AGHJOTS

Aghjots monastery is situated 7km south to Geghard. The monastery consists of two churches and a gavit /narthex/. The main church /St. Stephen/ was built at the beginning of the XIII century, it has cross-shaped layout. The gavit /2nd half of the XIII century/ is in the south of the main church and only a part of its walls are preserved.

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AKHTALA

“Titan’s country, Mountain island, Country of rivers- Armenia is characterized with these words and thеsе words become more typical when we visit Lori Region. Almost all the fortresses in Armenia have been protected only by one side, in a place where the castle was joined to the land, in the other three sides the Armenians have never built a fence because it was naturaly protected by 150-500m steep rocks descending to the precipice.

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AMBERD

Amberd is a fortress complex with a church built on the eastern slopes of  Aragats Mountain at 2,500 meters above sea level in the XI-XIII centuries. The special strategic position and the hard building efforts of mighty princes of their time Phalavunis, Zakaryans and Vachutyans make Amberd as a work of war fare art. The prince palace was in this fortress too. The fortress is still standing and it makes a great impression on tourists. It is extraordinary impressive: the view opening from the palace's windows on the ice tops of Ararat Mountain and Araratyan Valley. The palace is three-storeyed. On the 1st floor has armoury and water reserves. In Amberd are persisted baths outside the palace. During the of the baths were found graceful bronze faucets for hot and cold water. None of the conquerors succeeded to capture Amberd. It is the unbreakable symbol of Armenian mountainous spirit.

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Ani

In 961 Ashot III Bagratuni replaced his capital Kars to Ani. According to historians soon Ani becomes a world famous city. It is decorated with numerous beautiful monuments from tufa, many of which are of worldwide value. The peak of the city Ani was the 10th century. From this rich and comfortable city only the ruins of palaces, churches and surrounding the walls of the city remained. In the southern part of Ani, on a huge rock there is a citadel. Houses, Ani churches are the best creations of Armenian architecture. The most famous is the Cathedral / Ani Cathedral /, built by the architect Trdat. The cathedral in Ani with its beautiful sculptures, together with the external ornament, had such a feature that later in the world architecture was formed as a Gothic style. This cathedral admires all and still. Other monuments include the Cathedral of Gregory the Enlightener or Gagkashen, which, in the opinion of Tsar Gagik A, should have resembled Zvartnots. The beautiful buildings were also the church of Abugamenz, as well as the church of St. Gregory, built by Tigran Onenets. Znanimie fortress walls of Ani, 10-12 meters high, were built of smooth stone with semicircular and tetrahedral towers, towers that adorned the panorama of the city and stretched for 2.5 kilometers. They were built by King Smbat B. As an ornament (ornament) used stones of different colors, which here and there were belts, and in some places staggered. In some places, bas-reliefs of animals were put on the walls, which gave luxury to the walls. With the outside world, Ani was connected by five stone, one-arched bridges across the Akhuryan River. Each of them had a length of more than 30 meters. These bridges for that time were huge structures, were decorated, had a high span. This is the capital of the Bagratids, glittering Ani, whose general appearance, greatness, especially the Cathedral is very well seen from the banks of the Akhuryan River. Even now, it remains a rare, immaculate medieval city that has not undergone restructuring in the next centuries.

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BAGHABERD

The huge Baghaberd Fortress is 10km from the city Kapan. Baghaberd has had passing ways, rooms, canals which are in ruins now. The dark red stones of the fortress/ sorted in special ways and slightly remind of the coral reefs/ merge with the rocks on which the fortress is built.

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BJNI

Bjni Fortress is situated in the gorge of Hrazdan river 54km far from Yerevan. The particularity of Armenian fortresses is that almost all the fortresses are in triangular capes surrounded by huge gorges and mountain rivers. And despite of the European fortresses almost all Armenian fortresses are protected by walls only on one side, and in other 3 sides they are protected by gorges of 150-200m depth with their vertical walls.

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BYURAKAN OBSERVATORY

The observatory after Victor Hambardzumyan is located on the slopes of Mount Aragats at the altitude of 1405m in the village of Byurakan. It is one of the most important observatories in the Eastern Europe and Middle East. Byurakan Observatory was founded by Viktor Hambardzumyan in 1946 , who then became the first director of the observatory. The observatory consists of two parts-student campus and functional part,the latter in its turn consists of telescope towers, administrative buildings and laboratory, meeting halls and guesthouses.

