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Interior of St. Astvatsatsin Church at Armenia's Khor Virap Monastery



Khor Virap

The Khor Virap (Armenian: Խոր Վիրապ , meaning deep pit or "deep well") is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the border with Turkey, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of Artashat, Ararat Province. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos. [ 3 ]

Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Grigor Lusavorich, who later became Saint Gregory the Illuminator, was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation. [ 1 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] A chapel was initially built in 642 AD at the site of Kirat Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Now, regular Church services are held in this church. It is probably the most visited pilgrimage site in Armenia. [ 5 ]


Sanahin monastery

The Sanahin monastery, located in the eponymous village near the canyon of the river Debed is one of the main iconic attractions of this region. On the other side, you’ll Debed Alaverdi. The monastery covers an area of about 2 hectares. it is believed that it stands on the site where in the IV century by Gregory the Illuminator was built a stone cross.

The exact date of the founding of the monastery is still unknown. However, there is some information that is already in X-XI centuries the number of monks in the monastery reached several hundred people. Presumably, it was the Armenian clergy who were expelled from the Byzantine Emperor Roman Lakapin.

The Sanahin monastery, located in the eponymous village near the canyon of the river Debed is one of the main iconic attractions of this region. On the other side, you’ll Debed Alaverdi. The monastery covers an area of about 2 hectares. it is believed that it stands on the site where in the IV century by Gregory the Illuminator was built a stone cross.

The exact date of the founding of the monastery is still unknown. However, there is some information that is already in X-XI centuries the number of monks in the monastery reached several hundred people. Presumably, it was the Armenian clergy who were expelled from the Byzantine Emperor Roman Lakapin.

The first building of the temple of Surb Astvatsatsin this place was built by order of the Armenian king Abbas Bagratuni around the first half of X century Cross-in-square Church with four chapels built of basalt politichnogo. Preserved fragments of plaster with some elements of the painting suggest that the Church interior was decorated with murals. In the entire history of the Church it has been repeatedly repaired and partially rebuilt. So, in 1652, was installed in the dome.

The largest monument is the Church of Sanahin Amenaprkich, who served in the Xth century Cathedral of Lori Kingdom. From the temple of Surb Astvatsatsin Church of Amenaprkich differs only walls made of smooth-hewn pieces of basalt. The main attraction of this Church is a group of sculptures presented in the form of kings Kyurike and Smbat, holding a model of the Church. In 1061 the city a little East of the Shrine of the virgin built a small chapel of St. Gregory.

Original works of civil architecture in Armenia are the Academy and Sanahin”s book Depository, built in the XI century, Another monumental building — the bell tower is square at the base of the three-storied tower with the hexagonal rotunda, where hung the bell. Beside the main complex is the tomb of the family of Zahidov.


History

King Artashes I, founder of the Artashesid dynasty, established his Armenian capital at Artashat (also known as Artaxtisata) around 180 BC. It is believed that Hannibal, the Carthaginian General who was persecuted by Rome, was also instrumental in establishing Artashat. Γ] Artashat remained the capital of the dynasty till the reign of King Khosrov III (330–339) when it was moved to Dvin. ⎗] Subsequently, Artashat was destroyed by the Persian King Shapur II. Η] Artashat is close to the hillock of Khor Virap. ⎘] Until its chapel was built, Khor Virap was used as royal prison.

When King Tiridates III ruled over Armenia, his assistant was the Christian Grigor (Gregory) Lusavorich who preached the Christian religion. However, Tiridates, a follower of pagan religion, was not pleased with having an advisor with a different religion, and he subjected Gregory to severe torture. When news reached the king that Gregory's father Anak the Parthian was responsible for the murder of the king's father, the king ordered that Gregory's hands and legs be tied and that he be thrown into the Khor Virap to die in the dark dungeon located in Artashat. In addition, Gregory's refusal to offer sacrifice to the goddess Anahita provoked the king to torture him and condemn him to imprisonment in the Khor Virap. ⎙] He was then forgotten and the King waged wars and persecution among Christian minorities. ⎚] However, Gregory did not die during his 13 years of imprisonment. His survival was attributed to a Christian widow from the local town who, under the influence of strange dream vision, regularly fed Gregory by dropping a loaf of freshly baked bread into the pit. ⎚]

During this period, the Roman Emperor Diocletian wanted to marry a beautiful girl, and sent agents to search for the most beautiful woman. They found a girl named Rhipsime in Rome, who was under the tutelage of Abbess Gayane in a Christian nunnery. When Rhipsime heard about the king's [clarification needed] marriage proposal, she fled to Armenia to avoid the marriage. A search was launched to locate the girl and punish the people who had helped her escape, and eventually Tiridates located Rhipsime and forcibly brought her to his palace. After unsuccessfully trying to woo her, he ordered that she be dragged into his presence by putting a collar around her neck in hopes to persuade Rhipsime to agree to marry him. ⎚]

However, what ensued was the persecution and murder of Rhipsime, Gaiane and many Christians. Tiridates went mad and is "said to have behaved like a wild boar while torments fell on his household and demons possessed the people of the city." ⎛] ⎜] It was then that Tiridates's sister, Khosrovidhukt, had a vision in the night, where an angel told her about the prisoner Gregory in the city of Artashat who could end the torments with the words "when he comes he will teach you the remedies for all your ills". ⎚] People did not place much reliance on this vision, as most thought that Gregory had died within days of his being cast into the pit. But Khosrovidhukt had the same dream repeatedly, eventually threatened that if the dream's instructions were not followed, there would be dire consequences. Prince Awtay was deputed to get Gregory from Kirat Virap. He went to the pit and shouted to Gregory, saying "Gregory, if you are somewhere down there, come out. The God whom you worship has commanded that you be brought out". Gregory was brought out in a miserable state. He was taken to the king, who had gone mad "foraging among the pigs at Valarshapar", tearing his own skin. Gregory cured the king and brought him back to his senses. Gregory knew of all the atrocities committed, and saw the bodies of the martyrs who were later cremated. The king, accompanied by his court, approached Gregory, seeking forgiveness for all the sins they committed. Henceforth, Gregory started preaching Christianity to the king, his court, and his army. ⎚]

King Tiridates, who had embraced Christianity as his religion following the miraculous cure effected by Gregory's divine intervention, proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia in 301 AD. Gregory became the Bishop of Caesarea and remained in service of the King until about 314 AD. ⎗] ⎜] Another version attributed to Tiridates's conversion to Christianity is that it was a strategic move to create national unity to checkmate the hegemony of Zoroastrian Persians and pagan Rome, and since then, the Christian Church has acted as a strong influence in Armenia. ⎝]


Interior of St. Astvatsatsin Church at Armenia's Khor Virap Monastery - History

The Republic of Armenia(RA) is an East European country situated in on the boundary of the South Caucasus, Asia Minor and the Middle East and occupies the North- Eastern part of the Armenian plateau. The highest point of the plateau is the Mount Ararat (5165 m). The RA occupies the territory of 29,743 sq. km and borders Georgia in the North, Azerbaijan in the East, Turkey in the West and Iran in the South. The average height above sea level is 1800 meters the highest point is Mt. Aragats – 4090 m the lowest point is the gorge of river Debed (380 m). The greatest extent is 360 km. The climate is dry, continental.

