One who sets foot in Dilijan knows that the next stop should be at Haghartsin Monastery.
Those who visit Haghartsin once, will forever fall in love with the place located just 18 kilometers away from Dilijan. The smooth, asphalt-covered road stretches to the north. The fastest way to get there is by car – within 20 minutes.
Haghartsin Monastery was built between 10th-13th centuries. There are three churches, domes, refectories, chapels and cross-stones. The 400 kg bronze pot found on the territory of the monastic complex is now kept in the History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan. It is believed that the pot was used for baptism ceremony. And the refectory with its artistic structure is one of the best examples of Armenian architecture. There are other adjacent structures believed to be a kitchen and a bakery.
In the past, most monastic complexes in Armenia served as educational centers. Haghartsin monastery was one of them. Every year during Haghartsin Cultural Week, various concert programs are performed at the monastery. Volunteers of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Diocese of Tavush, introduce the history of the monastery to the guests, accompany them to souvenir pavilions and local masterclasses named “Vanki Anush” meaning “monastery sweets” in Armenian.
Only ecologically clean products of Tavush Province are used for the masterclasses. The villagers gather blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and other locally grown fruits and bring them for the masterclasses. For the first time, the pomegranate preserve in Armenia was prepared during the “Vanki Anush” masterclass. Therefore, when visiting Haghartsin Monastery, remember to sample local fruit jams. You can also buy a few jars and take them with you. The raspberry jam in particular is very tasty. Not only it is delicious, but is also used as remedy from flu and cold along with herbal tea collected from the Armenian mountains of Tavush Province.