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DADIVANK

The monastic complex of Dadivank is situated on the left bank of the river Tartar, on the woody slopes of mount Mrav in Artsakh. According to legend, it was built in the 1st century on st. Dadi's grave. There are various buildings in the monastic complex- 2 chapels, 2 old churches, monks'cells, guest house, workshop, library, etc.

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EGHEGIK

Eghegik, which was the residence of the Orbelian lords of the Syunik provence, is located in Vayots Dzor Province, 150km south-east to Yerevan. The fortress and the city area are standing up to now attracking everybody with its indescribable beauty. Sometimes the historians call it ''the Capital city''. During both the Syunik Princes and the Orbelians reign,succeding them, magnificent structures were built in Yeghegik. One of the most elegant structures is the Yeghegik fortress located in the north-eastern part of the old city. The fortress is surrounded by huge walls that have many towers. The locals say that the fortresse was built by the Prince Smbat of Syunik, and that's the reason why the fortress is sometimes called Smbataberd/ Smbat's Fortress/. Besides the fortress there are four churches worth of mentioning. On the north-western part of the Eghegik fortress on a high plateua is the famous Tsakhatskar monastery/ X century/. For visitors, Eghegik Fortress and Tsakhatskar monastery are the union of the picturesque landscapes and power of human mind, the best place worthy for kings.

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KAKAVABERD/GEGHI (QEGHI) FORTRESS

The medieval fortress Geghi/Keghi/ is located on the right bank of the River Azat. The fortress was first mentioned in the IX-X centures as the estate of the Bagratides royal dinasty. The fortress is standing now and is well-preserved. Built on the top of a high mountain, it is inaccessible on three sides. From the north-eastern part, it is protected by walls which are 2-2.5m wide, 8-10m height and are fortified with towers. The church and the ruins of other buildings are preserved inside the fortres.

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GHLIJAKAR

Ghlijakar is one of the well-preserved castles of the medieval Armenia. It is located in Tavush Region. It was built in the 10th century and belonged to the Bagratid dynasty. And in 11th century it was under the reign of the Zakarids. The castle is fortified by mighty towers and is located on the top of a hill raising in the center of the large valley. It has a dominance on the surroundings. The castle has a large yard and the economic constructions, semi ruined palace are around the castle.

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GNDEVANK

Gndevank is located in the canyon of the River Arpa, Vayots Dzor Region, 175km south-east from Yerevan. Vayots Dzor is the most popular region of Armenia, a real open-air-museum. Many Armenian princes, kings and also foriegn inviders struggle for to have rights to this magnific, paradise district for melleniums. Vayots Dzor is a unique place having mountinous, watery, warm,fertile soil. They say that the God took the heaven from the Earth leaving a piece of it in Armenia, in Vayots Dzor. And magnificent Gndevank is here in this beautiful place, in the gorge of Arpa river. It was built in 936 by the Princess Sopa from Syunik. The church Gndevank is like the church Hripsime, Etchmiadzin, but has a little bit other charm. Despite Hripsime Church, the charm of Gndevank is fullfilled with the gorge of Arpa River of 200m depth. There is an amazing harmony between the gorge and the design of the church. During those times Princess Sopa devoted two villages toghether with the gorge of the Arpa River to the church which later on was turned into an astonishing garden by the monks. Till now it astonishes with its perfect beauty. Later in 996 a gavit/narthex/ was built in front of the church which is the oldest constructions in Armenian.

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GOROZ FORTRESS

Goroz/Gtich/ Fortress is located on the top of the Mount Toghasar -mystic and majestic place. You will be surprised by the talant of the Armenian people who built this Fortress on the top of an inaccessible height surrounded by horrible gorges. In 853 the Prince Yesayi sheltered in this fortress and track back 28 attacks defeating 200 000 arabic troops. The fortress has one entrance which is, so to say,the only accessible part of it. The wide walls are built so skillfully as if it is a whole with the surronding cliffs. Goroz Fortress is the best sample of the Armenian military art.

