Gndevaz Village

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Gndevaz (Arm: Գնդեվազ), Vayots Dzor Marz

Continuing on toward Jermuk, in the gorge of the Arpa river, below the village of Gndevaz, (960 p, Astvatsatsin church of 1686, water channel of 11th c.), is Gndevank* =65= (39 45.53n 045 36.69e) This monastery was founded in 936 by Princess Sofia of Syunik, who reportedly boasted that "Vayots Dzor was a jewelless ring, but I built this as the jewel on it." Inside the S. Stepanos church of 936 is a wall-painting of Mary and the Christ child, thought to be contemporary with the church. The gavit, built during the time of Abbot Kristapor, dates to 999, but the monastery circuit wall is late medieval. The monastery is surrounded with high walls. in the southern and western parts of the precincts are rows of domestic buildings for the use of the monks. The restoration works on the church and the jhamatun, damaged by earthquakes, were undertaken between 1965 and 1969 thanks to financial aid from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon. Gndevank can be reached by taking the narrow road on the W side of the river (this "old Jermuk road", though in disrepair and narrow, is a very scenic route and unless you don't mind a serious hike, much easier as you can drive right up to the monastery which is across a little bridge on the right. The whole old road has nice natural surroundings and a stream and is perfect for camping, hiking, and dirt biking), or by taking the main Jermuk road, turning left till the far lower edge of Gndevaz, and walking about 2 km.

Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook