The lake was born as the result of volcanic activities of the Geghama ridge. The eruption diked the ancient river valley about 250 thousand years ago. The resulting kettle was filled with outwash from the surrounding ridges and later with river waters.
Sevanavank monastery is located on the Sevan peninsula in Gegharkunik district. During the 9th century Sevan became the royal citadel of the Syuniats princes. In 874 the daughter of King Ashot Bagratuni, Mariam, built the Arakelots and the St.Astvatzatzin (Holy Virgin) churches. There is a chapel on the eastern side of the St.Astvatzatzin church, the columns of which are important examples of Armenian wood-carving art, and nowadays both of them are preserved in the Armenian State History museum. There are numerous cross-stones in the area of the monastery. During 1956-1957 the churches were reconstructed.