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          About Armenia

          Welcome to Armenia! Armenia, a piece land which makes everyone fall in love with it from the very first sight from the illuminator of an airplane, from the very first step on the sun-drenched land. You can find many fascinating historical and cultural sights in Armenia.

          Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is situated in the northeast of the Armenian Upland between the Caucasus and Asia Minor and bordered by Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Iran on the South and Turkey on the west.  Armenia has a territory of 29 800 square kilometers and the avarage hight is 1700 meters above sea level. According to general census of 2003 the population of Armenia is 3,2 million, 1.1 million of which lives in the capital. To learn more about Armenia you can join us. We organize tours in Armenia.

          The country has a very homogeneous ethnic composition, 97.9% of the population are of ethnic Armenian origin. Among other minorities are Russians, Yezidi, Assyrians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Georgians, and Belarusians. Armenia has a very large diasporas, as an average 8 million Armenians live worldwide.

          The country is situated on the same latitude as Spain, Italy and Greece. Its climate ranges from dry subtropical to cold mountain weather. The average temperature in July is +25 0C , and -5 0C in January.  The highest peak is mount Aragats (4090 m), while the lowest point is River Debed (400 m).

          Armenia was the first country that adopted Christianity as a state religion in 301 A.D. The Armenian Apostolic church is the national church   of Armenians.  Armenia is an open-air museum of Christianity. There are thousands of Christian monuments such as monasteries, churches, chapels  and cross-stones, manuscripts, icons, etc.

          Yerevan is the capital and the largest city of Armenia, a colorful, joyful, eventful city. Yerevan (sometimes spelled Erevan, Erivan, Jerewan, Jerevan, etc.) has a long-long history of thousands of years, dating back to the rise of the oldest civilizations in the world. Yerevan is known as a host of many international events, such as symposia, conferences, festivals, sports competitions.

          Miracles, wonders and adventures can be found on the land where Noah landed and traces of centures are hidden everywhere. Gain the memories which will never leave you.

          Խոր Վիրապ
          Yerevan, Cascade
          National bread lavash

          Official name: Republic of Armenia (Armenian - Hayastan)

          Government: Presidential Republic

          Head of the State: The President

          Territory: 29.743 sq km

          Borders: Georgia - 219 km; Azerbaijan - 566 km; Nagorno Karabakh - 221 km; Iran - 44 km; Turkey - 311 km

          Population: Over 3 million

          Capital: Yerevan

          Religion: The majority of believers (92.6 %) are of Armenian Apostolic Church.

          State Language: Armenian

          Administrative Division: 10 regions (marzes) - Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir,

          Gegharkunik,Kotayk, Lori, Shirak, Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Tavush. The capital city,Yerevan, is a separate administrative unit

          Major Cities: Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Kapan, Armavir, Gavar, Echmiadzin, Ijevan, Hrazdan

          National Currency: Dram

          National Motto: “One nation, one culture”

          Communications: Calls to Armenia. Telephone codes of Armenian cities

          National Symbols: Armenian Flag, Armenian Emblem

          If the scriptures are rightly understood it was in Armenia that paradise was placed. But whatever may have been their destiny and it has been bitter whatever it may be in the future, their country must ever be one most interesting on the globe. Armenian is the language to speak with God.

          - George Gordon Byron -

          ETCHMIADZIN CATHEDRAL

          Etchmiadzin Cathedral  is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia. According to scholars it was the first cathedral(but not the first church) built in ancient Armenia, and is considered to be the oldest cathedral in the world.

          The original church was built in the early fourth century —between 301 and 303 according to tradition—by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. It replaced a preexisting temple, symbolizing the conversion from paganism to Christianity. The core of the current building was built in ≈483483 by Vahan Mamikonian after the cathedral was severely damaged in a Persian invasion. From its foundation until the second half of the fifth century, Etchmiadzin was the seat of the Catholicos, the supreme head of the Armenian Church.