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GOSHAVANK

Goshavank monastery complex is one of the most complicated architectural complexes of medieval Armenia and is located on the slopes of Areguni mountain range, 110km from Yerevan, on the top of a picturesque canyon surrounded by the dense forests. The Monastery was founded by Mkhitar Gosh in 1188, by the auspices of powerful Prince Ivane Zakarian. The monastery complex consists of four churches, two chapels, one zhamatun, two-storey book depository, two academic building. The monastery is also called Nor Getik, cause it was built in the place of 'Hin' Getik/Old Getik/ destroyed by the earthquake. But master Mkhitar Gosh's scientific fame was so powerful in the East that the monastery was named after him-Goshavank/ monastery of Gosh/ .

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GTCHAVANK

Gtchavank is located on the slopes of Mount Toghasar, Artsakh. The fortress, built above the Gtchavank and having the same name/Gtich Fortress/, was the residence of Prince Yesayi in the 9th century. The monastic complex consists of 2 adjacent churches, of the narthex/gavit/ and the dwelling rooms. The main church, built in 1241-46, is a domed hall with a pair of pillars. The drum of the dome has an emphasized symmetry. The second church is built of rough basalt, the sacristies of which are near the altar. The gavit/narthex/ is adjacent to the churches. The monastery was a big cultural center and had a book depository in 15 century.

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GYUMRI

Gyumri is the second largest city of the RA, is 126 km far from Yerevan, and is located on the left bank of the River Akhurian, Shirak Region. It is situated at the altitude of 1550m. The inhabitants/approximatly 114.600 / are generally Armenians and Russians. A number of XIX century buildings have been preserved in the city that is the reason Gyumri is considered the most 'colorful' city of Armenia. Russian Military base and Command of the Transcaucasian Military District is sitated in Gyumri. The city has a perfect geographical position, the air is fresh and healthy, the flora is steppe one.

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HAGHARTSIN

Haghartsin monastry complex, X-XIII c., is located 110km from Yerevan, in the territory of Dilijan state reserve. The monastic complex has four churches, two zhamatuns,refectory and other economic facilities. Haghartsin monastery gives special elegance and respiration to the surrounding forests with their beauty: deep gorges, giant mountains surounded by woods and totaly uninhabited area which creates a mystic environment. And after all this the monastery appears in front of a tourist- a sample of architectual forms and lanes, molding in the environment. This is an Armenian 'taste'- harmonic mixture of form and nature, and the graves of two Armenenian kings are here in Haghartsin monastery. But one of the most wonderful structures in Haghartsin is the refectory. The architect of this amazing structure is Minas, and it is his masterpiece /1248/, an exceptional achievement of medieval engineering mind where the huge roof/21.6x9.6m/ rests only on two pillars. For nearly 1,000 years, the Armenian mind has been astonishing for many researchers and simply visitors.

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HAGHPAT

Haghpat, one of the biggest medieval architectural complexes, consists of three churches, of a zhamatun-gavit/narthex/, a belltower, a refectory, a scriptorium and other buildings. It has the biggest gavit/narthex/ in Armenia. The whole complex is surrounded by walls and is situated on the eastern slopes of Bazumi mountain range, 160km north-west from Yerevan. As the other historical monuments in Armenia, the place and the position of Haghpat monastery is perfectly adjusted to the surrounding area. The canyon near the River Debed/for about 200m deepth/, the huge foresty mountains create a mixture of natural beauty and delicate arcitectural Armenian mind. The main church of the complex - St. Nshan church, as well as St. Amenaprkich/St. Saviour/ church, was built by the order of Queen Khosrovanush, wife of King Ashot III, in 976-991. There are evidences that St. Nshan church was built by architect Tiridate-the genius of worldwide medieval architecture . Haghpat was also a biggest scientific center with its scriptorium and academy where many manuscripts were wriiten and illuminated. Now some of these manuscripts are kept in Matenadaran. It is worth of mentioning the Gospel of Makar with the magnificent charm of the Haghpat School of Miniature Painting. And, of course, we must mention the delicate khachkar/cross-stone/ ''Amenaprkich"/ St. Saviour/, with extremely realistic images for the Middle Ages.

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HALIDZOR

David Bek, one of the most prominent millitary figures of the Armenian liberation movement, led Syunik liberation movement in 1720-1730. Halidzor Fortress served as a seat for him. The walls of the fortress are on the one side of the cliff and on the other side are the mountains and the dense forest. There are holes spread in the whole area of the fortress where a human can hide himself. These small shelters were made for safeguarding the partisans, and also to prevent them from dangers. In 1727 Ottoman troops blockade Halidzor for a few months as long as Bek was in a fortress with his troops. They survived without water and food. Only 13 bishops, 3 priests and 300 soldiers were with David Bek, who fought together till the end. The enemy yielded, leaving 12,000 dead on the battlefield.

