bell tower of the Saghmosavank Monastery

Here again, vank already means monastery, and Saghmosavank means the Monastery of Psalms. Like Hovhannavank, this monastery is also located at the edge of the Kasagh River canyon, north of the town of Ashtarak. And like the bulk of Hovhannavank, it was also constructed in the 13th Century, from similar materials.

carved decoration on the outside church wall

Interestingly, the entrance to the gavit, the typically Armenian early Medieval construction in front of the actual church, looks very much like the entrance of a mosque. Inside the church, a few frescoes adorn the walls. Part of the outside walls is decorated with a series of delicately carved crosses, like kachkars – the Armenian stellae often depicting crosses – that are incorporated in the wall.

detail of what looks like kachkars embedded in the wall

more kachkar-type decoration of the church wall

church entrance from the gavit

the arches on the side of the gavit are also decorated

frescoes on one of the pillars insede the church

more frescoes on the pillars

fresco of a full-size figure

another one of the frescoes in Saghmosavank

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