          As the main shrine of religious Christian Armenians worldwide, Etchmiadzin has been an important location in Armenia not only from the point of view of  religion, but also political and cultural. As a major pilgrimage site, it is one of the most visited places in the country.Along with several important early medieval churches located nearby, the cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site byUNESCO in 2000.

           

          SAINT GAYANE CHURCH

          Just a few hundred meters away from the Etchmiadzin Cathedral the church of St. Gayane is located. According to tradition, the church was built on the same place where she was tortured and murdered in the 4th century. The church was built in 630 AD. It was ordered by  the Catholicos Ezra on the place of a chapel. In 1652 a gallery, a sepulcher for the prominent figures of the Armenian church was added to its western facade. In the south aisle of the church, near the altar apse, the relics of St. Gayane rest.

           

          SAINT HRIPSIME CHURCH

          Saint Hripsime Church is located in the eastern part of the city Vagharshapat of Armavir region. According to historical sources, first, there was Saint Hripsime's grave, where later in 618 Komitas II (615-628) built a church. In the eastern part of the altar under the vaulted tomb St. Hripsime's relics rest in peace.

          Architecture of Saint Hripsime church with its crystal clear and perfect design is the best example of this type of churches.

          The temple is named after a beautiful and brave woman, who wished to remain "bride of Christ" and escaped to Armenia from Rome with her friends (according to the legend, there were thirty-seven fugitives who ran away from Rome with Hripsime). She refused to marry pagan grooms: in Rome the Emperor Diocletian, in Armenia - king Trdat III. And for that they took over a martyrdom death.

          Saint Hripsime Church is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

           

          ZVARTNOTS

          Zvartnots temple located in Vagharshapat (Echmiadzin), 3 km south of the city. Historical sources indicate that the temple was built by Catholicos Nerses III Taetsi (641-662).

          The name of the temple comes from the word Zartunk (angels, here we are talking about the angels that came in Gregory the Illuminator’s dream). Temple is named so by historian Sebeos, by his words, this is the place where Tiridates the Great met  Gregory the Illuminator. The historian and Catholicos of the 10th century John V indicates that the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator are buried here. Temple stayed untouched until the end of the 10th century, and was probably destroyed by an earthquake. Later, in 1900-1907 and 1958-1967 during the excavations the ruins of the temple were discovered here.

          In 1904, architect Toros Toramanian mapped the primary ruins and in 1905 published an article. According Toramanyan, Zvartnots consisted of three set against each other in decreasing diameter and height polyhedras. They were completed by the cone dome. In the eastern part, behind the altar an underground vestry was built. In the center of the temple, on the floor, there was placed a small round pool with a ladder - he served as a font in the commission of the rite of baptism.

          The unique architecture and decoration of the temple testifies to the good taste of the Catholicos Nerses the Builder. Today, the temple is considered to be a masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture.

          Zvartnots Temple is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage.

           

          HOVHANAVANK

          The monastery is located in the village Ohanavan of Aragatsotn region  on the edge of the high plateau of Kasakh canyon. According to the legend Hovhannavank was built in the 4th century, but according to historical records, it was built in the 7th century. A single-nave church of a complex was rebuilt in 550. The walls around the temple were built in the 12th century. The main church and the chapel were built during the reign of Vachutyan family (13th century). In the 17th century the monastery flourished.

          Throughout its history Hovhannavank was very seriously damaged during the earthquake in 1679 and 1918. In 1625, 1651, 1682's, and then in 1734 and 1946-1948’s extensive restoration works were carried out on the church.

          The oldest church of the complex is a wonderful one-naved church of St. Karapet, which came to us after many reconstructions.

          In 1216-1221 Katoghike church was built under the patronage of prince Vache Vachutyan, which was also called the Church of St. Karapet.

          In 1250, the son of prince Vache, Kurd Vachutyan, built a chapel.

          In the northern part of the monastery complex a small building is situated (it is located between the chapel and a single nave church). The  purpose it was built for and the functions it carried out are still unknown.

          Inside the chapel you can see a beautiful carved khachkar (cross-stone). At the top of the cross-stone you can notice the image of Christ's head, and at the bottom - Adam's head.