Armenian Flag and Anthem

Armenian Flag

The law “On the State Flag of the Republic of Armenia” was adopted on August 24, 1990, by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Armenia.

The State Flag is a rectangular panel with three equal horizontal stripes of red, blue and orange (from top to bottom).

“Mer Hayrenik” (“Our Fatherland”)The Anthem of the Republic of Armenia was adopted on July 1, 1991, by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Armenia. It is based on the Anthem of the First Armenian Republic (1918-1920), but with different lyrics. The author of the lyrics is poet Mikael Nalbandian (1829-1866).

The Coat of Arms

The law “On the State Coat of Arms of the Republic of Armenia” was adopted on April 19, 1992, by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Armenia.

Culture of Armenia

Originality and uniqueness of Armenia stand on three pillars – the unique charm of its mountainous nature, the original national culture and the ancient Christian heritage. It is important to note that in 301 Armenia was the first country to accept Christianity as a state religion. This is the main treasure of Armenia, with the help of which Armenia managed to survive for the whole dramatic history. Armenia is situated at the crossroad of routes between the East and the West, and was able to resist every powerful conqueror as the people remained faithful to their culture. Armenian material and spiritual culture is based on the rich cultures of the ancient inhabitants of the Armenian Highland, with all the ethnic elements that are involved in the formation of the Armenian people. Of course, the role of the outstanding Urartian culture is great in it. Till 301, Armenian culture developed under two influences: Western (Hellenism) and Eastern (Parthia). However, these influences only complemented and enriched the national culture. Christianity is one of the powerful sources of the world culture, as it has created new forms in architecture, art and music. Another important landmark in the development of the Armenian culture was the creation Armenian alphabet and national literature in 405 by Mesrop Mashtots.

Architecture

The mountainous landscape of the country identified the lines of its architecture. Powerfully and monumentally, like the mountains surrounding, stand the monuments of medieval architecture. The stony soil, the jags of surrounding ridges and outlines of architectural monuments merge into a single image.

The traditional architecture of Armenia is reflected in temple architecture of churches, monasteries, convents, etc. The early Medieval Architecture (V-VI centuries) is represented mostly by basilicas. A Basilica- is a structure of rectangular shape, devided generally into three rows of columns, at the same time the central part rises above the others. At the end of VI-VII centuries Greek-cross and central-domed samples of temple architecture. The symmetrical cross-shaped facade of a temple was decorated with the side arches and crowned by a huge dome visible from distant corners of the temple. Later the temple shapes changed simple and strict church structures become more elegant and complex. The shapes were improved new elements such as domical drum were added. But in whole, traditional temple structures possess common basic features. Monastic complex is a special type of temple architecture. It consisted of a number of elements – a temple, chapels, belfries, household buildings – refectory, library, vestry etc. The complex was often surrounded by a wall with adjacent dwelling houses. A little church was sometimes erected above the main gate. The first monasteries originated in the VII century the XII century saw the prosperity period of their construction.

There are a lot of feudal castles across Armenia – fortresses, palaces, castles, caravanserais and bridges. Armenia is often referred to as “the open-air museum”. The magnificent Hellenistic structure Garni, the Sun Temple (III – II BC), domed Echmiadzin temple (IV century), Zvartnotz (VII century), and the medieval jewel – Gegard (IV – XIII centuries) are known all over the world.

Why to visit Armenia

Armenia resembles a national park with its rich nature. There are more than 3200 varieties of vegetation growing on this small piece of land, 120 of which are endemic and grow only on the territory of Armenia. Many varieties even have armenian names. The fauna is also very diverse. There are about 12 000 species of animals, many of which are also unique to the Armenian natural world. Armenian nature played a major role in the history of Armenian people. The same way as in the days of the biblical Flood it was a cradle of formation of the new humanity, later it helped local people in the days of struggle against cruel adversaries.

Armenian castles were unassailable due to the high mountains and deep gorges. Rivers overflowed when enemy passed through them and lakes made attacking soldiers blind with their brilliance. One of the most astounding things about Armenian is that its food is is still organic. That is why tourists visiting Armenia just can’t stop eating our fruits and vegetables. They those are so tasty in Armenia because of the rocky land and the Sun. Armenia is rich with various sorts of apricots, peaches, cherries, apples, figs, pomegranates, grapes, plums, quinces, pears, etc. Armenian food is rich with vegetables, greens and spices too, such as tomato, cucumber, pepper, potato, melon, watermelon, onion, eggplant, squash, parsley, basil, cress, coriander, dill and the list is endless. Armenians also cultivate wheat, rice, peas, beans, walnut, hazelnut and almonds. Armenian cuisine is quite popular with its traditional bread called lavash. It is a flat, thin and soft bread that can be dried and kept for quite a long term. Lavash symbolizes life and wisdom. In ancient times, lavash was used during battles as it lasted long and saved the soldiers from starvation. Mothers cooked lavash, dried it and put in the bags of the soldiers. Lavash is still the most popular national Armenian bread, without which no festive dinner can go along. It is a very thin layer of bread cooked in an underground clay oven.

Resorts in Armenia

Not far from Tsakhkadzor, in the valley of the river Marmarik 1900 m above sea level flow the hot waters of average mineral consistence (42°), rich in bromine, iodine, and boron these waters are used for baths, potable treatment and bottling. The climate is temperate in that summers are rather mild (the average highs for July varying between 16 and 18°). Winter is moderately cold (-7° in January). The annual precipitations rate is 600 mm. The sunshine hours per annum equal 2200.

Lake Sevan (Geghama Sea). Sevan is one of the three large lakes in the Armenian highland. In ancient times it was called Gegharkunik or Geghama Sea. Sevan is the largest lake in Caucasus as well as one of the largest and highest freshwater lakes in the world. In summer, the middle temperature of the lake surface is 18-23 degrees above zero. Sevan consists of two unequal parts – Large Sevan and Small Sevan. Sevan is fed by 28 rivers, of which Gavaraget, Argithci, Martuni, Karthcaghbyur, Masrik, Dzknaget are the most famous, while just one river Hrazdan begins.

Aghveran is a perfect resort for visitors. It is located 50 km to the north of Yerevan, at a height of 1550 meters above sea level. The eponymous village Aghveran is one of the most beautiful places in Armenia. Since ancient times, the city was famous for its curative climate and picturesque scenery of the surrounding mountains. Comfortably nestled among thick foliage and full with fresh mountain air the resort perfectly combines the capabilities of leisure, health and relaxation.

