Dadivank Monastery - History and Architecture

History and Architecture

The monastery was founded by St. Dadi who was the disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle who spread Christianity in Eastern Armenia during the first century A.C. In June, 2007, the grave of St. Dadi was discovered under the holy altar of the main church.

The monastic complex of Dadivank consists of the Cathedral church of St. Astvadzadzin (with Armenian writings on the wall), the chapel and other ancillary areas. The monastery was first mentioned in the 9th century. The princes of Upper Khachen are buried under the Surp Dadi church's gavit. The bas-relief on the south facade of the cathedral at Dadivank, built in 1214, shows the princess offering the church in memory of her sons. According to Paolo Cuneo, Dadivank and Gandzasar are among these Armenian monasteries, where bust motifs (possiblly the donors of the monasteries) can be found.

On 8 October 2001, Document No 9256 on the maintenance of historical and cultural heritage in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was signed by 16 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from Armenia, Cyprus, Italy, Romania, Greece and Russia; according to which, among the most flagrant examples of Azerbaijan's policies in Nagornk-Karabakh was the destruction of Dadivank, which "the local Muslim population regarded as remnants of the Armenian Christian religion and ruined the monastery as it could" (Iskander Haji "Lel-Kala – A near and unavailable fortress, Vishka, No. 10, 16–23 March 2000"). In 1994 the monastery was reopened and the reconstruction process continues through the present. The Monastery belongs to the Artsakh Diocese of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church.

Restoration began in August 2004 and was completed in 2005. The works of restoration were sponsored by Armenian-American businesswoman Edele Hovnanian. The restoration of the Katoghike (the main domed church of the complex) has been completed.

The chapel (built in 13th century) of Dadivank Complex is a rare specimen of architecture and was restored by Edik Abrahamian (Tehran, Iran).

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