The oral tradition goes that an architect named Maker built the Makaravank Monastery together with his son. After learning about his son’s death, he could not admire the monastery any more. Shocked by his beloved son’s death, he committed suicide. All this would have happened in the 19th century. Whereas, written traditions assign these events to a later date, to the 10th century, and indicate that the monastery was named after Saint Makar.

The central complex consists of the adjacently built old church, large church, small chapel and the huge gavit.