Gandzasar Monastery is located on a high hill on the banks of the Khachen River. The church and the court of Hovhannes Mkrtch were built by the Jalalyan princes in 1216-1238.
Historical facts suggest that the history of Gandzasar is older than the construction of the church of Hovhannes Mkrtch. About two hundred inscriptions, most of them examples of medieval art, are engraved on the buildings of the monastery complex.
One of the most striking examples of the genius and craftsmanship of Armenian architecture is the complex of the Gandzasar Monastery, located near the village of Vank Martakert, formerly in the Mets Arank region of Artsakh province. The pfirst half of the 13th century is considered to be the period of the rise of the independent power of Khachen. It was during this period that exceptional works of art were created in Artsakh, which have become part of the golden fund of Armenian artistic heritage. Gandzasar – Armenian, means “mountain of treasures”. The monastery was founded in the 12th century. Thanks to the efforts of the Hasan-Jalalyan princes, the monastery has retained its role as a spiritual centre. The monastery housed a school where spiritual leaders were trained and manuscripts were created and preserved. In 2008, Artsakh hosted a “big wedding” in which 687 couples were married. 550 couples were married in Ghazanchetsots Cathedral and 137 in Gandzasar Monastery.