Gandzasar (literally translated as “mountain of treasures”) is a magnificent medieval monastery located near Vank village in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Gandzasar monastery was founded in the X century and is a functioning religious center to this day. The monastery did not stop functioning from the very day of construction. Gandzasar was a spiritual and educational center. Not only representatives of the clergy, but also prominent Armenian scholars, who then were able to make a significant contribution to the development of the region, studied here. The interior of the monastery also looks impressive: the church is decorated with skillfully executed sculptures depicting people and different animals. You can see old khachkars and monastery buildings erected at different times on the territory of the monastic complex.
The well-established transport infrastructure of Armenia allows to get to Gandzasar monastery by a private car or with the help of various travel companies which offer regular excursions and tours to different sights of the country. Due to the geographical location of Gandzasar monastery the trip will not seem long.
The high season in Armenia lasts for a long time due to the pleasant climate conditions. Warm days in Armenia start in March and last until late autumn; winter is usually snowless and not long. The high precipitation season is variable. The tourist season for Gandzasar monastery depends on the weather conditions.
It is known from historical sources that the ancient Gandzasar church was a place for political and religious meetings in Artsakh. The monastery has become a heart of cultural life in a short period. The monastery became one of the important centers of the national liberation movement at the end of the XVII century. The first letter to the Russian Emperor Peter I was written here in 1701, in which the Armenians of Artsakh asked for help from Russia.
Anatoli L. Yakobson called Gandzasar an "encyclopedia" of Armenian architecture, while Bagrat Ulubabyan and M. S. Asatryan described it as a "jewel".
Another interesting event is associated with Ganzasar monastery. A ceremony of blessing the Gandzasar carpets was held here on October 23, 2017 . The ceremony marked the beginning of a charity project, thanks to which the rich traditions of Armenian carpet-making began to be renewed. Particular attention was paid to church carpets, which were made taking into account the architecture and interior decoration of each part of the monastery. Within the framework of this project, Megerian Carpet company made carpets specially designed for the Gandzasar. A carpet (1.32 X 6.61 cm), a carpet in the narthex of the church (36.5 m2) and an altar carpet (14 m2) were presented to the church. Each of the carpets is unique in its design and bears the name "Gandzasar carpet".