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HANDABERD

Handaberb or Levonaberd/Fortress by Levon/ is situated in Province Verin Khachen, Artsakh. It stands on a wedge-form cliff having only one narrow and nearly impassible entrance. The seat of Aranshahik Princes of Artsakh and also the prison where those who were sentenced to death penalty were imprisoned have been here.Handaberd had a deep hole and passageway that had lead to the river. According to historian Kirakos Gandzaketsi, Handaberd was renovated by Cilician King Levon and thus was named after him. It was one of the stable and strongest fortresses in Artsakh. Sometimes the inhabitants of the surrounding areas shelthered here.The inaccessible walls and towers of the fortress are still seen in Artsakh.

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HARICHAVANK

Harichavank is one of the ancient medievial Armenian monasteries.The oldest construction is the church St. Grigor, built in the 7th century. There are two-storied prayer houses built in the 13th century. The main church of the monastery was built by the order of Zakar and Ivane brothers/Zakarids/ in 1201. The church is a huge cross-domed building. This monument is one of the pearls of medieval architecture decorated with delicate ornaments. The church was a center of science. One of the famous Armenian writers Avetik Isahakyan studied here in 1887-1889.

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HAVUTS TAR

Havuts Tar monastery complex is situated on the left bank of the River Azat,on the top of a hill. It was one of the famous spiritual and cultural centure of medieval Armenia. The monastery complex consists of two constructural parts-eastern part and western part.The main church/XIII c./ of the western part is built of a polished red tufa. The colorful-formed walls are rich with inscriptions. There are two one-nave chapels in the southern part. The eastern part was recounstructed after the earthquake of 1679. Here in 1721 Catholicos Astvatsatur founded a domed type church - st. Karapet, which stayed unfinished because of lezgian invasions.The monastery is surrounded by walls. There are rooms and a guesthouse near the walls.

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HAYRAVANK

Hayravank monastery complex/IX-XII/ is located on the shore of Lake Sevan, on a cliff cape. The church with its adjacent gavit/narthex/ was preserved. The church,built at the end of the IX century is the only one with its flower-shape plan. The gavit/narthex/ built at the end of the XII century belongs to two- pillar-gavits type. On the eastern part are the two-storied sacristies that include the western apsid of the church. There are tombstones and khachkars/ cross-stones/ around Hayravank .

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HOROMAYR

Horomayr has been mentioned since the 7th century. The monastery complex is situated in one of the inaccessible cliffs of Lori Gorge. It had two periods of the construction- VIIc.and XIII c..The awesome main church st.Nshan and gavit/narthex/ were built by the Zakarids. The monastery complex, besides the stone buildings, has a complicated system of natural caves planned for the protection. The panorama from the monastery is extremely beautiful, and meanwhile horrible because of the deep gorge with about 800m . And here, in this stony cliff one can see the magnificent monastery surrounded by stepp barriers. If you are going to visit the monastery, it'll be a real experiment. Indeed, it is wondering how smart are the Armenian architectures to create such an amazing monastery in such a place where only nature has right to create.

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HOVHANAVANK

Hovhanavank monastic complex includes St Karapet church/4-5th c./, Katoghikeh church/13th c./, zhamatun-gavit/narthex/, graveyard and the monument/5th c./. Due to the patronage of Zakarid and Vachutyan Princedoms, the constructive work in Aragatsotn Province was being evolved, the vivid example of which is Hovanhavank Monastic complex with the main church -Katoghikeh/built in 1216/. The church is sculptured, with twin pillars on both sides of the entrance. On the portal you can see the carved sculpture of the wise and foolish virgins according to the Gospel of Matthew. The gavit-zhamatun is a large hall as of 13th century special style. The portal of the gavit-zhamatun is sculptured. There are a number of marvelous khachkars/cross-stones/ of the 13th century in the hall. Hovhanavank monastery is surrounded by large walls from the three sides and by the steep gorge from the last side. The wall was erected by the means of early died Kyurikyan King Abas's wife- Nana.

