Tsaghkevank or Virgin Varvaran is a cave monastery on Mount Ara in Armenia. The nearby residents celebrate both Christian and pagan holidays there.

Tsaghkevank is considered the death monument of Virgin Varvara. And according to the Vatican, St. Varvara, like St. Christopher, probably has a mythical existence, and if not, then either he died by his cruel father to accept Christianity, or he was abducted by angels.

According to another legend, there lived a virgin girl named Tsaghik. One of the Armenian princes likes her, her beauty and wants to seize her by force. The flower runs away in fear to hide in Mount Ara. At the foot of the mountain, he meets a shepherd who was tending lambs and asks not to reveal his place to anyone. The angry prince starts looking for Tsaghik to punish him, he meets the shepherd, the shepherd is afraid of him and tells the place of Tsaghik. The virgin, seeing where the trout will reach her, climbs the giant rock and throws herself down. At that moment, the treacherous shepherd is stoned with his sheep. The chapel on Mount Ara was named after Tsaghik – Tsaghkevank (arm. Tsaghik – flower, vank – monastery). The water dripping from the roof of the chapel is considered to be the tears of Tsaghik Virgin. People come and take some of that water, believing that it will heal their eyes and the eyes of the animals.


The article was compiled based on observations and materials collected by the ArmLand club.

Author of photos: Artyom Martirosyan

/See All