- At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Armenian monks arrived in Venice. These monks fled from the Moorish country after the Turkish invasion. The Serenissima (Venetians) gave them an island, which was used as a lepers' colony in other times, hence its name 'San Lazzaro'. Under the guidance of Pietro Mechitar, the monks founded a religious order and monastery for the Mechitarists, and a library that became a cultural centre for the Armenian Diaspora. Fortunate enough to be spared by Napoleon, they continued in their work of cultural rescue. They established a typography in Armenian characters and collected the most ancient manuscripts that they could find.
- © wcities.com 2013