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      TOP 7 SIGHTS OF ASHTARAK AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

      23.06.22

      While visiting Ashtarak, one should definitely visit the main attractions located in the city and its surroundings.

      Top 7 sights of Ashtarak and its surroundings

      Ashtarak is located 20 km north-west of Yerevan. The name of the town, which has a thousand-year history, is translated as “tower”. Let’s explore 7 major historic and cultural sights which are located in Ashtarak.

      Ashtarak

      Ashtarak

       

      Saghmosavank Monastery

      Saghmosavank is a monastery complex located near Saghmosavan village and River Kasakh. The monastery complex is standing on the edge of the cliff, a picturesque view to Saghmosavank can be seen from the opposite bank of the river. One of the very first churches of Saghmosavank was built in the beginning of the 13th century. The monastery is unique for its amazing manuscripts. Nearby, there is an old cemetery with a lot of carved khachkars that date back to the 13-14th centuries.

      Saghmosavank Monastery

      Saghmosavank Monastery

       

      Karmravor church

      Karmravor church (7 century) is located on the territory of Ashtarak. Out of three early medieval churches, Karmravor is the best preserved. A beautiful and sad legend is connected with those churches. Once upon a time, 3 sisters who fell in love with the same boy, lived here. Wishing a luck to the youngest sister, 2 older sister decided to throw themselves from the high cliff. However, knowing about this, the youngest sister couldn’t stand the sadness and followed the sisters’ step.․․Тhe oldest sisters left the house in red and orange dresses, and the youngest in the white dress. The boy who lost his bride, became a monk. In the memory of three sisters, churches were built: Karmravor (Red), Tsiranavor (Orange), Spitakavor (White).

      Karmravor church

      Karmravor church

       

      The old bridge and the water mill

      Going down the road of the Karmravor Church, one can see the ancient three-arch bridge over the Kasakh River built in the 17th century. Previously, there was an even more ancient single-arch bridge (13th century), but today only ruins are left from it. In this part of the town, one feels in a medieval times. A picturesque view opens from the bridge and near the river there is an old water mill with millstones. By the way, the mill still works, and a tasty bread is baked from the flour obtained here.

      The old bridge and the water mill

      The old bridge and the water mill 

       

      Perch Proshyan house-museum

      Perch Proshyan (1837-1907) is one of the Armenian prominent writer-novelists. In 1948, the house-museum of Proshyan was opened. Three exhibition rooms were added to the small house, where the writer lived. Today, various exhibits of Perch Proshyan’s life and career are shown here.

      Perch Proshyan house-museum

      Perch Proshyan house-museum

       

      Wine history museum

      The Museum of the Armenian wine history in Ashtarak is located in an underground room that looks like an old wine cellar. Here you can see many curious exhibits, and some unique ceramic containers designed for storing wine for thousands of years old. The oldest exhibit is the grape seeds of 8 thousand years oldness.

       Wine history museum

       Wine history museum

       

      Hovhanavank monastery

      The monastery of Hovhanavank is located on the top of the cliff and is surrounded with a beautiful intact nature. Main churches were built in the Middle Ages, however on the territory of the monastery complex there are churches and ruins of much more ancient times back to the 4th-5th centuries. The legend has that the monastery was first built here by the Gregory the Illuminator.

      Hovhanavank monastery

      Hovhanavank monastery

       

      Amberd Fortress

      The fortress- town of Amberd was built in the 7th century A.D. Ambe8d served as a fortified place for several years. Numerous underground passages led from the fortress to the gorge, some of which have survived to this day. Amberd had a rather complex system of water pipelines, with a total length of several kilometers. The partially destroyed three-story castle occupied an area of about 1,500 square meters and on the territory of Amberd there is also a church built in the 11th century.

      Amberd Fortress

      Amberd Fortress

       

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