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KACHAGHAKABERD

Kachaghakaberd is in Artsakh. The castle on the mountain is a wedge shaped cliff with 50m height. The cliff is straight cut from the western, northern and eastern parts in such a way as if the nature has chosen this place beforehand. The entrance is from the southern part which is rather difficult. Inside the castle, in the center of it, there is a reservoir. During the wars the water was brought from the springs which is north from the entrance, and was kept in that reservoir. Due to its dominant position and absolute inaccessibility, the fortress could be safeguarded even without a weapon. It is no coincidence that the people have called the fortress "Kachaghakaberd" because only the magpie can reach this fortress.

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QAGHENI/DASHTADEM FORTRESS

This innaccessible mighty fortress, which has protected the surroundings of the Armenian capital city Ani, stands till nowadays on the bank of the River Akhurian. On the 'golden' plain you can see 25m high towers built of polished tufa. The fortress has a square plan with circle towers in four corners. It has also a second wall which is lower than the first one/ the second wall is rather damaged, perhaps during sieges/. Inside the fortress there are economic buildings and military storages. Both the Bagratunis and many foreigners, conquering Armenia, valued the strength and inaccessibility of the Qagheni Fortress.

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KECHARIS

Kecharis Monastery complex (XI-XIIIvv) is a significant cultural and religious center of the medieval Armenia. The complex consists of four churches, a gavit/narthex/ and two chapels.The main church - St. Gregory the Illuminator belongs to the type of domed-hall churches. The dome with a diameter of 10.4 meters dominates over the building. The gavit is adjacent to the church from the west. To the south of the main temple is a small domed church st. Nshan with subtle properties. The third church Katohikeh, built by Prince Vasak Hahbakyan in 1203-1214, is in the southern part of the monastic complex ,next to the church st. Nshan. With its magnificent ornaments Katohikeh is the most elegant one among the Kecharis Monastic complex. To the west of the main buildings, about 120m far, is the fourth small church-St. Harutyan. The tombs of Prince Apiratyana Gregory (1099) and Prince Prosch Mets (1284), who led the battle against the seljuks and died, are in the yard of Kecharis Monastery.

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KHACHKAR

Khachkar – a pure Armenian word: khach/cross/ and kar/stone/. There are very few nations that have such branch of traditional culture, that has been their property for thousands of years, even more it is classified as a 'divine' property. For over 1200 years Armenians have amazed the world by their khachkars. During its development the art of khachkar had three periods: 8th-9th cc, 9th-10th cc, 11th-12th cc, and reached to its peak in the 13th-14th cc. This masterpiece of the Armenian mind consists of three parts – a pedestal, a slab and a cornise bending inside. The slab is rectangle, entirely covered and the cross is in the centre. The cornice is sculptured and has also an inscription. There is no khachkar that is alike to the other one; all the khachkars are entirely different. There are over 10 000 khachkars which have the same construction rules but are entirly different by their ornaments, decorrative patterns. Khachkars are all around Armenia and they have been erected for every occasion except the birth. With the variety of their meaning khachkars also differ in their size/ from 50sm height to 6-8m/, with lenght- 30sm-1.5m, and thickness of 20-30sm. Poghos/Pavgos/ master’s works are the best ones in the art of khachkars. Fortunately some of them has reached to us. They are in Goshavank, Deghdznut and Dadivank monastry complexes. Poghos’s khachkars are called “embroidered”/lace carved/. Nowhere in the world you can see such a gentle works of art as Poghos's khachkars. None of the poets can describe the art of this great man, the works of whom you can see and feel only by seeing them with your own eyes.

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KHNDZORESK

Khndzoresk is located in Syunik Province , 270km far from Yerevan.This is really the place when you can say that a man has 'obeyed' the nature to his will. Khndzoresk canyon with its natural stone towers takes you to the ancient times, about what it is said in Bible: “And in those times there were Giants on the earth.” From the ancient times people lived here in pyramids, digging shelters and economic buildings. The people of Syunik and especially the people of Khndzoresk were considered to be the bravest and the strongest ones in the history of Armena. The people of Khndzoresk and its governors- proud Meliks, have never betrayed their country. The role of this village became more important in 1722-1730, during Syunik national liberation movement. Khndzoresk was the citadel of Syunik at that time. Armenian sparapet/general/ Mkhitar, his son Aharon and his beloved Gohar are buried there. These graves are sacred to Armenians and carry a story of an unhappy love, about which there are many literary works and folk heroes.

