There is a mysterious half-destroyed Havuts Tar monastery located in Kotayk province on the left bank of the Azat River, in the heart of the dense forests of Khosrov State Reserve. A narrow overgrown path leads to the monastery, which is decorated with khachkars (“cross stones”). It seems, that there is a special mysterious atmosphere in this amazing place. Armenians sometimes visit an abandoned monastery to light candles and pray. Havuts Tar is rarely visited by tourists because of its location. However, from the top of the hill on which the monastery is located, visitors can see stunning views of Garni pagan temple and the surrounding mountains.
The well-established transport infrastructure of Armenia allows to get to Havuts Tar 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 Havuts Tar 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 Havuts Tar monastery depends on the weather conditions.
The monastery Havuts Tar was one of the medieval Armenian religious and cultural centers. According to some historical accounts, it is mentioned that Gevorg Marzpetuni had originally built the main church of the monastic complex in the 10th century. According to inscriptions at the site, Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni later rebuilt it in 1013. Havuts Tar flourished in the 12th-14th centuries. The complex suffered from an earthquake in 1679, and it was completely destroyed during the earthquake in 1840.
Havuts Tar became a major educational and cultural center in the 13th century. A school was founded here, where a musical choir was formed. It was also the cradle of re-writing ancient manuscripts. The oldest of the local manuscripts date from 1214.
GARNI GORGE, SYMPHONY OF THE STONES