          Hovhannavank was also affected by the earthquake in 1912 and nowadays still needs reconstruction, but in spite of this, it still has a big impression on visitors.

           

          SAGHMOSAVANK

          Saghmosavank is located in the eastern part of the village Sagmosavan of Aragatsotn region, on the bank of the river Kasakh. According to legend monastery was founded by Gregory the Illuminator. The complex was built during the reign of Vachutyan (ruling family). The complex consists of two churches, a chapel, a library and numerous khachkars (cross-stones).

          Main St. Sion church was built by prince Vache Vachutyan in 1215. It belongs to the dome type hall churches. Its external shape is rectangular, inside it is cross-shaped with four corner two-storey vestries. The gavit is adjacent to the main church from the west. It is established in 1215-1235 by prince Vache Vachutyan.Its gavit is one of the rare samples of Armenian architecture.

          In 1235 the church Surb Astvatsatsin  (the Holy Virgin) was built.

          Church-scriptorium was built in 1255 by Prince Kurd Vachutyan and his wife Khorishah in memory of prematurely deceased daughter Mamahatun. For a long time it served as a shelter for the students of the monastery.

           

          KARMRAVOR CHURCH

          The church of the Holy Virgin (Karmravor) is located in the town of Ashtarak, Aragatsotn region. According to historical sources, it was built in the 7th century. It belongs to the type of cross-domed churches with an eastern apse. The church is built with reddish tuff. The interior is decorated with frescoes.

          A legend reached our days about the origin of the name of the church. According to the legend, three sisters fall in love with a young man named Sarkis. The elder sisters decided to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of their younger sister and wearing red and apricot dresses, they rushed into the gorge. When the younger sister heard this awful news she put on her white dress, and also threw herself into the deep gorge. And Sarkis became a hermit out of grief. And three churches were built over that gorge, Karmravor, Tsiranavor and Spitakavor (Karmravor- “karmir” is translated red, the color of one of the dresses, Tsiranavor- “tsirani” color of apricot, Spitakavor- “spitak”, that means white.)

          Today, these three churches are located in Ashtarak city.

           

          SAINT GEVORG MONASTERY OF MUGHNI

          The monastery is located on the southern outskirts of the village Mughni, Aragatsotn region. The church of Mughni is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated designs of medieval Armenian architecture. The church, located in the central part of the complex, together with other buildings is protected by surrounding walls. St. Gevorg’s relics rest here.

          Construction of the church was completed in the 17th century. Initially, there was another church, which was built of rough stone and did not meet the requirements of the pilgrimage place, so in the 17th century it was demolished and replaced by a new one. From the western side there was built an open vaulted hall. In the 19th century Mughni was also a place of pilgrimage for the Georgians and Persians.

           

          KHOR VIRAP MONASTERY

          The monastery is located on the eastern slope of a hill of the ancient Armenian town of Artashat, the site of the historic citadel. The monastery is a sacred place for all Armenians, a famous place of pilgrimage. 

          Historian Agatangeghos indicates that king Trdat the Great during the persecution of Christians after long sufferings threw Gregory the Illuminator into the royal prison of Artashat, which was called "Virap Artashat". Gregory the Illuminator was held there among poisonous snakes for almost 14 years. One widow fed him every day throwing him bread into this deep hole. He was released due to the prayers which helped him to save the king from a mysterious disease. After the liberation Gregory continued spreading Christianity. He also found the bodies of dead virgins and buried them to rest in peace, and on the places of their graves he built chapels. At the same time, the king also turned into Christianity, and in 301 proclaimed Christianity as the state religion. His Holiness Gregory became the first Catholicos of All Armenians.

          In 642 the Catholicos Nerses III Taetsi built a church of St. George on the place of wells. At the end of the 17th century there were also built the church of St. Virgin Mary and other buildings.