In a picturesque gorge of the river Hrazdan, at 24 km to the North of Yerevan, 1250 metres above sea level, in the canyon, nestles a balneological resort Arzni famous for its mineral water. The healing strength of this water is known since old times but the officially its consideration as a resort started in 1925. These waters are rich in chlorides, hydrocarbonic elements and sodium as well as carbon gas, and are used for baths and drinking. They are applied while treating patients with cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal diseases, liver- and metabolism-related complications. The average temperature in the area ranges from +19С in summer to -19С in winter. The bulk of this terrain is covered with woods. River Hrazdan flows along the Arzni canyon.

Jermuk – one of the most beautiful places in Armenia: forests and high alpine meadows, flat plateaus and low mountains. In the canyon the is an impressive and picturesque waterfall: a 70m height it is cascading into the gorge with its crystal spring water. This famous resort town is situated in the north-eastern part of Vayots Dzor at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level. Arpa River flows through the town. The climate is mountainous: cool summers, with a predominance of sunny weather, mild winters are comparatively snowy and windless. The town’s name is associated with the existing hot mineral springs, which are indicated in the Armenian language common word “Jermuk” (“Jerm” – with the arm. “Hot” “warm”).

In late autumn Tsakhkadzor turns to a fairytale. Pure white snow covers the valley and downhills and the magnificent beauty tempts winter sport lovers. The snow sparkles under the sunlight: winter in the valley is sоft, with 280-290 sunny days and average – 3°C in January. Since early winter comfortable hotels crowd with adventure-seekers as the ski season begins and lasts from mid-December to mid-March. Tsakhkadzor is a perfect resort for skiers: heavy snowfalls provide a resistant snow cover, thickness of which reaches 2 meters. On the hillsides of Teghenis (2819m) both hard-headed thrill-seekers and inexperienced beginners can find suitable pistes. Trainings held by professional instructors, rental of ski equipment, snowboards and sleds are at your services.

Dilijan is one of the most popular Spa towns in Armenia. I is known for its mountains, wild forests and one of the most high-quality drinking waters in the world. There are many resorts and hotels in the town.

Sights in Armenia

Noravank is a 13th century Armenian monastery, located 122km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Amaghu river, near the city of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. The monastery is best known for its two-storey Surp Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of the building.

The Khor Virap

The Khor Virap is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located on the Ararat plain, near the border with Turkey. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos. Khor Virap’s notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Grigor Lusavorich, who later became Saint Gregory the Illuminator, was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king’s religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation.

Tatev monastery is situated near the village with the same name in the Syunik region, ancient Zangezur. Tatev monastery was built during the 9-13th cc. as an Armenian intellectual center where philosophers, musicians, painters, calligraphers, and monks lived. This monastery’s teachers produced manuscripts for the whole Armenian world. The complex was established between 895 and 906. St. Gregory the Illuminator, who spread the word of Christ throughout Armenia, is buried here in a small church․

Haghpat – significant monument of town-planning of medieval Armenia, distinguished by unity and compactness of an asymmetrical layout, beautiful silhouette on mountainous terrain. Since 1996, the monastery of Haghpat is in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Geghard – monastery complex, a unique architectural construction, entered in the UNESCO world heritage list in 2000. The monastery is located in the gorge of the Azat river, about 40 km to the South-East of Yerevan.

Garni is a temple complex located in the Kotayk Province of Armenia, situated approximately 32 km southeast from Yerevan.

Sanahin Monastery

Sanahin Monastery is located in a village with the same name, on a small plateau near the canyon of Debed river, at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. The exact date of foundation of the monastery has not been established. However, it is known that in X-XI cc. the number of monks herereached a few hundred. During this period, Sanahin became an Armenian educational center: the school in the monastery was transformed into the Academy, known in history as the Academy of St. Gregory Armenian Magistros Pahlavuni. The monastery occupies a small area, in the central part of which, around the main temple Sanahin – Astvatsatsin – there are Amenaprkich Church and Chapel of St. Gregory (X c.), the Academy (XI c.), stacks (1063), the gallery (end of X c.), the vestibule (1181) and the tower (XIII c.).

Stepanakert (Armenian: Ստեփանակերտ) is the largest city and capital of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic, a de facto independent republic, though it hasn’t been internationally recognized yet. The city population comprises about 53,000 ethnic Armenians.

The ancient stronghold of Shushi was the administrative, religious, cultural and educational center of Artsakh (currently Republic of Artsakh or Nagorno Karabakh), one of the 15 provinces of the Historic Armenia. Though, Shushi has a very rich history, the main sign of it has been created not in the distant past, but in our days. After the May 9, 1992 – the heroic victory of the Armenian people in the Kharabakh war for liberation – one of the most glorious pages of the Newest History of the Armenian people is associated with Shushi. And henceforth, for every Armenian the first and the main meaning of the word SHUSHI is VICTORY!

Yerevan (Armenian: Երևան, Armenian pronunciation: [jɛɾɛˈvɑn]) is the capital and the largest city of Armenia and one of the world’s oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by the king Argishti I at the western part of the Ararat plain. After the World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the Democratic Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide settled in the area. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century as Armenia became one of the fifteen republics in the Soviet Union. In fifty years, Yerevan was transformed from a town of a few thousand residents within the Russian Empire to Armenia’s principal cultural and industrial center, as well as became the seat of national government. With the growth of the economy of the country, Yerevan has been undergoing major transformation as many parts of the city have been recipients of new construction since the early 2000s, and retail outlets such as restaurants, shops and street cafes, which were rare during Soviet times, have multiplied. As of 2011 estimates, the population of Yerevan was 1,121,900 people, making up to 34% of the total population of Armenia.

Yerevan was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO.

During the Arsacid Dynasty of the Kingdom of Armenia, it served as the main city of the province of Ayrarat and the capital of its Aragatsotn district from which the Amatuni noble family ruled. However, it is perhaps best known for the Church of Saint Mesrop Mashtots, which also happens to be the burial place of Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. The church houses his grave and was rebuilt by Catholicos George IV in 1875. Wall paintings on the interior were done in 1960 by the artist H. Minasian.

Byurakan (Armenian: Բյուրական, also Romanized as Burakan, Bjurakan, and Biurakan) is a village in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia on the slope of Mount Aragats. The village contains the basilica of Saint Hovhannes of the 10th c. and Artavazik Church of the 7th c. with a huge 13th c. khachkar monument directly across the ravine. It is also the site of the Byurakan Observatory.

