Haghpat, Lori province
The monasteries of northern Armenia are not isolated, unlike their counterparts in the country's arid regions. They were built in a village environment. Haghpat, for example, is surrounded by many hamlets.
The Haghpat monastery was built not on a peak, but halfway up a hillside on a verdant promontory located in the middle of a mountain cirque, which is often wreathed in clouds.
The walls date to the 10-11th centuries, after the construction of St. Nshan. Following repeated sackings of the monastery in the 13th-16th centuries, the wall was rebuilt several times, using original cyclopic blocks of stone, black and red tuff stone rubble and lime cement. Its latest reconstruction is 20th century.
Haghpat monastery, Armenia, 2011