           

          NORAVANK

          The monastery is located 3 km north-east of the village Amaghu of Vayots Dzor province. The monastery has been known since the early Middle Ages. At the site of the present church there was found another one. In the 9th century, the church St. Karapet was built. At that time the monastery was called the desert Avag or Horadzor.

          In the 14th century Noravank monastery became the spiritual center of Syunik. In 1216-1221 Bishop Sargimos built St. Stepanos Nakhavka church. In 1223-1261 the narthex of the church was built and reconstruction works were carried out. In the 14th century the famous architect Momik (architect, sculptor and miniaturist) built a two-storey Church of the Holy Virgin (called Burtelashen). Among the cross-stones that are found here, Varpet Momik’s  khachkars are of special attention. Momik’s tomb is also located on the territory of the monastery complex, you can find a simple modest cross-stone under the wall of a church, that is probably the place where he was buried.

          The monastery was destroyed several times, and then was again restored. In the 20th century the church of the Holy Mother of God was re-consecrated. Noravank is particularly rich in numerous decorations. On the western facade of  the narthex of the church St. Stepanos you can see a very interesting relief, on which the image of God the Father carved.

          The monastery is one of the masterpieces of Armenian architecture.

           

          ZORATS QARER

          Zorats Karer (Powerful Stones) is the oldest observatory in Armenia. It is known as Karahunj. The complex is located near the town of Sisian, Syunik Region. Here you can see an ancient stone circle, dolmen, which dates back to the 2nd century BC. There was a time when this place was used for conducting the burial rites. Such constructions were dedicated to the sun. Today, this complex attracts many archaeologists. According to them, it exists from the Copper Age (about the 5th century BC), or even the Stone Age. According to archaeologists Karahunj is older than Stonehenge, which is in England.

           

          TATEV MONASTERY

          Tatev monastery is located near the eponymous village of Syunik region over the deep chasm of the gorge of the river Vorotan. The monastery was built over many centuries. According to tradition, the monastery was named after a disciple of the Apostle Thaddeus Eustateus. According to historical sources as far back as the 4th century the first church of the monastery was built. This church was quite unattractive. The monastery, which we see today, was built in the 9th century. At that time, Prince Philippe built the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator. In 895-906 one of the largest churches of Armenian architecture, the church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul was built. Apostles’ relics are buried under the pillars of the church. In 906 an obelisk (called Gavazan) was built in front of the southern entrance to the church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, which was swinging. It is a stone pillar with the height of 8m. The narthex was built in front of the church at the same period.

          Tatev monastery was destroyed and looted during the invasion of the Seljuk Turks. Later it was renovated. In the 13th century the monastery experienced a period of prosperity. University acted in Tatev monastery, where many famous Armenian scientists were taught. In the 10th century Tatev monastery had a rich library, which sheltered numerous books and manuscripts. In the 17th century on the territory of the monastery many residential buildings, cells were built. In the 19th century on the former site of the narthex a new three-storied bell tower was bulit.

          In recent years, the longest cableway in the world was built in Armenia, which will lead you straight to the monastery.

           

          TEGHER MONASTERY

          Tegher monastery is located in the eponymous village of Aragatsotn region, on the slopes of Mount Aragats, on the right bank of the river Tegher. The monastery consists of church of the Holy Virgin and the narthex. According to the inscriptions the church of Holy Virgin and the narthex of the monastery were built in 1213-1232 by Prince Vache Vachutyan’s wife Mamahatun. The dome of the church is outwardly rectangular, has cross-shaped composition inside with two-storey vestries at the four corners. It has a modest appearance.

          According to the inscription on the narthex the construction lasted 11 years and ended in 1232. It is a large central-plan with four large columns. Intersecting arches support the square on which a dome with an oculus sits. On one of the columns of the gavit is an inscription that gives credit to the architect Vardapet Aghbayrik for designing S. Astvatsatsin and its gavit.

          In the 20th century the monastery was destroyed by an earthquake and later was rebuilt.

          AMBERD

          Amberd Fortress was founded in the 10th century during the reign of Bagratuni dynasty. In 1026, prince Vahram Pahlavuni built the church of the fortress. The church belongs to the type of cruciform domed churches and devoid of external decorations.