Saghmosavank

The main temples of the monastery was erected by the Prince Vache Vachutyan. The Church of Zion in Saghmosavank (1215) and the Church of Karapet in Hovhannavank (1216-1221) belong to the same type of cross-winged domed structures with two-floor annexes in all the corners of the building. Subcupola space predominates in the interiors of both churches, which is reflected in the exterior shapes of these structures.

Goshavank “Monastery of Gosh”

Previously known as Nor Getik, it is a 12-13th century Armenian monastery located in the village of Gosh in the Tavush province of Armenia. Today the monastery is not a functioning religious complex, although it remains a popular tourist destination and has recently undergone some light restoration. The impressive monastery which has remained in relatively good condition also houses one of the world’s finest examples of khachkars.

Museums in Armenia

Aram Khachaturian is a great Armenian composer, an outstanding representative of 20th century’s music, one of the most original contemporary composers. His works are part of the world music’s “gold portfolio”.The museum was founded in 1984. The museum has about 18,000 items collected from 55 countries. Music library contains 3500 CDs, gift to the museum Canadian-Armenian Garmiku Grigoryan, and 350 tapes provided by the French Embassy. The museum is one of the main centers of research on Khachaturian.

Yervant Kochar Museum was founded in 1984, based on a study of the wizard. Yervant Kochar Museum is historical avant-garde in the region. Creativity of the artist and the anexceptional center of the sculpture Yervant Kochar / 1899-1979 / is one of the most interesting events of the XX century. In 1923-36, while living in Paris, he became a legitimate member of the “Paris School” of artists. The works of the great artist are exhibited in many museums around the world, but the visitor can get a full impression of the artist’s works only in E. Kochar Museum in Yerevan.

Hovhannes Tumanyan House-Museum (February 19, 1869 – March 23, 1923), is considered to be one of the greatest Armenian poets and writers. Tumanyan is usually regarded in Armenian circles as «All-Armenian poet».Hovhannes Tumanian Museum functions since 1953. The founder and the first director was the poet’s daughter. Copies of manuscripts, photo documents and original illustrations of Tumanian writing.In 1969, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the great writer, a new two-storey building was built to house materials related to Tumanyans life and work including his personal items, documents, manuscripts, sketches, and publications in more than 40 languages.

The M.Saryan House-Museum. It was founded in 27 November 1967. Today, the Museum’s fund has 247 pieces of storage. During 38 years of its existence the Museum’s major activities were collecting, exhibiting, and publishing. In 1932, a house with a studio was built for Saryan in Yerevan. In his lifetime, the master received hundreds of visitors from different countries. Government of Armenia, according to which in 1967 a museum adjoining the residential part was constructed` in his lifetime.

The Charents Museum of Literature and Arts was founded in 1954 based on the materials of literary and theatrical museum and study center of Music named after R. Melikyan. In 1967 he was named in honor of the great poet Yeghishe Charents. The museum has published manuals and writing sections of a number of Armenian artists in a series of literary heritage. The museum organizes workshops and exhibitions. An impressive collection of rare printed books and newspapers of the early period, too, exhibited at the show.

On the northern part of Mashtots avenue there is Matenadaran (a book depository), one of the world’s most ancient libraries. Its collections comprise ancient Armenian books and miniature paintings that have gained world-wide fame. Among its unique treasures are the works of ancient classical authors and rare manuscripts that have come to our days only in the Armenian translation. Several monuments to the outstanding Armenian cultural figures are located in the courtyard of Matenadaran.

House-museum of Sergey Paradjanov: The museum was opened in 1991, a year after the death of Paradjanov. The museum contains more than 200 works by the artist, and furniture of his house in Tiflis. Collection and archives of the exhibition is constantly expanding. Over the years the museum has organized 26 exhibitions, including at Cannes, Thessaloniki, Tokyo, Moscow, Rome, Tehran and Beijing. Zaven Sargsyan, Director of the Museum is a well known photographer and friend of Paradjanov. Paradjanov was more genius than talent: his rare visual interpretation of culture embrace everything that he saw or felt or experienced. His work is universal, unlimited, original, with no direct analogy in the art world. Paradjanov, a contemporary and collaborator of Fellini, the viewer is amazing beauty, imagination and artistry of their work.


Interior of St. Astvatsatsin Church at Armenia's Khor Virap Monastery - History

Tourism in Armenia has been a key sector to the Armenian economy since the 1990s when tourist numbers exceeded half a million people visiting the country every year (mostly ethnic Armenians from the Diaspora). The Armenian Ministry of Economy reports that most of the tourists come from Russia, EU states, the United States and Iran. Though relatively small in size, Armenia has four UNESCO world heritage sites.

Despite the internal and external problems the number of tourists is almost constantly increasing since 2007. The tourists have their rest mainly in Yerevan, the capital, where the majority of travel agencies and hotels are located.

Outdoor activities and scenery seem to be the primary attractions. Tsaghkadzor, Jermuk, Dilijan are known as mountainous resorts, which are outside of the capital. Tourists stay at the hotels of those towns in order to have their passive rest or engage in extended trips over all Armenia without returning to Yerevan every day. The classical sightseeing trips to Armenia are popular not only among the tourists, but also with the local population. Mountaineering, camping and other kinds of activities are also common.

General characteristics of the industry
In 2009, 575,281 tourists arrived in Armenia against 558,443 tourists in 2008, the number of tourists increased by 3.0%. During the same period for the purpose of tourism from the republic left 526 193 people, compared with 2008, the increase was 2.1%.

In 2009, the number of travelers arriving in Armenia from the CIS countries dropped sharply, but the number of tourists from Iran and Georgia also sharply increased, which neutralized the recession characteristic of the current situation in the tourism business.

At the same time, only 10% of the number of tourists visiting the country in 2009 stopped in hotels and enjoy the services of travel companies – the rest alone worried about their vacation. In many ways, this trend is due to the high cost of tourist packages.

According to the Ministry of Tourism of Armenia, the largest amount of money in the country as of 2009 is left by Japanese, Canadian and American tourists. Travelers from Iran and Georgia make the smallest expenses. In particular, if a visitor from Japan spends about $ 1,400 a day, then Iranians and Georgians are only $ 30-40.

Architectural monuments
Armenia has a long history and rich culture. In the country you can meet architectural monuments created by the Armenian people for thousands of years. In Armenia there are more than 4 thousand unique monuments, which can be divided into 4 groups – prehistoric, Hellenistic, medieval and new (modern).

The Armenian highlands were one of the important centers of the first people’s habitat. On the territory of Georgia was found Dmanis, in Nagorno-Karabakh – Azokh, and in Armenia Areni cave. The latter is also known as the “Cave of Birds”. Here was found the oldest shoe in the world, which dates back to the 4th millennium BC. e.. The same age applies also to women’s dress.

