Hidden in the hills and forests of Dilijan lies the remote monastery of Haghartsin. A walk through the stone structures today were three hundred years in the making, beginning in the 10th century until it's completion in the 13th century. The complex highlights the beauty of Armenian architecture and nature, seamlessly blending in the environment.
Like most ancient structures in Armenia, legends are aplenty here. Up to three hundred monks once lived in these stone halls, devoid of human interaction for long periods of time. It is said underground passages exist from the complex to the river below, as well as at least one of the twelve columns supported the main structure as hollow to hide their valuables. Visiting today as tour busses unload, it is hard to imagine its former remoteness. However, the stunning craftsmanship is still to be admired.
In Dilijan National Park, and approximately 10 kilometers from the town center of Dilijan.
The structures seen today are the collective efforts of work from the 10th through 13th centuries.
As a place of worship for the Bagratuni Dynasty of Armenia up until today.
A popular spot for locals and tourists alike in the increasingly popular Dilijan area. No entrance fee collected, like all Armenian monasteries.
A 20 minute ride by car led us to the monastic complex of Haghartsin appearing out of the forest. For what seemed liked a lonely road leading up, we were surprised to see the number of people and tour busses. Arriving earlier or later in the day would change that most likely. However, exploring was still enjoyable, especially walking up the road a bit to see a better vantage point of the complex.
Next to the complex was also the trail to the "Hidden Waterfall." A 2-km muddy track led us through pristine forests and a beautiful waterfall and cascades. We found combining the visit of Haghartsin with the hike a most enjoyable way to spend half a day in Dilijan. No entrance fees and the taxi from the city center to the monastery cost 1700 AMD (Summer 2023).