           According to historical sources, the castle consisted of two parts: the palace and the castle, which was protected with high towers. Castle had hidden tunnels, which were used during the war to escape. The castle had water supply system and a special pool. In the vicinity of the castle a bath was built, which has come down to us in ruins.

           

          ARUCH CARAVANSARAI

          Aruch Caravanserai dates from the 13th century. Caravanserai was built exactly where once the famous Silk Road passed. It was important for the traders. Caravanserais were mainly built on the crossroads of important trade routes. In that era besides caravanserais bridges were also built which were very important for traders, either.

          Today in Armenia we can find many remnants of caravanserais. Aruch Caravanserai consisted of 6 arches. Now a part of the complex is under the ground. Its central hall was provided for the animals, while the side rooms were a haven for owners and servants.

           

          ARUCHAVANK

          Cathedral of St. Gregory is located in the southern part of the village Aruch of Aragatsotn province. According to historical sources, the church was built in 662-666 by means of prince Grigor Mamikonyan and his wife. Initially, there was another church, probably the Basilica, which is located in the south-eastern side of the church. According to historical sources, the prince Grigor Mamikonyan, built a palace complex to the south of the St. Gregory Church.

          In the 10th century, St. Gregory church was renovated. During the 16-19 centuries the church was completely abandoned. In the 20th century the church was restored after which, excavations were carried out here, and as the result the palace complex built by Grigor Mamikonyan was discovered. Only the ruins survived from luxurious palace with its ornamented columns. The palace complex of Aruch was a masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture of palaces of this kind.

          The church had 41 windows and 3 doors. The interior walls were decorated with beautiful frescoes. Like other churches, this church was repeatedly destroyed and then rebuilt.

           

          TALIN CATHEDRAL

          Katoghike Church, which is also known as the Cathedral of Talin, is located in the north of the city of Talin. It was built in the 7th century. The prototype of this church is supposed to be the church Katoghike in Dvin. The building is currently in ruin, where the dome and a significant portion of the western wing have since collapsed. There is a dodecagonal drum that is centrally positioned over the structure. Two prayer rooms or "studies" are positioned adjacent to and at either side of the apse. Each room contains a secret passage entrance at the second story level, facing the direction of the apse. The small passage allegedly leads to small rooms above.

          The apse contains the remnants of numerous portraits of the Apostles painted as frescoes around the semi-dome above.

          The inscription inside the church shows that the frescoes were commissioned by Moses Ekehetsapannom. The church was decorated with beautiful ornaments which have survived to the present day.

          The church was robbed by the Arab conquerors in the 8th century. He was twice destroyed by an earthquake, partly newly renovated. Until now, the dome is in a dilapidated condition.

          Near the church you can see the ruins of a nave church, discovered during the excavations, which dates back to the 5th century.

          Talin Temple (or Cathedral), despite the fact that today it is in a dilapidated condition, it still has a very impressive view.

           

          GNDEVANK

          Gndevank is located in the village Gndevaz of Vayots Dzor region. Historical sources indicate that the monastery was built in the 10th century by princess of Syunik Sofia. Originally it served as a monastery.

          St. Stephen's Church of Gndevank was built in 931-936. By its architectural type it is a classic cross-shaped church (eastern chapels were added in the 10th century). The interior was decorated by frescoes of artist Yeghishe. Today we can see the remains of the frescoes inside the church.

          After the construction princess Sophia left the inscription, which says: " Vatoits Dzor was a ring without a jewel but I built this monastery as the jewel for the ring." Gavit, adjoined to the western wall of the church by Abbot Christopher, is one of the oldest of this kind among the preserved to our times.

          The monastery was rebuilt in the 14th century.

          The monastery is surrounded by imposing ramparts, which are located around the perimeter of the Chamber abbot, refectory and various utility rooms. At the monastery are many khachkars and tombstones X-XIII centuries.

