/ / San Lazzaro degli Armeni: photos, description (San Lazzaro degli Armeni)

San Lazzaro degli Armeni: photos, description (San Lazzaro degli Armeni)

San Lazzaro degli Armeni the Armenian island of San Lazare - a small island in the southern part of Venetian lagoon near the island of Lido. It is entirely occupied by the monastery of the Mekhitarist congregation, and for several centuries, considered as one of the world centers of Armenian culture.

The location of San Lazzaro at a considerable distance from Venice made the island an ideal location for a quarantine station that was built here in the 12th century. Then in its place was founded the leprosarium of Saint Lazarus, the patron Saint of lepers, on whose behalf and was named the entire island. In the 16th century, the island was abandoned by people for two centuries, until in 1717, the year here has not arrived Catholic Armenian monk Mkhitar of Sebastia, who later became the founder of the Mekhitarist congregation. Together with a group of 17 followers he fled from the town of Morea, which in those years was the scene of fighting between the Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire. San Lazzaro, the monks built a monastery, restored the old Church and founded a large library, and eventually the island became the centre of orientalist studies. The monks have expanded the island to its present 30 thousand square meters, which is four times its original size. The monastery has published works on Armenian history and Philology, the works of Armenian literature and other relevant materials, has received recognition throughout the scientific world.

In 1816, the year the island was visited by Lord Byron, who studied Armenian culture and language. The room in which stayed was a great poet, now turned into a Museum. I must say that for tourists the tours are led by the monks themselves, which show a rich collection of Oriental antiquities - more than 4 thousand Armenian and Arabic manuscripts, Indian and Egyptian artifacts. Among the exhibits there is even a completely preserved Egyptian mummy. Also noteworthy monastery gardens with their population of peacocks.