XIV AD - Vayots Dzor Marz
Located way above the town of Yeghegnadzor, Spitakavor is a small monastery complex near Boloraberd Fortress. The track leading to the monastery is quite bad, so hiking up if you have time is a good alternative. To reach Spitakavor, you should head up to Vernashen from Yeghegnadzor, turning left immediately past the Gladzor University Museum, then left where the dirt road dead ends upon another dirt road, and then right just before the first house on your right. This road will take you all the way up to the monastery and Boloraberd.
Spitakavor S. Astvatsatsin church*, built in 1321 by the Proshians, with a bell tower of 1330 and rich sculptural decoration similar to that of Noravank and perhaps by the same artists. There are traces of a ruined 5th c. basilica. In the yard of the monastery are buried the earthly remains of the famous warrior and nationalist leader Garegin Njhdeh, brought secretly to Armenia in 1983. Nzhdeh, born Garegin Ter-Harutyunian in 1886, the son of a village priest in Nakhichevan, led an Armenian band fighting alongside the Bulgarians in the 1912 First Balkan War. He then led a combined Armenian-Yezidi volunteer detachment against the Turks in WWI. Forced into exile with the Sovietization of Armenia, Njhdeh pursued fruitless negotiations with Nazi Germany in hopes of redeeming the lost Armenian lands of Eastern Turkey. He died in a Soviet prison in 1955. [paragraph source: rda guide.]
Notes: There is a bus from Yerevan to Yeghegnadzor. Good mountain biking. Spring below picnic area.