Dilijan only after visiting there. Let’s start from Goshavank, which is 15 kilometers from the city, so you can reach there in maximum 20 minutes. Remember, you must travel to the east.
Goshavank is a historical-architectural reserve located in the village of Gosh. The monastery was founded in the 12th century by the famous medieval fable-writer and lawyer Mkhitar Gosh, who gave name both to the village and the monastic complex. By the way, Mkhitar Gosh has authored the first constitution called “Datastanagirq” (the Judicial Book).
In the 13th century, Goshavank became one of the major religious, educational and cultural centers of Armenia. There was a higher educational institution there called “university”, according to the historical sources. In the center, they taught Armenian and foreign languages (Greek, Latin) as well as law, history, and philosophy. The arts, from miniature painting to songwriting, were not overlooked either. By the way, people who had studied in Goshavank later opened spiritual centers in different places of Armenia.
As you noticed, Goshavank is a complex, not a separate monastery. It includes St. Astvatsatsin, St. Illuminator, St. Gregory Church, the bell tower and book depository, as well as many chapels and khachkars. By the way, there is also a structure in the area, which is believed to be Mkhitar Gush’s mausoleum.
St. Illuminator Church differs from all others by its unique wall frescos and architectural elements. The book depository-bell tower structure particularly stands out from the architectural point of view. Once you step in into this place, you realize the light does not penetrate it in its usual way.
The gemstone of the monument complex is khachkars that are so delicately designed that are named “embroidered”.
By the way, the monastic complex also displays ethnographic materials that, possibly, will soon be presented in the first “smart” museum of Armenia. Creating an innovative museum was the idea of a group of young people. The objective of the project is to present the history of the monastery and ancient manuscripts to tourists through an audio guide, “speaking” walls and other innovative solutions.
The audio guide will present the monastic complex in several languages. And a “nonstop” screen will display a documentary film about Goshavank.