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KHOR VIRAP

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MAYRABERD

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MEGRI

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SAGHMOSAVANK

According to the tradition,  Saghmosavank was founded by st Gregory the Illuminator when he  left the seat of Catholicosate of All  the Armenians.  St Gregory was a hermit on the slopes of  Mount Aragats  and in frosty weather he sheltered in the Kasakh canyon. Here he had built two Deserts-one of which was called the Desert of Holy Illuminator,and the other on the edge of  the canyon- Desert of Psalms/ Saghmosants/ because there a number of psalms were constantly sung. A psalm is  a sacred song , lyric poetry. The main church of Saghmosavank-st. Sion/Katoghike/ was built by the  patronage of Prince of Aragatsotn Province- Vache Vachutyan and his wife Mamakhatun. The church is  rectangural outside, cruciform inside, with two-storey annexes in corners. Being constructed by the polished tufa, the church is lit with the 16 large and small windows of  the drum. In 1235, Qurd Vachutyan/ son of the Prince Vache Vachutyan/ erected St. Astvatsatsin small church  from the southern part of St. sion church. And in 1255 Qurd Vachutyan  and his wife Khorishah erected a repository of manuscript from the northern part of the monument. The repository is a typical sample of a secular building with crossed arches developed by the Armenian architects since the 10th century. It has had a rich depository. At the end of the 13th century about 120 manuscripts were kept here in Saghmosavank.

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SELIM

Selim pass/ Selim Caravanserai/ has been known since middle ages when it was in the center of the Silk Road. It is on the boarder of Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor Provinces at a height of 2410m above sealevel. Caravanserai was founded by Prince Chesar Orbelian in 1332. The lenght of the carvanserai is 26m with the width of 13m. It is built of grey bazalt and is a three-nave hall having 7 struts divided into middle and adjacent naves. There are stables for 64 horses. The roof above the three-aisled hall had three parallel vaults with an oculus in each. The vaults were supported by arches that stretched from pillar to pillar along the aisles. Inside there is a water reservoir. At the end of the caravanaserai there are two small rooms for guests. The construction is lit by oculus . The roof of the whole complex of Caravansarai is covered with huge polished stones.

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SHUSHI FORTRESS

Shushi /Shosh/ Fortress was constructed in 1724. The walls start from the western part of the hill of Shushi and reach to the eastern part of the hill. The southern, northern and eastern parts are protected by inaccessible cliffs. The lenght of the walls is 2.5km with the hight of 7-8m and the walls are interrupted by towers/pyramids/. Kanach Zham and Meghretsots churches are in Shushi the mystorious and famous of which is st Chazanchetsots cathedral.

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SMBATABERD

Being located on an inaccessible hill, Smbataberd is surrounded by the deep cliffs and is an unapprochable fortress. The fortress is surrounded by pyramidal walls from the all sides. The plan of the fortress is adjusted to the relief of the area and the location. The main entrance is from the north. The northern and the eastern entrances are covered by vaulted halls on the roofs of which you can see ruined watchtowers and watchhouses.The fortress has one general wall which makes it into two parts- northern and southern. Both parts have inner citadels. Smbataberd represents the real image of ''medieval fortress''. The ruins of the residential buildings and the remains of the reservoirs have been preserved in here. The water was brought to the fortress via pipes from the nearby springs, the traces of which can be seen on the edge of the road.

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SPITAKAVOR

Spitakavor st. Astvatsatsin monastery consists of a church, a gavit /narthex/, a bell-tower and walls surrounding it. The construction is built of polised white felsite. When spring, here  a lot of flowers blossom around the monastery that's why locals call it 'Tsaghki vank '/monastery of flowers/. The surrounding area is divided into deep gorges. On the top of a nearby hill one can see the ruins of Boloraberd Fortress.  The only church of the monastic complex was built by  Amir Hasan in 1321. The bas-relief on the portal of st Astvatsatsin church is one of the most famous samples of Armenian medieval architectural art.  The gavit/1321-1330/ is adjacent from the western part of the  church. There is also a bellfry having a unique three-storied composition/1330/.  The tomb of the Armenian millitary leader and political thinker  Garegin Nzhdeh is in the yard of  the monastery.

