/ Xth-Xllth centuries
complex standing on the slopes of the valley of the Orotan river in
northern Siwnik'. The building of the monastery created a pretext for
the defense of this region; the ruins of a real castle are to be found
downstream beyond the fortified walls of the monastery. Orotnavank' was
an important cultural center since it was the home of a university which
was later transferred to Tat'ew.
Of the two churches, the older dates from the Xth century. It consists
of a single hall covered by a barrel vault reinforced by transverse
arches. The second church (Xlth century) was a domed hall and is now
almost completely in ruins. It must have been plastered and perhaps
covered with frescoes which is a relative rarity in Armenian
architecture. The system of inserting amphoras into the fresh cement to
lighten the weight of the cupola was borrowed from Byzantine or Roman
of the library and of the portico with horseshoe arcades also remain.
The characteristic crenellation of the cornices follows more archaic
forms already used in the Vllth century.