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      THE MOST ANCIENT TEMPLES AND MONASTERIES OF ARMENIA

      28.09.18

      Perhaps nothing reflects the true spirit of Armenia as majestic ancient temples and monasteries, many of which are located in the most picturesque corners of the country: on green hills, in the mountains, near steep, rocky cliffs and gorges or on the shore of the high-mountainous Lake Sevan. Many dozens of amazing temples, monasteries, churches and chapels can be counted in a relatively small area of the country, some of which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and each building has its own centuries-old history. Let us introduce you five most popular tourist routes for acquaintance with these historical and architectural “riches” of Armenia.

      Sevanavank monastery

      Lake Sevan

       

      Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

      Echmiadzin is perhaps the most revered holy place in Armenia. The residence of the Catholicos, the Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians, has been located here since the moment of adoption of Christianity in 301 AD. Here in the museum-treasury are kept such Christian shrines, as a particle of Noah’s Ark and Geghard – Spear, which pierced the ribs of Christ. The Etchmiadzin complex includes Mother Cathedral (the beginning of the 4th century), St. Gayane (603 AD) and St. Hripsime (618 AD) churches, as well as a number of ancient monastic buildings.

      Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

      Saint Hripsime Church

       

      Geghard Monastery

      Geghard Monastery (IV century AD), which is very popular with tourists, is notable for the fact that part of its building is carved directly in the rock. The church, located in a picturesque place in the mountains, is built near a cave mountain spring, so originally the structure was called the “Cave Temple”. Later, the monastery was renamed to Geghard “Temple of the Holy Spear”, in honor of an important Christian relic, now kept in Etchmiadzin. During its history, the monastery suffered many cataclysms; several times it was destroyed almost to the ground, and then rebuilt. Today Geghard monastery can be seen in its pristine beauty and grandeur.

      Geghardavank monastery

      Geghard monastery

       

      Khor Virap

      Khor Virap (648-2 AD), an Armenian monastery located nearly on the slopes of biblical mount Ararat, has a very interesting story. According to the legend, Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned here for 13 years in a deep dark pit for being Christian. Christianity was accepted as state religion of Armenia in 301 when Gregory the Illuminator was the only person who succeeded to heal the king. He became the first Catholicos. The name of the monastery is translated exactly as a “deep dungeon”. The dungeon is located right under the building of the church at a depth of 6 m, and those who wish can descend there along a steep spiral staircase and see the place of imprisonment of Illuminator.

      Khor Virap monastery

      Khor Virap monastery

       

      Tatev Monastery

      Perhaps, this is the most beautiful monastery complex, immediately conquering with its truly magical energy. The elegant building of the monastery (the end of IX century AD) is located almost at the very edge of a steep cliff, and it seems like it “hovers over the abyss”. The monastery is served by the “Wings of Tatev” passenger cable car, which lies over the gorge of the stormy Vorotan river at an altitude of more than 300 m and is the longest cable car in the world without stops. Traveling on the Wings of Tatev passengers can view a fantastic panorama of the monastery and the surrounding mountain landscape, so that the road to the monastery will give you no less unforgettable impressions than the very visit to Tatev monastery complex.

      "Wings of Tatev" cable car

      Tatev monastery

       

      Tatev Monastery

      Perhaps, this is the most beautiful monastery complex, immediately conquering with its truly magical energy. The elegant building of the monastery (the end of IX century AD) is located almost at the very edge of a steep cliff, and it seems like it “hovers over the abyss”. The monastery is served by the “Wings of Tatev” passenger cable car, which lies over the gorge of the stormy Vorotan river at an altitude of more than 300 m and is the longest cable car in the world without stops. Traveling on the Wings of Tatev passengers can view a fantastic panorama of the monastery and the surrounding mountain landscape, so that the road to the monastery will give you no less unforgettable impressions than the very visit to Tatev monastery complex.

      Temple of Garni

      Temple of Garni

       

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