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TATEVI METS ANAPAT

Tatevi Mets Anapat /The Great hermitage of Tatev/ is one of the precious complexes of Armenian medieval religious architecture. It had a military importance during the Armenian liberation movement in XVIII c. led by one of the prominent military figures of Armenia- David Bek. Tatevi Mets Anapat is located in the  Vorotan River valley. The complex is surrounded by high rectangular walls. St.Astvatsatsin three-nave basilica is on the south-western part constructed of polished bazalt. To the west of st.Astvatsatsin church is the gavit/ narthex, founded by Melik Yegan in 1743/, and on the northern part of it is the chapel-mausoleum. On the eastern part of the church is the refectory and the spring/fountain/.

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TATEV

Tatev monastery complex is located 215 km south-east from Yerevan. The monastery stands on the edge of the deep gorge of the Vorotan River, Syunik Province; as if hanging on the gorge/the deepest onein Armenia-500m/. The complex is surrounded by high and thick walls and towers. Built in 885, due to its inaccessibility Tatev monastery was the biggest religious and scientific center of medieval Armenia. Being located in the center of historic Syunyats gavar/province/, the monasteryis the maximum of what this historical province had achieved during its history. Everything in Tatev is saturated with wisdom and mystery. The main st. Paul and Peter church with its huge dimension is one of the prominent samples of Syunik architectural school and belongs to the domed-hall-type churches. But this monatery is popular with its frescos where the Last Judegment had been portrayed 600 years earlier before Michelangelo would have painted it on the walls of Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The Armenians painted it on the western wall of the st. Paul and Peter church to frighten the disobedients. Another miracle of Tatev Monastery is the gavazan/ pendulous column/. Having 6m height this column has been astonishing the visitors for about 1200years/founded in 895/. Tatev monastery was the richest monastic complex of Armenia. So to say it was a state within the state. Approximatly 700 villages in different provinces of Armenia were the property of the monastic complex and provided the huge incomes to it. But here is the paradocsal side of the Armenian gene and thinking , because, if in Europe the church owed property and was a wealthy feudal, in Armenia, the church had invested the whole wealth in the field of education and preservation of the nation. The fame for Tatev monastery was the university/ XIVc/. Such world famous titans as Hovhan Vorotnetsi and Grigor Tatevatsi had lectured here. The latter is buried in Tatev monastery. There are only two people-Mesrop Mashtots/inventor of the Armenian alphabet/ and Grigor Tatevatsi- who were sanctified and were allowed to be bury inside the church because it is prohibeted by the Armenian church, despite the position and the holiness.

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TEGHER

On the slope of Mount Aragats, at the altitude of 3000m, 50 km far from Yerevan one of the unusual and mysterious monuments of Armenia is located- Tegher Monastery/1220-1232/. Though calling it a monastery is not useable as compared with the other monastery complexes. This monument consists of st Astvatsatsin church and a gavit/narthex/. But here is a detail that changes all the approches of the world mind about the church architecture. There are two churches built above the gavit, that has no entrances, though they were built according to the construction rules. The tombs of powerful Prince Vache Vachutyan and his wife is in this mysterious building. In the northern prayer house of st Astvatsatsin church Yeghbayrik- the architect of the monastery- is buried. This architect, as a historic personality, isn't so known in the history of Armenia, but the monasteries he built are magnificient and different from one another- Tegher, Saghmosavank, Ohanavank. Tegher monastery is surrounded by walls that were renovated in 1468. The surrounding area of the monastery astonishes with its mountinous beauty,and one more interesting thing-near the Tegher monastery is the famous Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory named after Viktor Hambartsumyan.

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TSAGHKEVANK

There is a saint chapel dug in a cave on the slopes of Mount Ara which is called Tsaghkevank/ after the name of Tsaghik virgin/. A droplet of water is constantly falling from the roof of the chapel, and they say that it is the virgin Tsaghik's tears . People use that water both for healing their eyes and the eyes of the domastic animals. Local inhabitents celebrate both the Christian and pagan feasts here.

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VAHANAVANK

Vahanavank, the religious and cultural center of historical Syunik Province, is situated 6 km south from city Kapan, in a picturesque place near the waterfall rushing through the mountain. The monastery is popular with the arches of one of its buildings. There are strange pillars in the place of the main arch and also stones scattered around. Prince Gagik's son Vahan built this monastery in 911. They say that Prince Vahan, who is buried here, wanted to become a monk to cure himself of demonic possession. On a small hill, in front of Vahanavank is the church st. Astvatsatsin built by Queen Shahandukht of Syunik, in the 11th century.

