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 FORTRESSGoroz/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 large 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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KECHARIS

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KHOR VIRAP

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MAYRABERD

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MEGRI

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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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