In a clearing amongst endless trees in Dilijan lies the monastic complex of Jukhtak, appearing seemingling out of the thick vegetation and offering clues to Armenias medeival past. Two structures sit side by side, one with a valuable inscription stating it's construction in 1201 A.D., while the other, presumably older, still standing strong after nearly 1,000 years. Both structures hearken back to a period of Armenia where churches seemingly rise up in every location among the highlands.
On the western outskirts of the city of Dilijan, reached by a 4x4 track or a 30 min hike.
The church to the east, Surb Gregor , is believed to be constructed in the 11th to 12th centuries. The eastern Surb Astvatsatsin church contains an instruction stating it's construction in 1201.
An inscription found at the church states: "the hope that every sunrise in both vestibules one mass will be offered for me and one for my brother Shmavon, and in all the churches for my parents."
A seldom visited church inside Dilijan National Park, that has gained more popularity due to a Medeival Monastery hikes that connects this church with the nearby Matosavank.
We reached Jukhtak by following a trail winding up the mountainside and past rushing streams, well marked by HikeArmenia as the Medieval Monasteries Trail. Staring clockwise, the path steeply climbed up the forested mountain until reaching the Matosavank Monastery. 30 minutes past those ruins lied the Jukhtak complex. We loved how the vegetation mingled with the structures, giving the stone buildings an appearance of wildness. We noticed several 4x4 vehicles making their way to the church, but I would still recommend hiking the route and connecting both monasteries.