Noravank has situated 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow canyon made by the Amaghu River

Noravank has situated 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow canyon made by the Amaghu River, near the town of Yeghegnadzor. It is a 13th century Armenian Monastery which was a residence of the Orbelian princes. The monastery has two-story Surb Astvatsatsin church, which has a narrow stone-made stair getting out from the second floor of the front of the building. There is a small village called Amaghu above the canyon which is now abandoned, to differentiate it from Bgheno-Noravank, near Goris. At Amaghu, the monastery was also called Noravank. In the 13th–14th centuries the monastery was the residence of the bishops of Syunik and then a main religious and, later, the cultural center of Armenia. Bishop Hovhannes founded Noravank in 1205. The complex contains the church of St. Karapet, St. Grigor chapel, and the church of St. Astvatsatsin. The architect Siranes and the miniature painter and sculptor Momik worked on the final part of the monastery in the thirteenth and early fourteenth century. The semicircular tympanum of the entry has an image of the Blessed Virgin with baby Christ and two saints facing her. The saints are portrayed narrow-eyed to gratify the Mongols who conquered Armenia in 1236 and consequently maintain the monastery. There are four sirens in the corners of the inner framing, birds with crowned human heads. Such heraldic emblems were widely used in medieval Armenian art, in engravings, miniatures, embroidery, gems, crockery and ceramic samples. The tympanum bas-relief carves were both done by Momik at the same time as the church. The lower relief portrays a crowned Holy Virgin with the Christ child in her lap, covered by the archangels, Gabriel and Michael. The Armenian letters on either side of the head of Mary are meant to read “Mother of God”. The scene involves iconic poses with realistic creases in the garments, and a beginning sense of prospect. The figure of the child is particularly meaningful in the way his legs cross and in the motion of his arms.
There is a book named ”The Epigraphic Inscriptions and Colophons of Noravank Monastery” written by Karen Matevosyan. It is published by Moughni Publishers in 2017. In later years accomplished lithographs of Noravank, and now 236 lithographs are included in this book. Also, the colophons of the manuscripts written in Noravank are issued, each ensured with a short study. The Noravank lithographs and recordings replenish each other with the information they include. The research section of the book introduces the discords of the history of Noravank which still stay incomplete studied. It purifies the uncertainty of the oldest churches of the monastery St. Karapet and St. Stephanos. It is a confusion that can be seen in various publications. The question of why the prince Smbat Orbelian was called “King Smbat” was discussed in some lithographs. In fact, it is the name “Arkaun”, by which the MongkeKhan of Mongolia 227 applied Prince Smbad when he went to the Karakorum in 1251 and 1256. Reference is made to the structures of Noravank by the architects Siranes and Momik, and some problems are being purified. Especially, it found out that Siranes, in addition to the St. Grigor Church, built also the Gavit of the monastery, earlier. It is established that the construction of St. Mother of God Church of Noravank began in 1318, while Momik was still alive, and ended in 1339. The analysis of the lithographs of the famous reliefs in the Gavit ensures subsequent reveals that the author of the reliefs is Momik. Finally, the relief of an eagle holding its prey at the eastern frontage of the St. Mother of God Church in Noravank, which is still counted as the Orbelian dynasty. However, there are such reliefs in churches built by a number of other dominant families. It clarifies that there are similar reliefs on the later gravestone of 16-18th centuries. By means of the medieval explanation of a verse of the Gospel of Matthew and the study of the protected faith, it is involved that these images which include the ones in Noravank have no heraldic meaning, but rather typify the Salvation, where an eagle symbolizes the angel. That church in Noravank is also a mausoleum constructed by the Prince Burtel for himself. In the end, it was written that the commemorative data of Noravank was reaching to the end of 15th century. And he thinks that soon new information will be discovered about Noravank. The author used more than 100 sources to write this book. The book was written very meticulously and it was interesting to read and discover more about Noravank.