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Museum of Gladzor University

The Vyats Dzor Regional Museum (4 Shahumian; working hours 9am-1pm & 2-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat) in the centre of town describes local history but is frequently closed.

A better option is to visit the Museum of Gladzor University (working hours 9am-5pm Tue-Sun) in the village of Vernashen, 4km uphill from Yeghegnadzor.

From the centre of Yeghegnadzor a road leads northeast up the hill through residential areas. The Museum of Gladzor University is just beyond the town on the left, housed in a former 17th-century basilica church called St Hagop. The museum marks the end of the village and just past it is a T-junction.

This museum does not rank among Armenia's must-sees but it does explain why visitors may hear of Gladzor University at a number of sites they visit (it moved from place to place according to the wishes of the principal of the day). The former church in which it is housed has been well restored (there are some interesting carvings on stones incorporated into the walls) apart from the incongruous shiny reddish floor tiles and the seven unattractive modern khachkars outside representing the seven subjects of medieval learning: the trivium or lower part comprised grammar, rhetoric and logic while the quadrivium or higher part comprised arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music.

The museum has photographs of the various monasteries to which the university moved, illustrations of illuminated manuscripts produced at the university, and places where former students went to establish schools. In all, 350 vardapets graduated between 1282 when the university was established by Momik and 1338 when it ceased to function. Throughout its working life the university was concerned with maintaining the independence of the Armenian Church and the rejection of papal authority.

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