Odzun village is one of the oldest settlements in Armenia which is famous for its unique architectural monument – the monastery with the same name. There is no exact information about the date of the construction of Odzun, but judging by the building structure and other features of the architecture it can be assumed that this monastery was founded in the 7th century. The name of the founder is also unknown. The place was named after Hovhannes III Odznetsi who was born and raised here. He got the name “odznetsi” which translates as “a fighter with snakes” when he rescued his native village from the invasion of huge snakes by the cross sign. Odzun Monastery is considered one of the most magnificent buildings of Armenia in the early Middle Ages. There are ancient frescoes on the inside walls and rich carvings on the facade of the monastery.
The well-established transport infrastructure of Armenia allows to get to Odzun 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 Odzun 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 Odzun Monastery depends on the weather conditions.
According to the legend, the apostle Thomas blessed priests and bishops in the church of Odzun Monastery. Today's building of the church was built in the 5th century, on the site where previously there was a one-nave basilica built in the 4th century by Grigor Lusavorich (George the Illuminator) and King Tirirdates. In the V century the three-nave basilica was covered with logs and tile slabs, and in the VI century columns, a dome and stone arches were added. Hovhan Odznetsi replaced the tile slabs with stones in the 8th century. The bell towers were built in 1888.
The church was called Surb Astvatsatsin (St. Mother of God), Surb Nshan (St. Sign), St. Hovhannes, Khachgond, Khachgund. The latter name is associated with the name of the priest Khachgund, buried in the churchyard, and in his memory a unique khachkar was erected here in in 1291. Near the church is located a monument of the early Christian era. It is a magnificent monument, which marked the victory of Christianity in Armenia. A little higher than Odzun Church, 2 proportional bell towers were built (19th century). Despite the fact that the towers, built by the master Nalband Sergo, were added later, they do not violate the general appearance of the monastery.
The church was built from the local light pink felsite, which is shining in sunlight and gets different shades. Harmonious proportions and incredible ornaments characterize the monument. The church has a rectangular structure, besides the prayer hall, it includes an outer hall, with an open altar. There are high reliefs of amazing beauty on the facade of the church and the window frames. Particularly interesting is the image of an angel depicted on the right side of the window. The Angel seems to lean against the window frame. Next to the monastery is a monument of the 5th-6th centuries, which is a two-arc arcade located on a stepped base. There is a four-meter rectangular column under each of the arches. The columns are decorated with carved images along the entire length.