The construction of the monastery complex was built by Princess Mariam Bagratuni, the daughter of Armenian Bagratid King Ashot I the Great. Buildings of the still standing monastery complex on the former island (now peninsula) were erected in post-Arab renaissance (871-874). From the former splendor only two very similar churches have been preserved: Holy Apostles and Holy Mother of God. The rest of the complex was destroyed in 1930 by the Soviets. Both churches are an example of the trefoil in a cross plan structure characterized by ornamental design of three rounded lobes. Three conches, i.e. semicircular, equally sized apses on both sides of a square or rectangle, are connected with each other in such a way that the outline takes on a trefoil shape. Therefore, this design is called trefoil arch (one of the most famous trefoil arches is the renovation of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity by Justinian Emperor at the end of the 5th century).