          The monastery is surrounded by impressive fortified walls, which are located around the perimeter of the abbot’s chamber, refectory and various utility rooms. At the monastery there are many khachkars and tombstones of the X-XIII centuries.

          Later in the 20th century reconstruction works were also carried out.

           

          LAKE SEVAN

          Lake Sevan is the second highest freshwater lake in the world. It is located at an altitude of 1916 m above sea level. According to many researchers, the lake is of volcanic origin. The total area of the lake is 1240 m ². The depth of the lake is nearly 83 meters. 28 rivers flow into the lake. And it gives birth only to the river Hrazdan. In 1936, the water level in the lake is greatly reduced due to the large amount of water allocated to the rigor and energy, which had a strong impact on the flora and fauna of the lake.

           

          SEVANAVANK

          Sevanavank was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the island of the lake, which is now turned into a peninsula. The monastery flourished in the 9th century. At that time, the daughter of Armenian king Ashot Bagratuni, princess Mary, built Surb Astvatsatsin and Surb  Arakelots  cross-domed churches. In  Surb Arakelots church a very beautiful cross-stone is erected, which is called Amenaprkich khachkar. The monastery in the 9th century held a Matenadaran. The monastery was rebuilt in the 17th century. In 1869, a religious school was opened on the island, which operated until 1880. The monastery was rebuilt in the 20th century.

           

           

          NORATUS

          Noratus Cemetery is located in the eponymous village Noratus. There are thousands of khachkars, which came to us from different centuries.

          Usually khachkars in Armenia not only served as tombstones. They also served as a monument symbolizing the important events in the country (wins, the construction of new cities, etc.).

          Here you can find groups of cross-stones, symbolizing the family's funeral.

          Close to numerous khachkars a small single-nave church can be seen,  which has reached our times from the 13th century.

          It is still not known why such a huge number of khachkars is precisely in this village.

           

          HAGHARTSIN

          Haghartsin Monastery is 18 km away from the town of Dilijan, Tavush region, on the bank of the upper stream of the river Haghartsin. The exact time of founding is unknown. The monastery flourished in the late 12th century and early 13th century.

          Haghartsin monastery complex consists of four churches, two narthexes  (one of which is in ruins), the dining room and numerous khachkars. The oldest church of the complex is the Church of St. Gregory (10th century). In the 11th century the monastery was destroyed during the invasion of the Turk Seljuks, it was rebuilt in the 12th century. While on the northern side of St. Gregory church a nave church Katoghike was added. In addition, on the western side of the church St. Gregory Zakarian princes built a narthex with four columns. In 1244, in the eastern part of the church  St. Gregory, Stephen's Church was built using local bluish basalt.

          In 1281 it the main church of the complex, St. Astvatsatsin was completely restored.

          In 1248 the refectory was built in the western part of the monastery.

          The monastery was rebuilt in the 17th century.

          The monastery was again destroyed and abandoned in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 20th century, the monastery was completely renovated.

           

          GOSHAVANK

          Goshavank or Nor Getik is located in the village Gosh, Tavush region, on the bank of the river Getik. Monastery was founded by Mkhitar Gosh in the vicinity of the monastery Getik, which was destroyed by a strong earthquake. First, he called it Nor Getik, and after the death of Mkhitar Gosh, it was renamed in his honor.

          The monastery complex includes: the Church of St. Astvatsatsin (1196g.), The Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator (1241g.) the narthex (1203g.), Library with a bell tower (1291g.), School building (XIII century.), Gallery (XIII c.), chapel (XIII century.). The main church of the monastery belongs to the type's cross-shaped churches.

          In 1191-1196 Mkhitar Gosh built the main temple of the monastery complex, St. Astvatsatsin. The church belongs to the domed hall type. In 1197-1203 on the western side of the church the narthex was built. In the early 13th century Gosh also built Surb Arakelots, Surb Hripsime and the wooden chapel of the Holy Spirit, as on the southern hill - chapel Surb Hambardzum, where he was buried.