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VOROTNAVANK

Vorotnavank is located on the left part of Vorotan gorge, on the top. Prior to the construction of the church Vorotnavank, stood a shrine to Saint Gregory the Illuminator. In 1000, Queen Shahandukht, by the order of King Smbat, built the church St. Stepanos, as well as workshops, warehouses and surrounded it by walls. In 1006 King Vasak's brother built st. Karapet church and the gavit/narthex/. There is a pendulous column/like one in the monastery of Tatev/ which means that in this monastery, the clergymen were ordained, princes were consecrated and so on. The great Armenian philosopher of the Middle Ages Hovhan Vorotnetsi (1315-1388) undertook scientific and church activity in Vorotnavank.

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'WINGS OF TATEV'

The longest and the highest reversible ropeway was built in Armenia in 2010. It has a 5752m length and units Village Halidzor to Tatev Monastery, leaving at about 500m deep Vorotan Gorge under it. The ropeway was called "Wings of Tatev" and it set the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest non-stop reversible aerial tramway.The ropeway has two cabins, each one accomodates 30 passengers. It takes the tourists only 11 minutes 25 seconds to get to Tatev Monastery. ''Wings of Tatev'' is especially attractive to adventurers, lovers of acute emotions and to whom the charm of the mountains is everything.

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TSAKHATS KAR

Tsakhats Kar medieval monastery complex is located on a high plateau, 6km north from the village Eghegis, Vayots Dzor province. The complex consists of two group of constructions being 200m far from one another. The western part of the construction are badly ruined. The main church of it is a four-apsides, domed building. This part of the complex was built in the 10th century. The eastern part of the construction are well preserved , built in 1041. St. Karapet domed-church has a unique beauty due to its bas reliefs and delicate archetectural lines. The second construction is a two-storied mausleum church. According to the architectural form, the monument belongs to the series of two-storied mausleum-church, in which the first floor is the mausleum and there are prayer houses on the second floor.

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UNDERGROUND CITY

The Curved city-one of the most prominent monuments of medieval Armenia (X-XI cc) is located near the city of Spitak. The city is completely curved in the rocky cliffs of the Pambak Canyon. From the bottom of the gorge to the entrances of the city, there were only two stair-shaped hills, which in case of danger have been blocked by a stone wall. There are shelters, churches inside, some of the caves are adjusted to be used as smaller markets. The shelters and caves are linked to one another by the secret passageways for security reasons.

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HNEVANK

Hnevank( church of ''Lively wood'', Hnavank, Dznevank) is located on the right bank of the River Dzoraget, Stepanavan region, in a place called Vishapadzor. The church /7th century/ is domed one, it is rectangular outside, and three-apses inside, made of red polished felsite.The narthex/gavit/ , from the western part, was built in 1186-1206. According to epigraphy it was reconstructed by Smbat Orbelian in 1144. The church was a chalcedonian one during the 12-13 centuries.

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ST. GHAZANCHETSOTS OF SHUSHI

Holy Savior/Amenaprkich/ Ghazanchetsots is the Cathedral of Shushi, built in 1868-1887. It is the second important spiritual center of Artsakh, after Gandzasar. It consists of a church/1868-1887/ and of a belfry. At present it is the seat of the Diocese of Artsakh. The cathedral was mentioned in the book ''A travel to Armenia'' by Mesrop Takhidyan /1820/. According to Shahen Mkrtchyan it is because the bell tower was built earlier than the church, and there was another church dated the 18th century in that place. The bell tower was built by Abraham Khandamiryants from Shushi. There is an inscription on the eastern part of the belfry.It says: "the bell tower was built in the memory of Gabriel Hovsepyan-Batiryants, Mkrtich Margaryan-Khandamiryants, also in the memory of his wife, sons-Arupe and Stepan, and for all the people from Ghazanchi. Thanks God, and let the souls of deads and alives be saved, 1858, summer''. The dates of the construction are written in the upper part of the southern wall. After the massacres in Shushi in 1920, the Cathedral was declined. Taking advantages, the Azerbaijanis first used it as a storage, later on it tured to be a garage. During that very period the statues of the angels in front of the Cathedral were destroyed. Before the liberation of Shushi, the Cathedral was in semi ruins, and the dome was ruined. During the Nogharno-Karabakh Conflict, hundreds of boxes of Grad missiles of Azerbaijan were in the cathedral. After the liberation of Shushi, the cathedral was totally renovated and isbeing operated since 1998.

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