With its caves Syunik region is richer than Vayots Dzor (Goris, Khndzoresk and so on). Here is one of the oldest observatories in the world – Zorats-Karer (Karaunj). The latter, translated from the Armenian language, means the sound of a stone, and converges with the English Stonehenge. However, Karaunj is older than the English Observatory for 4000 years (5500 BC, Neolithic). On the territory of Yerevan is Shengavit, which refers to the copper age (4th millennium BC). Cave Areni is newer – compared to the above listed – the Bronze Age. In 2007, the most ancient wine cellar of the planet was found here.

By the prehistoric era are also cyclopean masonry on the territory of Lake Sevan and Mount Aragats, Urartian fortresses Erebuni, Teishebaini and Argishtikhinili, cemeteries and water canals, the remains of temples and so on.

To the next era of Armenian architecture (4th century BC – 3rd century AD) are mostly Hellenistic monuments. After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the Middle East, the era of Hellenism began. Now there is a small number of monuments of this culture, and the best of them is the temple of the god Mihra in Garni. It was built in 77 AD. e. and is the same age as the Roman Colosseum.

In the Hellenistic era a number of Armenian cities were built: Armavir, Yervandashat, Zarevan, Zarishat, Bagaran, Arshamashat, Artashat, Vagarshapat, Dvin. The largest of them was the capital Artashat (about 400,000 people) – the first city built according to the scheme worked by the Armenian king Artashes I and the Carthaginian commander Hannibal. Excavations of the city were conducted on the territory of the monastery of Khor Virap (“deep bottom”), where a statue of the goddess Anahit, patroness of the city of Artashat, was found.

Not far from the temple in Garni was built the royal residence and the Roman bathhouse, and around all the Garni fortress was built in the Iron Age.

It is better preserved monuments of architecture, which belong to the Middle Ages. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion. The first churches are the monastery of Amaras, the Yereruyk basilica, Tsitsernavank, the Echmiadzinsky cathedral, the church of the founder of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots in the village of Oshakan and so on. The residence of the Armenian Catholicos – the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, as well as four other churches that were built in Etchmiadzin in the 7th century (Shoghakat, Gayane,Hripsime and the temple of Zvartnots), in 2000 they were registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Armenia.

To the developed medieval (8th-14th centuries) belong the monastery “Spear” (Geghard), Amberd fortress, Noravank monastery, Kakavaberd fortress, Akhtala monastery and fortress, Dadivank and Gandzasar, Lori and Meghri fortresses, church complexes Haghartsin and Goshavank, bridges and water canals, Tatev, Akhpat and Sanahin monastic complexes. The last two also, in 1996, were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites inArmenia. Not far from the architectural monuments are recreation areas and hotels.

In the late Middle Ages and modern times, Armenia loses its independence and statehood. It is divided between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid state. Since the beginning of the 19th century, Eastern Armenia has gradually become part of the Russian Empire. Armenian architecture is failing. It is being restored in the Russian era and is displayed mainly by urban development. The facilities that belong to this era are well preserved mainly in the center of Yerevan and Gyumri. The Gevorgyan Spiritual Seminary is also known in Etchmiadzin. Under Soviet rule, a huge number of Armenian and Russian churches, Persian mosques, the Yerevan fortress and other monuments of architecture.

During the Soviet regime and after gaining independence, Armenian cities begin to be built and expanded. The Opera and Ballet Theater, the Republic Square, the Moscow cinema, the Cascade complex, the Northern Avenue are being built in Yerevan, the new houses of cultural and educational centers, theaters and museums, churches and public houses are appearing in the capital and other cities.

Natural attractions
n addition to architectural monuments, there are a lot of natural beauties in Armenia. Some of them are protected by the state – in the form of national monuments, reserves and natural monuments. In the central part – Armenian volcanic hill: Mount Aragats, Geghama Range, Javakhk and Syunik Island. The eastern and northern regions are folded-blocky mountains, and in the local valleys there are forest tracts.

Forests covered 12% of the territory of Armenia, and 35% of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Forest massifs are frequent in Lori, Tavush, and in part – Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor and Syunik. In these regions, four national parks were broken: Sevan, Dilijan, Arpa, Arevik. Not only flora and fauna are stored here, but also water resources and landscapes. On the territory of Armenia there are 26 reserves, which occupy 3.5% of the territory of Armenia. Among them the most famous is the Khosrov Forest Reserve.

In addition to the above-mentioned forest zones – you can spend your holidays in the gardens and gardens. Basically they are not far from big cities. In the center of Lori region is the largest botanical garden of the country – the Stepanavan arboretum, the territory of which reaches up to 35 hectares. Outside Yerevan are the gorges of the rivers Hrazdan and Kasakh, where recreation is organized in nature. In the canyon of Kasaha, at a distance of 35 km from Yerevan, is the highest waterfall (70 m) of the country. Inside the capital is another botanical garden, and not far from it – the zoo.

Armenia is a mountainous country. The lowest points are in the far north (Alaverdi, Georgian border) and in the far south (Meghri, Iranian border), both – 375 m above sea level. However, they are narrow gorges, and the main plateau is the Ararat valley (800-1000 m). 80% of the country’s territory is mountainous landscape, and the rest – valleys and plains (only Ararat – 12% of 20). Mountain areas are mainly of two types – folded-blocky and volcanic. The result of the eruption of the volcano and the movement of lava – the gorge of the Razdan and Vorotan rivers, which are the main recreation areas. More beautiful is the Garni Gorge of the Azat River – “Symphony of Stones”, which is the only natural monument of Armenia, registered in the UNESCO list.

Mountain climate has several advantages for recreation: clean and fresh air, springs of medicinal waters, conditions for the development of extreme tourism. Here are the recreational resources of the country: Arzni, Jermuk, Tsakhkadzor, Sevan, Dilijan, Vorotan, which are located at the same source. They have been known as treatment centers since the times of the USSR. In the middle of the 20th century, sanatoriums, rest houses and hotel complexes were built here.

Armenia is rich in water resources. The Akhuryan, Kasakh, Debed, Agstev, Hrazdan, Vorotan and Arpa rivers flow along the territory of the country, which are enriched by the waters of their tributaries, and form beautiful canyons. Among them the most beautiful is the Kasakh gorge between the villages of Sagmosavan and Oganavan, where the monasteries Sagmosavank and Ovanavank are located. The rivers form beautiful waterfalls: Jermuk (68 m), Shaki (18 m), Kasakh (70 m), Trchkan(24 m) and others. They become deep water during the spring months and early summer, and this is due to the amount of debris and melting snow in the mountainous areas.

