Khudavang Monastery Complex

Khudavang, or Dedeveng, Monastery Complex is located in the Vang village of Kalbajar District, on the left bank of Tartar River. It is one of the largest and most beautiful examples of Azerbaijan’s Christian architecture.

By a legend, Apostle Thaddeus, the first Christian missionary in the Caucasus, was buried there. Therefore, the complex is supposed to have been founded in the 4th century. The complex was mainly constructed in the 13th century, during Albanian Duke Vakhtang. The complex currently includes more than twenty structures and remains. The main church was built in 1214 by Arzu Hatun, Vakhtang’s wife. Dominating throughout the complex, its dome high and space majestic, the church is of the Caucasian-Albanian Christian masterpieces of architecture. It is considered that Arzu Hatun and her daughters made the interior murals. There are fine carvings on the western and northern sides of the church. The main religious part of the complex consists of seven spaces, different in terms of composition, but mutually supplementing.

It is the Beyuk Hasan Church of the main structures that rises in the southern part. In the southern part, there are civil buildings such as a palace and working and living premises on the slope. The complex buildings fully demonstrate the centuries-old construction culture and versatile types of Azerbaijan’s Christian Architecture. Many construction inscriptions have survived in the Khudavang Complex. A number of names indicated therein such as Arzu, Tursun, Seyti, Asan, Avag, Shams, Altun, Aghbuh, Garagoz, etc., should be considered to exact prove the builders’ Turkic identity.

Direct relations to Azerbaijan’s Muslim architecture are clearly felt as well in numerous stone-carving decorations of the site. At present, the Armenian researchers try to misrepresent the Albanian Khudavang Monastery Complex as an Armenian monument.

  1. Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Garabakh: The Eternal Memory of Azerbaijan Heritage, (2008), p. 163.
  2. “Kalbajar Region”, Armenian Vandalism: Azerbaijani Monuments in Captivity
  3. “Karabakh’s Cult Architecture”, Karabakh.org
  4. “Khudavang Monastery Complex”, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 05 November 2020.