          In 1231, the construction began of St. Gregory Church started. In 1237-1241 near the southern wall of the narthex the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator was built, which is allocated by its luxurious interior. Until 1241 the library of the monastery and chapel were built. In 1254 at the tomb of Mkhitar Gosh small church of St. George was built. The monastery held a university at that period.

          The monastery is rich with numerous khachkars, among which are the famous khachkars of master Poghos.

          In the 10th century, Surb Stepanos church was restored. In the 20th century the monastery was renovated and the museum was opened in a monastery.

          ODZUN CATHEDRAL

          Surb Astvatsatsin church is located in the village of Odzun of Lori region. According to historical sources, it was built in the 8th century, but the church of architectural analysis of the church showed that the church is of the 6th century. The architectural type of the church is a three-nave domed basilica. The main hall is divided into three sections by columns. The church is decorated with bas-reliefs and carved decorations. In the 19th century it was renovated.

          From the northern side of the church there stands a monument built in the 5-6th centuries. The monument is decorated with numerous decorations. The pedestal of the monument has a height of 2.4 meters.

          HAGHPAT MONASTERY

          Haghpat Monastery is located in Lori region. Armenian king Ashot Bagratuni III and his wife built here the first church of Surb Nshan in 976-991. Almost at the same time the religious school of the monastery was founded. In the 11th century to the north of Surb Nshan church tomb-chapel of St. Gregory monastery walls and book depository were built.

          In the 12th century the monastery was destroyed and looted, and in the second half of the 12th century and the 13th century the monastery flourished. In 1185 the daughter of King III Kyurike Mariam a built church in the western side of Surb Nshan which served as a royal tomb, and was later rebuilt in the 13th century and turned into a spacious narthex of the church. At the same time three tombs of Ukanats dynasty were built. Construction of a refectory as well is attributed to the 13th century. In 1233 not far away from the monastery on a hill a castle called Kayan Berd was built, which was destroyed in 1241 by the Mongols.

          In 1257 the abbot Hamazasp built a large chapel, which was later named after him - the chapel of Hamazasp. After that, there were also built another narthex of the church, a bell tower and the eastern entrance of the fence.

          On the territory of the monastery complex of Haghpat a huge number of ancient khachkars have survived, among which Amenaprkich (Saviour) stands out by its beauty.

          The 13th century was marked for the monastery as a period of great educational and scientific progress. There have been created and stored a lot of books and manuscripts, some of which have survived thanks to the monks who hid them from their enemies in a cave near the monastery. These manuscripts were found only in the 18th century.

          In the 18th century in monastery of Haghpat for some time great ashug Sayat Nova lived and served, who died here in 1775.

          Haghpat was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1996.

           

          SANAHIN MONASTERY

          Sanahin Monastery is located in the town of Alaverdi, in Lori region of Armenia. The first church of the monastery, St. Astvatsatsin, was built in the 10th century. In 996, the Armenian king Ashot Bagratuni III and his wife built the Surb Amenaprkich (Survivor) church and founded the seminary of the monastery. In the 11th century the library and St. Gregory's chapel were built. In addition, there were written and rewritten valuable manuscripts. The second half of the 11th century was a difficult period in its history. But at the end of the 12th century once again the monastery experienced a period of recovery. In the 12-13th centuries narthexes churches Surb Astvatsatsin and Surb Amenaprkich, a chapel, an outer room of the library, and Zakarian dynasty tomb were built. In the 12th century on the Debed River the famous Sanahin bridge was built.

          Throughout its history Sanahin repeatedly was destroyed by earthquakes and invasions of enemies. The monastery was rebuilt in the 17th century. At present, the reconstruction works are still carried out.

          The monastery complex Sanahin is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

           

          GARNI TEMPLE

          Garni pagan temple is located in the village of Garni, Kotayk region. It is believed that the temple was dedicated to the god of sun Mithras. It was built in the I century BC by king Trdat I, on the site of the fortress, which was probably built in the II century BC.

