I've to confess that I don't know much about Armenia but these 2 cards really make me to wish to go there. These monasteries are wonderful. Both are classified as UNESCO WHS. Sini did a great job choosing the cards and the stamps.
These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century) were important centres of learning. Sanahin was renown for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. The two monastic complexes represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/777
Photo by Levon Bakhshyan
Haghpat Monastery, also known as Haghpatavank, is a medieval monastery complex in Haghpat, Armenia.
The monastery was founded by Queen Khosrovanuysh, wife of the Bagratid king Ashot III, probably in 976.
The largest church in the complex, the Cathedral of Surb Nishan, probably begun in 976, was completed in 991 by king Smbat. It is a typical example of tenth century Armenian architecture.
There are several other structures at the site as well. There is the small domed Church of Sourb Grigor (St. Gregory ) from 1005. Two side chapels were added to the original church; the larger one built in the beginning of the 13th century and the smaller, known as "Hamazasp House", built in 1257. In 1245, a three-story tall free-standing belltower was constructed. Other 13th century additions include the chapel of Sourb Astvatsatsin, the scriptorium, and a large refectory which is outside of the monastery limits.
The monastery has been damaged many times. Sometime around 1130, an earthquake destroyed parts of Haghpat Monastery and it was not restored until fifty years later. It also suffered numerous attacks by armed forces in the many centuries of its existence and from a major earthquake in 1988. Nevertheless, much of the complex is still intact and stands today without substantial alterations. - in: wikipedia
Photo by Levon Bakhshyan
Sanahin Monastery is an Armenian monastery founded in the 10th century in the Lori Province of Armenia.
The name Sanahin literally translates from Armenian as "this one is older than that one", presumably representing a claim to having an older monastery than the neighbouring Haghpat Monastery. The two villages and their monasteries are similar in many ways, and lie in plain view of each other on a dissected plateau formation, separated by a deep "crack" formed by a small river flowing into the Debed river.
As with Haghpat, Sanahin is frequented by an increasing number of tourists, due to its recent inclusion on the itineraries of a great number of Armenian tour agencies, the beauty of its monastery complex matching that of Haghpat's. The complex belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church with numerous khachkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) and bishop gravesites scattered throughout it. - in: wikipedia