On the rivers there are water reservoirs, where you can fish, and in the forests that surround them – hunting. Of these lakes and reservoirs, Arpi, Kamennoye, Akna, Spandaryan, Akhuryan, Ghosh, Transparent and others are the most famous. In rivers, the most common are the barbeque and trout, also – different wild birds – ducks, geese and so on. In the surrounding forests there are rodents and mammals, hunting for which is allowed only with a pass. Fisheries are developed in particular in the regions of Armavir andArarat – in the territory adjacent to the Araks River (Armenian-Turkish state border), where there are also fish farms.

The largest water reservoir in the Republic of Armenia is Lake Sevan. This is the second high lake of the planet with fresh water, the length of which reaches 70 km, and the width – 55 km. The area of the lake is 1260 km 2, and this is the largest in the South Caucasus. The average depth reaches up to 26.8 meters, and the deepest place is 84 (Small Sevan).

In 2011, the Sevan National Park was declared a recreation area. Here beaches were opened, which are popular not only for local, but also for the guests of Armenia. Rest houses and hotel complexes were built along the shores of Sevan and on the Sevan peninsula. The water of the lake is convenient for swimming, and the summer temperature is for tanning.

In the beaches of Sevan, professional rescue swimmers and employees of other public works work. In 2014, the number of public beaches reached eleven, where 200,000 people spent their vacation.

Active rest and extreme tourism

Mountaineering and mountaineering
The mountainous landscape of Armenia has always been interesting for climbers. Here all kinds of mountaineering develop – climbing, ecotourism, conquering peaks and so on.

In the Soviet years, mountaineering and mountain tourism were developed in Armenia. There was a federation of mountaineering, and also many institutes and other organizations had their own alpclubs. In the early 1990s, many of them were closed down or ceased to be active. In 2011, the Armenian Mountaineering and Mountain Tourism Federation was established, which unites many local tourist clubs and alpine clubs, as well as conducts various events that promote the development of extreme tourism in the country.

Aerial extreme tourism
Of the aerial species in Armenia, paragliding is most popular (English Paragliding in Armenia) – flying on the wing using the energy of ascending air currents. The relief and climate of Armenia is very favorable for long flights on a paraglider. In 2015 and 2016 competitions for the Cup of Russia were held in Armenia. Paragliders start mainly in Sevan near the village of Tsovagyukh, on the conical mountain of Atys near Yerevan, on the slopes near the town of Vedi, on the slopes of Mount Tegenis, and also less often from many other slopes.

Instructors offer tandem motorized flights on the trike. In 2017, international motor paragliding competitions were held.

Aeronautics is represented in Armenia by balloon flights. In 2017 an international ballooning festival was held in Armenia. “skyball.am” company offers group flights in a balloon.

Parachute jumps are also taking place in Armenia. In 1934 the first aeroclub was opened in Armenia, which operates until the end of the 1980s. In 2002, following the meeting of veterans of the flying club, it was decided to establish the Parachute Federation of Armenia.

In 2016, a base jumping festival was held on the Tatev cable car, which is 240 km from Yerevan and leads to Tatev Monastery. The cabin flies over the abyss of the gorge of the Vorotan River: the height in some places reaches 320 m. It is the world’s longest passenger ropeway of double reverse action. Known as the “Wings of Tatev”, it connects the villages of Alidzor and Tatev through the Vorotan Gorge. The length of the aerotram “Wings of Tatev” is 5752 m, and it is registered in the Guinness Book of Records. The cable car is the shortest way to the Tatev Monastery, but it can be reached on foot, hikes and expeditions are conducted.

Ziplain
At a distance of 145 km to the north-east from Yerevan, in the direction of the Yerevan- Tbilisi highway, there is the village of Enokavan. On the territory of the latter, in the area of Lastiver, on July 26, 2015, the first flight in Ziplain was carried out in Armenia. Over the next year, the number of visitors exceeded 10,000. The tour on the zipline includes crossing six air routes (length from 150 to 750 m), one of which is repeated. The company “Yell Extreme Park” was the first in Armenia to offer flights on the zipline. In addition, the park’s territory can be practiced, paragliding, mountain biking, and climbing in Rope Park, participate in off-tours.

In 2016 the zyplain was opened in Tsakhkadzor and near Lake Parz.

In 2018, a ziplane opened in Yerevan in the ravine of the Hrazdan River under the bridge in the Davidashen block.

Winter activities
In some mountain resorts in Armenia, in particular – Tsaghkadzor and Jermuk, there are opportunities for winter recreation, where you can ski, snowboard and do other winter sports.

Tsakhkadzor is located at a distance of 50 km from Yerevan (45 minutes by car). The local cable car was opened in 1967, and at the beginning of the 21st century the lifts were replaced by a new Western European production. The cable car, which meets modern standards and consists of five sectors, partially works also in the summer.

The lowest point is on the eastern slope of Mount Tegenis at an altitude of 1966 m above sea level, and the upper station at the top of the mountain is at an altitude of 2819 m. There are medical stations and restaurants on the ski slopes.

In 2018, the government approved a project to build a new large ski resort on the slopes of Mount Maymech near the city of Vanadzor.

On the plateau in Chirac, where it is always covered with snow and windy winter popular snowkiting.

Tourist objects by location

Yerevan (capital)
Matenadaran named after St. Mesrop Mashtots is unique and well-known throughout the world Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, built in 1957.
Tsitsernakaberd – memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 th year
Museum “Erebuni” is a museum of the city of Yerevan.
Yerevan City Hall – Museum of Yerevan, winter palace.
Art gallery of Armenia
Museum of the History of Armenia
Museum of Martiros Saryan.
Museum of Sergey Paradzhanov.
Museum of Contemporary Painting.
Myr Hayastan (“Mother – Armenia”) – a monument to Armenia, opens the panorama of Yerevan.
Opera Theater (Philharmonic Concert Hall).
Sports and concert complex.
Church of St. Sarkis.
Church of St. Zohavor.
Church of St. Hovhannes.
Church of Our Lady.
Yerevan Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator.
Yerevan Cognac Factory.
Children’s Picture Gallery.
Botanical Gardens and Zoo.
Yerevan Water World (Aquapark).

Aragatsotn
Mount Aragats. The extinct volcano Aragats is the highest mountain in the territory of modern Armenia. Mount Aragats itself is a natural, magnificent monument with four peaks and a lake in the middle.
Biurakan Observatory. Literally 10 km from Ashtarak, on the slopes of Mount Aragats is the big village of Briakan, a cradle of Armenian astronomy.
Fort Amberd. On the southern slope of the Aragats mountains stands the medieval fortress Amberd (X – XIII centuries) – the generic possession of the princes of Pahlavun. The fortress is located at an altitude of 2300 m above sea level.
Mesrop Mashtots Church in Oshakan. 6 km from Ashtarak, on the right bank of Kasahu, is the village Oshakan – the last refuge of the national hero of Armenia, the Armenian educator, compiler of the national alphabet Mesrop Mashtots.
Saghmosavank. Sagmasawank Monastery was founded in 1215, when Prince Wache Wachutean commanded to erect a temple called Surb Zion (Holy Zion).
Ohanavank. Not far from the village of Karbi in the beginning of IV century. St. Gregory the Illuminator founded a small church, which served as the foundation of the Ohanwanker monastery. Today’s Ohanavank monastery is a building of the 12th – 13th centuries., The complex was founded in 1216, when Prince Wache Wachutean founded the Surb Karept church (1216 – 1221 gg.). The monastery is built in caves and connected to the gorge of the stairs.
Karmravo Church. The most famous monument of Ashtarak is the well-preserved Karmravo church. It was built in the VII century.

