St. Hovhannes or Srbanes Monastery, which is also known as St. Hovhan Odznetsi Monastery (built in the 8th-17th C.) is located in the village of Ardvi, in Lori province. The monastic complex includes two churches and a belfry. Nearby there are also khachkars (cross-stones), and ancient temple ruins of household buildings and dwellings.
The 34th Armenian Catholicos, Hovhannes Odznetsi (717-728) is buried here. He was a prominent theologian, lawyer and author of numerous theological works and religious songs (including Book of Rules, which was the first documented collection of laws of the Armenian Church). Each year on the 17th of April, the Armenian Apostolic Church organizes a pilgrimage to Ardvi, the birthplace of Hovhannes Odznetsi, to mark his commemoration day and to visit St. Hovhannes Monastery where the relics of the prominent philosopher can be found.
The famous “Snake Navel” (looks like a snake) is situated here. It is considered as a source of magic healing water. The story of the snake is related to an ancient legend. Almost everyone who lives in Ardvi could tell you this story: They say a woman meets dragon snakes and calls for help. Hovhannes Odznetsi sends his pupils. Seven pupils go and don’t return. Odznetsi goes himself and hits the snake with his cane and says: “Let healing water come out from your navel, and you become a stone”. And it happens so. And the fact that the water running out of the Snake Navel contains gold and silver was confirmed by Yerevan Geology Institute. Those who once drink water from “Snake Navel’’ are tempted forever and return again. Ardvi was a shooting place for the movie “The Color of Pomegranates’’, written and directed by the prominent Armenian director Sergei Parajanov.