          After Christianity was declared as the state religion of the country, almost all pagan temples in the country were destroyed. Garni Temple at that time was the summer residence of Armenian kings, so it was not destroyed and has survived till our days. Garni Temple was destroyed in 1679 by an earthquake. In 1966  the reconstruction of the temple took place and it lasted almost 10 years.

          The temple, built of local basalt, is a perfect example of ancient architecture. On the four sides of the temple 24 columns are situated, which are decorated with numerous ornaments. Near the temple there are the ruins of the church of the 7th century.

          Near the temple there is a bath built in the 3rd century BC. The bath was heated with hot water. In one of the rooms you can see the mosaic floor with motifs of Greek mythology. There is also the inscription, which reads: "We worked without receiving anything in return." The significance of this is still unknown.

          Garni Temple is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

           

          GEGHARD

          Geghardavank (Ayrivank) is located in the Kotayk region. It was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator. The monastery was called Ayrivank until the 13th century. In the 13-18th centuries the Holy Lance was kept in the monastery, that is why the church was renamed Geghardavank. Since the 18th century the Holy Lance is kept in the museum in Echmiadzin.

          In 1215, the main Katoghike church was built, which is richly decorated with ornaments. In 1215-1225 in the western part of the church a narthex was built. The dome of the narthex rests on four pillars and has a rather complex structure. On the northern side there are two rock-carved churches. One of them served as a burial place. The first church was built in 1230-1250 by the Proshyans. Inside the church there is the famous sacred source. The second rock church of Surb Astvatsatsin, which is also a tomb, was built by princes the Proshyan dynasty. Here are buried members of Proshyan family. Here you can see and the family crest Proshyan dynasty.

          In 1288 a rock-carved chapel was built, which impresses by its acoustics.

          The monastery is included in UNESCO World Heritage List.

           

          MATENADARAN

          Matenadaran was built in 1945-1957 by a renowned architect Mark Grigorian. It is the largest center for the study and storage of ancient manuscripts and documents. Since 1962, it is named after the famous inventor of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots. It contains more than 17,000 manuscripts in Armenian and other languages, most of which were brought here from the depository of Echmiadzin (the first Matenadaran of Armenia was in Echmiadzin). These manuscripts were taken in 1920 in Moscow, and only in 1939 were returned to Armenia in Yerevan.

          In front of Matenadaran you can see the statues of the creator of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots, historian Movses Khorenatsi, mathematician, geographer, philosopher and astronomer Anania Shirakatsi, the poet of the 13th century Frick, Mkhitar Gosh, author of the first code of laws, the philosopher Grigor Tatevatsi and painterTorosa Roslin.

          In 1997, a collection of ancient manuscripts of Matenadaran was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

           

          EREBUNI MUSEUM

          During the excavations on the hill of Arin Berd an inscription was found in 1950, which reports that in 782 BC son of Menua King Argishti I founded the fortress of Erebuni. Over time, the name of Erebuni began to sound like Yerevan.

          Erebuni Museum was built in 1968 in the south-eastern part of Yerevan, at the foot of Arin Berd hill. The museum is just a small part of the overall complex. It was on Arin-Berd hill that the fortress of Erebuni was built, the excavations in this area are still ongoing.

           

          SASUNTSI DAVID MONUMENT

          Monument David Sasuntsi is one of the main symbols of the city. David is the main hero of the epic "David of Sasun" and symbolizes the struggle of the Armenian people for freedom and independence. Monument David Sasuntsi is located on the square in front of Central Station. It was established in 1959. The author of the monument is a great Armenian sculptor Yervand Kochar.

           

          STATUE MOTHER ARMENIA

          At Victory Park, in the highest part of the city, the Mother Armenia monument is located. It was established in 1967. The author of the monument is a great Armenian sculptor Ara Harutyunyan. The height of the statue is 22 meters. It symbolizes the struggle of Armenian women in the freedom of their country and the world. Not far from the monument there is the Mother Armenia Military Museum. The museum mainly reflect the theme of the participation of people during the Second World War and Artsakh liberation war.