What to See
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest national church. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in AD 301. The Armenian Apostolic Church claims to trace its origins to the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century and is an early center of Christianity. Countless churches were built in many cities and villages of Armenia in different centuries, and Dilijan was not an exception. The most famous churches and monasteries are Haghartsin, Goshavank, Jughtak, Mathosavank and Aghavnavank.
Haghartsin is a medieval monastery complex that dates back to the 10th century. The complex lies 12 kilometers to the east of Dilijan. Haghartsin is comprised of four churches, two chapels, a dining hall and multiple khachkars. The architecture of the dining hall is particularly noteworthy and is considered to be an outstanding exemplar of its type. Haghartsin was rebuilt in 2010. The oldest sundial in Armenia can be found on one of the walls of the monastery. It shows when it is time to pray.
Goshavank is located in the center of Gosh, a village 16 kilometers east of Dilijan. The monastery consists of several churches built in the 12th century as well as multiple sacred places. Goshavank has an exceptionally well-stocked and preserved collection of books. In the area of the church there was a church called Getik which was destroyed during the earthquake in 1186. Mkhitar Gosh suggested that a new church should be built near Getik, and it was built with the contribution of Zakaryans. The church is also called Goshavank in honour of its founder.There is also a stone cross, known as “Aseghnagorts” which means “Embroidery,” that was carved in 1291 near the entrance of the monastery. It is one of the most beautiful stone crosses still intact in Armenia. To prevent destruction of the monastery by enemies symbols of different religions were depicted on the walls.
Jughtak is 3 kilometers away from the center of Dilijan. The monastery was built in the 12-13th centuries. Jughtak is composed of two monasteries. That’s why it’s called “Jughtak” which means “Twins.” There is a medieval cemetery not far from the monasteries.
Mathosavank is situated in front of Jughtak. It is 3.5 kilometers away from Dilijan and is on the right bank of Bldan river. The complex consists of 3 buildings and there is a medieval cemetery not far from it.
Aghavnavank is a complex of monasteries built in the 12-13th centuries in Aghavnavank village. The churches don’t operate nowadays, but people always light candles there. There is a tree not far from the church and people call it “The Tree of Wishes.” It is customary to tie handkerchiefs and hang them on the tree so that the wishes will come true.
- Rotondo(Rotonda) is a domed buiding which was built in the early 19th century with the efforts of a lot of rich(business)people. It served as a summer resort. Rotonda looks to picturesque mountains and forests of Dilijan. Its construction inspired a lot of artists and poets such as Eghishe Charents.The Amphitheatre is located in the city center. Inspired by the structure of the Rotondo, the amphitheater was built by N. Danielyan.
- Khanjian's villa is an early 20th-century circle shaped villa, situated on the hill that overlooks the center of town. The villa represents the Armenian modernism of the early 20th century. It was built as a rest house for Aghasi Khanjian the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia.
- The memorial to Soviet Armenia was built in 1970 by the artists A. Tarkhanyan, S. Avetisyan, and K. Vatinyan, symbolizing the 50th anniversary of the Sovietization of Armenia. Five edges of the monument symbolize each decade of the 50 years.
- The memorial to World War II was built near central park in 1975 by K. Vatinyan and S. Mehrabyan to commemorate the local martyrs of the World War II.