Herher Village

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Herher (Arm: Հերհեր), Vayots Dzor Marz

The road improves markedly at Herher, (719 p) with its Surp Sion Monastery (Holy Zion, better known to villagers as Goshavank - Gosh in this case meaning something like double in Turkish) one km NE on a hilltop, first attested in the 8th c. There are S. Sion and Astvatsatsin churches. On the interior S wall of the latter, an inscription reads: "By the will of Almighty God, this is the memorial inscription and the indelible monument of the glorious Baron Varham, son of Vasak, grandson of the great Magistros, and of his pious wife Sandoukht and of their handsome offspring Ukan, and of the powerful and great general Varham, and of his Christ-loving mother Mamkan, and the well-born lady wife of Gontza, who built this church with much toil and ornamented it with rich plate for my long life and that of my wife and our children Ukan ... An offering to the Holy Monastery in 732/AD 1283." To get to this monastery, start from the northern entrance sign to the village (reading Herher of course) and head south into the village, turning onto your third left dirt trail (before the road bends right). The monastery is about a half a kilometer from the turnoff, but hard to spot until close.

In the village itself is a 19th c. S. Gevorg church and, 1 km SE of the village church is the small Kapuyt Berd ("Blue Castle") on a summit, mostly a natural fortification but with some minor walls; various other ruins nearby, including a ruined village with 14th c. khachkars. S of the village stands the Grigor Lusavorich shrine (1296), with S. Gevorg or Chiki Vank of 1297. The tiny and interesting monastery is perched on a sharp peak and can be reached throught the village and past the cemetary, or from the highway by hiking straight west from the pair of khachkars in cement by the road across the river and up the peak on the west. In the 13th c, Herher was fief of the Orbelian vassals, the Shahurnetsi family. The Herher road rejoins the main Yeghegnadzor-Goris road about 6.5 km E of Vaik.

Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook