- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
- Unesco World Heritage
I got to know of Sanahin through cinema. The cult film by Sergueï Paradjanov The Color of Pomegranates is partially filmed there and I longed to discover this monastery which seemed to hold secrets of Armenian spirituality.
So it surprised me that, on descending from the cable car, I found a pile of cast-iron bars from the soviet era, left on this basaltic plateau... An impostor? My other surprise was the hospitality of Sanahin's residents. From a grey suburb, the town transformed itself into an oriental sun. Manvel, a passionate young man, hastened to guide me to the treasure of his birthplace...
A steep path lead us even higher, until we could no longer see the town. We were suddenly perched on this dry, stony plateau, so typical of the Armenian Caucasus. I would then discover the majestic silhouette of the simple churches of Sanahin. Blocks of black and natural basalt, an elegance in the simplicity... This 10th century monastery, which was one of the biggest intellectual centres in mediaeval Armenia, was more than my wildest imaginations. The delicacy of its details, the clearness: Sanahin still carries the mystical grandeur that its founding monks gave it.