Sanahin monastery (Arménie/Armenia)

Sanahin is a village in the Northern Lorri province of Armenia, now considered part of the city of Alaverdi (the cable car that connects it with the Alaverdi centre is supposed to have the steepest climb in the whole former USSR). The village is notable for its monastery complex, founded in the 10th century and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with monasteries in Haghpat. The name Sanahin literally translates from Armenian as "this one is older than that one", presumably representing a claim to having an older monastery than the neighbouring Haghpat. The two villages and their monasteries are similar in many ways, and lie in plain view of each other on a dissected plateau formation, separated by a deep "crack" formed by a small river flowing into the Debed river. As with Haghpat, Sanahin is frequented by an increasing number of tourists, due to its recent inclusion on the itineraries of numerous Armenian tour agencies, the beauty of its monastery complex matching that of Haghpat's. The complex belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church with numerous khachkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) and bishop gravesites scattered throughout it. Sanahin was also the birthplace of the two well-known Mikoyan brothers. Artem Mikoyan was a well known airplane constructor, and one of the "fathers" of MiG. Anastas Mikoyan was the politician with the longest career of any member of the Soviet politburo. He was involved in negotiating the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, was a member of the Soviet delegation trying to improve relations with Tito's Yugoslavia, and played a major role in the Cuban Missile Crisis negotiations. A fraction of visitors to the monastery also stop at the small nearby museum in the former school, run by Mikoyans' relatives. Sanahin est un village situé au nord de l'Arménie, dans la région de Lorri, et plus précisément dans le district de Toumanian. On y trouve un monastère datant du Xe au XIIIe siècles. L'église principale qui est dédiée au Saint-Sauveur, a été construite sur l'initiative de la reine Khosrovanouch, femme du roi Achot III d'Arménie, entre les années 967 et 970. L'église comprend quatre chapelles latérales. Le narthex (gavit en arménien) adjacent à l'église a été édifié deux siècles plus tard, en 1181. Le monastère, jusqu'au XIIIe siècle, appartenait à la famille des Kiurikian. Le monastère (avec celui de Haghpat) est inscrit depuis 1996 sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO sous le numéro 7771, car « ce bien est d'une valeur universelle exceptionnelle et constitue un exemple remarquable de l'architecture religieuse qui s'est développée en Arménie du Xe au XIIIe siècles ». La ville abrite aussi le mémorial dédié au concepteur d'avions Artem Mikoyan. VALPARD FILMS http://valpardfilms.awardspace.com/

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