The monastery was built in the Lori Provence during the Byzantine era between the 10th and 13th centuries, along with nearby Haghpat Monastery. It served as an important centre of learning during medieval times. As a result, you can still find medieval libraries and secret hiding places for manuscripts in the complex.
The name Sanahin in Armenian means “older than that” evoking that it is older than the nearby Haghpat monastery.
The monastery represents an entire complex, which comprises the Church of Saint Astvatsatsin, the Church of All-Savior, the Chapel of Grigor, scriptorium, academy, the gavit of Saint Astvatsatsin Church, the gavit of All-Savior Church, the belfry, the sepulcher of Kyurikyans, the sepulcher of Zakaryans, the sepulcher of Arghutyan-Erkaynabazuks (Long-Armed), the Church of Saint Hakob, the spring and the refectory.
Carrying outstanding universal value to humanity the Monastery of Sanahin was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999.
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage - Armenian Cross-Stones