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Western side of the whole monastery complex at the beginning of the century

Sanahin is a monastic complex of great architectural interest in beautiful natural surroundings above the village of the same name, on the wooded slopes of Mount Tchantinler, at the far end of the wide, deep valley through which the river Debet flows. Between the X and the XIII centuries Sanahin became one of the main religious and cultural centres of Armenia. In 979 with the establishment of the kingdom of Tashir-Tzoraguet and with the elevation of Sanahin to the position of a bishopric the monastery developed considerably. In mediaeval manuscripts Sanahin is mentioned since the beginning of the X century.
In the XI century, according to the historian Stephen of Taron, known as Asoghik, there were five hundred monks living and working in the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghbat. Around the end of the X century Sanahin was already the most important spiritual centre in the kingdom of Tashir-Tzoraguet and one of the most famous in Armenia.
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