Arkazi Surb Khach Monastery
Arkazi Surb Khach monastery is located in Vayots Dzor province 7 km to the east from Vernashen village. It is a well known pilgrimage place and its existence has been known since the 8th century. The current church of the monastery was nearly completely reconstructed in 1870-1871. To the south-east side-chapel of the church a piece of cross belonging to Jesus is buried, that is the reason it is known as «Surb Khach» - «Holy Cross».
According to the legend, the place where the church was to be built was not decided for a long time. At that time the bishop saw a dream, where the Holy Spirit tells him to put the piece of the Holy Cross and the collected funds for the church on the back of a mule, and to then set the mule free, and wherever the mule stops and falls asleep will be the spot where the church is to be built. They did as was described in the dream. On his way the mule stopped once, but did not fall asleep, at that location they erected a cross-stone, which is still there today. And when the mule stopped and fell asleep, they started to excavate, and suddenly came across a cross-stone under ground, this inspired them on as they were now sure to have had chosen the right path and built the church on that very spot.
In ancient times the Spitakavor, the Arkazi’s St.Khach and the Tanade monasteries were communicating by fire light signals.