Ararat
Monastery of the Virappe Choir. Every Armenian knows about this unique architectural monument. This serf monastery is a place of pilgrimage, one of the most respected places in Armenia, sacred to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The monastery was erected from the 6th to the 17th century, over the dungeon where the baptism of Armenia was bored – St. Gregory the Illuminator for the spread of Christianity, while King Trdat did not decide to accept this religion as a state.
Khosrovsky Reserve. In the eastern part of the Martian is Khosrovsky Reserve, which was created for hunting and entertainment of the Armenian aristocracy.
Ararat. In fact, the Armenian sacred mountain of Ararat is today in the territory of Turkey. While in the western part of Armenia, she remained in the Ottoman state, while in the beginning of XX century only Eastern Armenia entered the Russian empire.
Dvin. In 332 – 338 BC. e. king Khosrov Short in the southern spurs of the Gegham Spit was founded the ancient capital of Armenia – Dvina.

Armavir
Echmiadzin. Let’s start with the fact that Echmiadzin (Vaharshapat) is a separate city, which was even one of the capital of Armenia in the II – IV centuries. In ancient times, the village of Vardkesavan was located here, in the place of which in the beginning of the 2nd century AD. e. King Vaharsh I (117 – 140) founded his capital, calling it Vagharshpat. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Cathedral of St. Echmiadzin. The main thing in this complex is of course the Cathedral – the oldest Christian temple in Armenia, one of the first throughout the Christian world. The first stone in the foundation of this temple, according to legend, was laid in 301 by Gregory Gregory the Illuminator, the first Catholicos of the Armenian Church.
Museum of Echmiadzin. In order to store the relics and gifts that arrive in the Armenian Church, in 1869 three more rooms were added to the Cathedral, in which the museum of the monastery is now located. It was opened in 1955.
Echmiadzin monastery. The complex of Echmiadzinsky Monastery includes a refectory (XVII century), a hotel (XVIII century), the Residence of the Catholicos (1738 – 1741), a school (1813), a stone reservoir (1846) and other buildings.
The residence of the Patriarch – the Catholicos of all Armenians. The residence of the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church is located in the courtyard of the monastic complex.
Theological Academy of St. Echmiadzin. On the territory of the monastic complex there is the Holy Echmiadzin Academy. It was founded 130 years ago.
Temple of the Holy Ripsime. There are three ancient monuments in Echmiadzin. According to the legend, these temples are built in honor of the martyrs – the first Christians who fled from Rome from the persecution of the emperor. These are the temples: Holy Ripsime, Holy Gayan and Holy Shoghakat. The temples were erected on the grounds of the death of these three holy virgins.
Temple of St. Gayan. A little later, the Temple of St. Ripsme was built temple in honor of its Christian mentor – Saint Gayan. The temple was erected in 630 on the site of the chapel of the IV century and to this day is one of the best monuments of Armenian architecture.
Temple of the Holy Shoghakat. This temple was built in 1694 on the site of the chapel of the IV century. Notable is its peculiar architecture, known as the “dome hall”.
Temple of Zvartnots. 5 km from Vaghshpatata is the brightest monument of medieval Armenian architecture – the magnificent Zvartnots Temple, built in the VII century. Unfortunately, like most other ancient Armenian temples, Zvartnots has survived only in ruins, completely destroyed by a powerful earthquake in the X century. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sardarapat An architectural and sculptural complex 10 km from Armavir, established in 1968 in the celebration of the victory of the Armenians over the Ottoman invaders in 1918. Then, in 1918, the Ottoman army invaded the Ararat valley, occupied the village of Sardarapat, and launched an offensive against Yerevan.

Vayots Dzor
Jermuk. One of the most famous resorts of all Armenia. The resort glory of the city was provided with unique thermal and mineral springs, around which grew the city.
Noravank Monastery. Noravank translated from Armenian means “new monastery”. Although today, he is unlikely to justify his name, because his age is very venerable – more than seven centuries. A very charming monastery complex Noravank was built in the XIII century on the ledge of a narrow, winding gorge of the river Arpa near Yehegnadzor.
Monastery of Tsakhat Kar. This architectural complex is located 6 km from the village of Yehegis Mari Vayots Dzor.
Monastery of Spitakavor. This monument is located in the green valley of the Yeghegnadzor district.

Gegharkunik
Lake Sevan. Ancient relict lake Sevan – “Pearl of Armenia” or “Gegham Sea” – one of the largest highland freshwater lakes in the world. This is a real miracle of nature located in the very center of the Armenian Highlands, in a huge mountain cup, framed by picturesque mountain ranges at an altitude of 1900 m.
Monastery of Sevanwank. On the north-western part of the lake, on a narrow rocky peninsula is the famous monument of Armenian medieval architecture – the monastery of Sevanavank.
Monastery of Airwank. Located on the west coast of Lake Sevan in the village of the same name and dates back to the IX – XII centuries.
Cemetery Noratuz. Not far from the monastery Ayrivank, on the shores of Lake Sevan is the village Noratuz, known for the largest cemetery of khachkars.

