Harich Village

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Harich (Arm: Հարիչ), Shirak Marz

Driving E from Artik along the main road toward the village of Harich (991 p), Harichavank* =90= (40 36.35n x 043 59.97e) is reached by turning right before the prison. The main church has on the N wall the following inscription: "By the grace and mercy of mankind-loving God, I Zakare Mandatorta Amirspasalar of the Armenians and Georgians, son of the great Sargis, made this donation to the famous holy monastery of Haricha, for the benefit of its natural tenants, for the long life of my master the pious Queen Tamar and for my safety and that of my brother Ivane and our children Shahnshah and Avag, and my parents. I built here a castle and cathedral at great expense and decorated it with plate and sacred objects of every kind. And my village Mokoris, which was near the holy monastery, I offered to the Holy Virgin, with all its lands and mountains and waters. And I gave a mill called Divaghats at Getik, a mill at Glidzor of Ani, and a garden at Tsaghkadzor, a garden at Yerevan and a garden at Talin, and I established the rule that the mass at the main altar always be celebrated in my name. Written in the year 750/AD1201." The brothers Zakare and Ivane are figured on the E facade of the church. The St. Gregory church abutting at an angle the gavit of the main church was built perhaps as early as the 7th c. over a rock-cut tomb (?) and may have been originally a martyr's shrine. The site became in 1850 the summer residence of the Katholikos, with substantial 19th c. monastic architecture. One of the modern buildings houses a small museum. Across the gorge from the monastery is a 3rd millennium BC fortress and tomb field.

Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook