The Church Of The Holy Virgin In White

The princes of Armenia's Orbelian clan established the St. John Garabed Monastery in Urtsadzor early in the 14th century, to serve as the family's spiritual center and cemetery. The monastic complex included a church named Sourp Asdvadzadzin Spitakavor "the Holy Virgin in White" which was built under the patronage of Princess Gontsa, the daughter of Ivaneh Zakarian and wife to the Orbelian Prince Jalal.

Church inscriptions record that Gontsa initiated construction in 1301, under the supervision of a monk named Giragos; the architect's name, Pont, has also survived. To maintain the church, Princess Gontsa contributed an entire village under her authority, Kalas, along with gardens, mills, and an oil extraction workshop. Monuments surrounding the church are carved in white stone perhaps a reflection of, or an inspiration for the church's name.

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