Vorotnavank - The Monastery Of Thunder

In the year 1000, Princess Shahandukht-daughter of King Sevada the Glorious of Alania, and wife to Prince Smbat of Siunik-built Vorotnavank: the Monastery of Thunder, It became a much-frequented site of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, made attractive by its reputation for miraculous cures-principally for snake-bite and insect infestation.

Armenian notables over the course of a thousand years made it a point to visit Vorotnavank. In 1315, the visiting princes Burtel and Bukhara of the Orbelian line donated gardens and villages to the monastery, along with resources to reconstruct it. Later that century, St. John of Vorotn left the great scholarly center at Gladzor to relocate at Vorotnavank.

The 1380s saw St. Gregory of Datev developing his academic works there. In 1407, the monastery was visited both by the chronicler Thomas of Medzop, and by Arakel the Manuscript Illuminator, who handwrote and illustrated a copy of the Gospel there. Vorotnavank remained an active center up to the beginning of the 20th century. After the travails of the past century, this grand monastery is at last being repaired.

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