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Location: Artsakh, village Amaras
Distance from Yerevan: 371 km – 5 h 54min
Establishment: 4th century
Amaras Monastery is located 10km south of Martuni, in the ravine between the Khazagh and Lusavorich mountains. The monastery was founded in 4th century by St. Gregory the Illuminator and completed by his grandson, Grigoris, the first bishop of Artsakh. During the 4th century the monastery was destroyed by the Persians. At the end of the 5th century it was rebuilt by king Vachagan 3rd the Pious, erecting a memorial chapel over St. Grigoris’ grave. The Monastery was the regional eriscopal see and a major center of culture, education and commerce. Mesrop Mashtots opened the first armenian school in Artsakh at Amaras. Throughout history, Amaras Monastery was attacked repeatedly by invaders. The Monastery suffered great destruction at the hands of the Turks, Seljuks, Tatars and Mongols. Throughout these bitter chalanges, Amaras Monastery didn’t lose its eriscopal see status, and overcame the most difficult of circumstances to remain a center vibrant monastic life. The Monastery continuesly operated a school and scriptorium where illuminated manuscrips were copied, which survive to this day.
As one of Armenia’s most significant holy places, the restoration of Amaras was a highlight of the 1700th aniversary celebration of Armenia’s adoption Christianity as a state religion.