Introducing Armenia Attractions
Armenia is becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction, with the small but charming nation boasting a rich history. Armenia, which was the first country to declare Christianity as its national religion, boasts some of Europe s most stunning views, with the peak of Mount Ararat dominating the country s skyline. The mountain is Armenia s national symbol despite its peak lying just over the Turkish border and Ararat is considered holy by locals due to its mention in The Bible it is where Noah s Ark landed. Armenia is home to countless beautiful monasteries and they are often found in areas of truly outstanding natural beauty. Armenia s capital, Yerevan, is one of the most rapidly developing cities in the whole of Europe as the nation continues to embrace tourism. Let s have a look at the best places to visit in Armenia!
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By far the largest city in Armenia, the capital Yerevan is a great place to start for anyone wishing to explore Armenia. The city is home to the grand Republic Square, while climbing the Cascade to see the city s monument to Soviet victory in the Second World War is a must. Yerevan is a deeply historic city and visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial is a must to learn more about the nation s troubled past. Vernissage flea market is worth visiting too it is open at the weekend while a walk through the Hrazdan gorge is also highly recommended. Much of what Armenia has to offer can be explored during day trips from Yerevan, which is known as the City of Cafes. Yerevan is also home to Blue Mosque, which is the only mosque in the whole of the country, as well as Levon s Amazing Underground World, which is one of Europe s most unusual attractions.
Located only a 30-minute drive from Yerevan, the city of Echmiadzin plays an important role in the history of the country. Armenia was one of the first countries to make Christianity its official religion, and the cathedral was built on the site of an ancient pagan temple to commemorate the event.
Goris is a town located in the southern Armenian province of Syunik. The city is renowned for its natural beauty and history. The city was planned by a German architect and was the first planned city in the Caucasus during the Russian Empire.
The city often brings to mind images of the caves that people used to live in, including my grandfather. These caves are called Old Goris, or Kores.
Business Insider recently called Goris one of the top 100 trips that everyone should take in their lifetime due to its history and landscapes. There is also a famous natural tunnel that is the gateway to Goris and the road to Iran.
While there are many benefits to visiting Goris, one of the best things to do when there is to climb the hills and breathe the fresh air while enjoying and admiring the raw scenery. This year, Goris celebrates being the capital of culture for the CIS countries.
Built in the 13th century, the monastery is a lovely example of the ornate architecture of the period. The site is comprised of three surviving churches, each decorated in intricate designs and religious reliefs. The sculptor of the grandest portions of Noravank was a man by the name of Momik, who created the lovely stonework that survives today. He also carved a number of uniquely Armenian religious monuments known as khachkars which usually depicted an image of a cross surmounting a circular symbol. The sculptor is also buried in a simple grave at the site.
Mount Aragats is situated 40 kilometers northwest of Armenian capital Yerevan. Aragats is a large volcano with numerous fissure vents and adventive cones. It is also the fourth highest top in the territory of Armenian Highlands. According to the Armenian version, the name of the mountain is the Armenian word Aragats which originates from the words Ara and gah means the throne of Ara .
Ara is legendary Armenian king called Ara Geghetsik (Ara the beautiful). Movses Khorenatsi, a famous Armenian historian, mentioned this mountain in his book of History of Armenian . In his recordings, he claimed that the mountain was named after Aramaneak, the son of Hayk(the ancestor of the Armenian people). He called his residence The foot of Aragats . Actually Ar root is very popular in Armenian. It means sun, light, creation which gives you mystical feelings from this country.
The monastery of Geghard
The monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley contains a number of churches and tombs, most of them cut into the living rock, which illustrate Armenian medieval architecture at its highest point. The complex of medieval buildings is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, at the entrance to the Azat Valley. High cliffs from the northern side surround the complex while the defensive wall encircles the rest.
The monuments included in the property are dated from the 4th to the 13th century. At the early period, the Monastery was called Ayrivank (Monastery in the Cave) because of its rock-cut construction. The monastery was founded, according to tradition by St. Gregory the Illuminator, and was built following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia (beginning of the 4th century AD). The main architectural complex was completed in the 13th century AD and consists of the cathedral, the adjacent narthex, eastern and western rock-cut churches, the family tomb of Proshyan princes, Papak s and Ruzukan s tomb-chapel, as well as various cells and numerous rock-cut cross-stones (khachkars). The Kathoghik (main church) is in the classic Armenian form, an equal-armed cross inscribed in a square in plan and covered with a dome on a square base, linked with the base by vaulting. The east arm of the cross terminates in an apse, the remainder being square. In the corners are small barrel-vaulted two-storey chapels. On the internal walls there are many inscriptions recording donations. The masonry of the external walls is particularly finely finished and fitted. A gavit (entrance hall) links it with the first rock-cut church.3
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Khor Virap Monastery, Armenia
Every Armenian has heard about this unique architectural monument, which nowadays has become one of the main attractions of Ararat Province. This fortified monastery is a place of pilgrimage and a holy site for the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Khor Virap Monastery, ArmeniaKhor Virap Monastery, ArmeniaKhor Virap Monastery, Armenia
The history of the site dates back to a pagan temple that stood here for centuries before Christ s birth. An important visit happened at Khor Virap, between Gregory, son of Parthian nobles, and King Trdat III, of Armenia. Parthia and Armenia had been fighting for generations, and Gregory and Trdat were finally meeting after their fathers had been involved in a deadly battle. Trdat wanted to lay flowers at the pagan temple, and Gregory was forced to confess that he was Christian. Trdat threw Gregory in a deep pit and kept him there for 13 years. As the years went on, Trdat started to feel ill. His wife, who had already converted to Christianity, told him that he would feel better after he released Gregory, and she turned out to be right. After being cured, Trdat converted to Christianity in 301, making Armenia the first official Christian country in the world. Gregory became St. Gregory the Illuminator, revered for converting Armenia to Christianity.
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