Kotayk
Good. In the small settlement of Garni, which lies wide along the gorge, on the bottom of which lies a small river Azat, there is a true archaeological complex, united by the common name of Garni. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Fortress is good. One of the bright evidence of centuries-old culture of the pre-Christian period of Armenia. It is located in a picturesque mountainous area, with a fantastic view over the picturesque surroundings.
Palace and baths. Of the excavated in the temple of buildings of considerable interest is the palace buildings, in due time, judging by the remnants, many decorated inside and outside.
Temple of the Sun. The true and only masterpiece of Hellenistic architecture in Armenia is the pagan temple of the Sun in Garni. This is one of the oldest monuments of Armenia, preserved since the time of paganism. The only pagan temple on the territory of the CIS, which is completely preserved. Historians attribute its construction to the ancient Armenian king Trdat, who accepted Christianity as an official religion in 301. Although many scholars conclude that it was built in the first century. N. is.
Gegard. A few kilometers from Garni, if you move along the gorge of the Azat River to the north-east, on the slope of the almost closed amphitheater of rocky rocks, surrounded by a rigorous and majestic nature, is the monastery of Gegard or Gegardavank, known for its rocky architecture. A sign of the way to him is the figure of a lioness on a high pedestal in the steep turn of the road, unexpectedly opens the view of the monastery. The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chapel of St. Gregory the Illuminator. The first, under the princes of Zakaryan, a chapel of St. Gregory the Illuminator was built.
Temple of Cathogica. In 1215, the main temple was built – Kathogica, the walls of which are stone cliffs.
Church Avazan (1283). By 1240 the work on the first cave church of the monastery – Avazan was completed.
Church of Astvatsatsin (1215). In the second half of the XIII century the monastery was bought by the princes of Proshyanami.
Tsaghkadzor. Translated from the Armenian “Tsakhkadzor” means “Gorge of Flowers”. That’s what it says. The gorge means mountains, snowy peaks, steep rivers, steep cliffs, picturesque valleys, covered with a flower rug. The most popular winter resort in Armenia. There are many ski slopes and several sections of the modern cable car.
Monastery of Kecharis. In the northwestern part of Tsakhkadzor, on the slope of the Pambak Ridge there are three churches of the ancient monastery Kecharis, which in XII-XIII centuries was the great spiritual center of Armenia with its school. Kecharis – is a classic example of the medieval architectural art of Armenia.

Laurie
Monastery Ahpat. Medieval monastery complex Akhpat was erected in the period X – XIII centuries. Of all the monastic buildings, the main church of St. Nicholas (967 – 991 years) with sculptures outside and painting (XIII – XIV centuries) inside.
Sanayi Monastery. Not far from the city of Alaverdi – one of the largest cities in the Maritime Lori – is an ancient village of Sanahin known for its unique monument – the medieval monastery X – XIII centuries. – a treasure of ancient Armenian architecture. Sanain connects the cable car to Alaverdi.
Ozun Monastery. To the south of the city of Alaverdi is the majestic temple of the Odzun (VI – VII centuries). Despite its ancient age, Odzun has been beautifully preserved.
Fortress Laurieberd. It was built in the X century and is located next to the city of Stepanavan, near which is the Pushkin Pass, where in the XIX century A. Pushkin met a mourning caravan that took the body of A. Griboyedov’s assassinated in Tehran.

Syunik
Monastery Tatev. The pearl of medieval Armenian architecture Monastery Tatev was built in the IX – XIII centuries. It is difficult to visit because of the difficult access to the area in which it is located. But true connoisseurs of unique monuments of antiquity still find strength and opportunity to visit this masterpiece of medieval architecture. To facilitate the visit to the monastery, it is currently planned to build the longest cable car in the world, which will connect the monastery with a village located on the other side of the canyon.
Satani kamurje (Satanin bridge) – a natural city, created without human intervention over the gorge of the river Vorotan. Near the bridge there are warm thermal springs, which are equipped for swimming.
Caroonj (Coward Carrer). Ancient Observatory. In the Syunik Marz, near the city of Sissiyan, one of the most famous megalithic buildings of Armenia is “Zorats Carer” – a prehistoric monument, consisting of hundreds of vertically placed large 2-meter-stones of menhirs – with through holes in the upper part.
Shaki Waterfall. In the south of Armenia, just a few kilometers from Sissian, there is the Shaki waterfall. Hidden in one of the cozy places of Syunik, the waterfall presents its spectators with its indescribable beauty. Here the day is filled with music of unhurriedly falling water, which, in harmony with the panorama of majestic mountainous nature, brings a wonderful landscape.
Uhtasar – rock paintings V-VI millennium BC is.

Tavush
Dilijan. The city of Armenia, which has the status of mountain-climatic and balneological resort. It is located in the Tavush Marz, in the gorge of the river Agstev, at an altitude of 1258-1510 m, surrounded by coniferous forests. Dilijan is famous for its truly charming, healing qualities, air, boiled by the aroma of pine trees and creates very favorable conditions for people suffering from pulmonary diseases.
Dilijan Reserve. This is a huge protected area, where the mountains, forests and mineral springs have merged in an extremely picturesque landscape.
Monastery of Hagarzin. If you go from Dilijan to the village of Tehut through the reserved beech forest, the road itself leads to a magnificent monastic complex of the XI – XIII centuries. – Agartsin It is a pearl of the canyon, one of the most mysterious places in Armenia, which is buried in the green mountain forests.
Monastery Goshavank. Not far from the Hagartsin monastery there is another light of the science and culture of ancient Armenia – the Goshavank monastery or Nor Getik, where the great medieval university was located.
Tavush Fortress. On one of the slopes of the gorge of the river Agstev, which abruptly breaks up to the river, from a distance a tall rocky horn with towers of the medieval fortress Tavush (Bird) is visible.

Shirak
Gyumri. In 1840, Gyumri was officially proclaimed a city. Soon, Alexandroupolis (Gyumri) also became an important center for trade and crafts. In the 60’s of the XIX century. There were more artisans here than in Tbilisi. High development has reached the skill of bricklayers, potters, carpenters, blacksmiths, copper. Not in vain since the XIX century, Gyumri was called the city of Armenian traditions, poets and ashug, crafts and arts. There was a lot of shops, large and small shops, markets. In the middle of the XIX century. The city received genuine planning with a system of squares, connected by broad avenues in the center.
Arichavank Monastery. Monastery complex Arichavank was erected from VII through XIII century. Its main feature is that it was built from huge stones of various shades.
Monastery of Marmashen. Within 10 km from Gyumri, in the village of Marmasshen there is a monastery of Marmashen (X – XIII cent.) – an outstanding cultural and religious center of medieval Armenia.


One of the 12 Apostles, St. Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), was martyred while spreading the Gospel. He is revered as an apostle of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Legend has it that a church dedicated to him was first built on the present site in AD 68.

Not much appears to remain of the original church, which was extensively rebuilt in 1329 after an earthquake damaged the structure in 1319. Nevertheless, some of the parts surrounding the altar apse date from the 10th century.

Much of the present structure dates from 1811 [5] when Qajar prince Abbas Mirza helped in renovations and repairs. Undertaken by Simeon, Father Superior of the monastery, a large narthex-like western extension was added to the medieval church. This structure exactly duplicates the design of the cathedral at Etchmiadzin. [6] The 19th century additions are from carved sandstone. The earliest parts are of black and white stone, hence its Turkic name Kara Kilise, the Black Church.

A fortified wall surrounds the church and its now-abandoned monastery buildings.

In July 2008, the St. Thaddeus monastery was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, along with two other Armenian monuments located in the same province: Saint Stepanos Monastery and the chapel of Dzordzor.


Watch the video: KHOR VIRAP ARMENIAN: Խոր Վիրապ, lit. DEEP DUNGEON. NORAVANK ARMENIAN: Նորավանք,NEW MONASTERY (January 2022).