MOUNT ARARAT

During the whole time the titinic work of the nature forces have always been a sense of horror for all the nations. That force not only has destroyed but has created magnificent natural monuments which have been the property of world civilization- among them Ararat massif. The first facts about Mount Ararat have been known from one of the ancient literary work of the world -epic poem ''Epic of Gilgamesh'.

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GANDZASAR

The arcithactural complex of Gandzasar with its wonderful surrounding nature is one of the most memorable treasures of Armenian's millennial arcithactual heritage. Charles Diehl, a Byzantionlogist and a prominent professor at the Sorbonne University, ranked Gandzasar the third one from five Armenian arcithactural works among the wonders of the world. The monastery of Gandzasar is generally composed of a church and a gavit/narthex/ which are tied to one another so closely as if one massive, and as if they are not separate constructions but are built at the same period. The exterior and interior architectural and decorative richness of the church make a unit by making the temple one of the masterpieces of Armenian art. The angles of space underneath the dome are included with vertical bunches of semi-pillars which circle the central part of the temple. The upper parts of the narrow windows of the drum (one on the north, south, and west) have been developed with large bezels. The drum of Gandzasar dome is round, drawn with eight pairs of semi-columns. The wall decorations of the stage are extremely rich. The gavit was the mausoleum of Hasan Jalalian dynasty. Gandzasar monastic complex dates to 10-13 century. With its magestic beauty Gandzasar is really popular as a masterpiece of Artsakh national architaecure. Its importence is vivid due to hundreds of monuments surrunding it, which circle it like ' soldiers' and keep the ''pearl' of Khachen.

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AGARAK

During the excavations in Agarak settlement, the Urartian rock-cut mauseloum of Kingdom Van was discovered. Most probably, the mausoleum concerns to the 8th-7th centuries.

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GEGHARD

The stone is the symbol of Armenia, the mountains- its ornament. Armenians are proud like their mountains, ‘raw’ as their stony land. But the flexible and ingenious Armenian mind is enough to work out that stone and it'll become a cross-stone, shrine, stony temple, stony door, stony chapel. The stone is everything for the Armenians- it's a flower, tracery; either pomegranate or grape, it is the soul of Armenians, her/his fortune, destiny, identity and defender.

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HRIPSIME

Perhaps, no one in the world is connected with its religion so warmly as the Armenian people. The Armenians' attachment to their religion is explained by love which is an inexplicable, forgiving and winning one. And with all this, we meet with a mysterious miracle of the Armenian gene - love towards God, toward Christianity which Armenians express through creative art. There is no other place in the world where Christian churches have so many diversity as in Armenia.

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KHORAKERT

On the north-western side of the Lori Province, on the slopes of the Mount Lalvar, Khorakert monastic complex raises which is the wonder of the Armenian land. Surrounded by dense forests, on the slopes of a tremendous mountain, Khorackert seems to be a wise old man who came from a past, and he is just to reveal some unknown truth to people.

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NORAVANK

Noravank is the most famous monastery of the Province Vayots Dzor, about 110 km south-east from Yerevan. Noravank is truly unique in the global architecture, it was built during the XIII-XIV centuries.

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ZVARTNOTS

Zvartnots is the 7th century greatest achievement of the Armenian Golden age architecture and a unique masterpiece of the world. The legends have been invented over Zvartnots for centuries.

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ARMAVIR

The city of Argishtikhinili (later Armavir) was founded in 776 BC, by the Urartian King Argishti I, on the left bank of the River Araks in the Ararat valley. Argishtikhinili was one of the largest and most luxurious cities in the Urartian kingdom, and many Urartian manuscripts have been preserved, containg a great deal of information about it.

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AZOKH

The cave in the village of Azokh, Artsakh, is one of the most ancient Caucasian settlements of the Stone Age. Old Armenian historians have repeatedly mentioned the Azokh cave. During the Mongol and Tatar attacks, the rulers of Amaras concealed the treasures of Artsakh in here.

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ARTASHAT

Artashes I founded the new capital of Armenia in 166 BC. It was located on 9 hills, in the place of coalescence of the rivers Yeraskh and Metsamor. This site was chosen by Artashes I with the help of the ancient world genius general-Hannibal.

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GARNI

Garni pagan temple and the fortress is located 28 km far from Yerevan. Garni temple is the most famious sight of Armenia. It had a great fame du to its inaccessibility, unique scenery and wonderful climate that's why it was the summer residence of the Armenian kings in 1st century BC. According to historian Movses Khorenatsi (5th century) the fortress was founded in 2167 BC and the temple was founded in the 1st century AD by Tiridate I.

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DVIN

The capital Dvin was built during the reign of King Khosrov Kotak in 335 AD. It became the new capital of Arshakuni/Arsacid/ Armenia. In a short period of time the city's population reached to 100,000. The city had two layers of defensive walls, towers. The city was on the hill, on the top of which was the citadel with adjacent buildings.

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EREBUNI

Erebuni-Yerevan the capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by the King Argishti I of the Kingdom of Van. It is located in the south-eastern part of present-day Yerevan, on the hill called Arin-Berd. It was a magnificent fortress fortified with strong walls. In some places, the three-layer wall kept is of up to 12 meters height. The fortress has a gate with a gradual entrance.

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LCHASHEN

In the 1950s when the level of Lake Sevan decreased several meters, the archaeologists discovered ancient mausoleums on the eastern side of the Lchashen village, Gegharkunik province. Here the city of Ishtikuni was found, mentioned in cuneiforms. It was a developed city, the main evidence of which are the two-wheeled and four-wheeled carts, chariots, silver and gold objects, made in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC.

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KARMIR BLUR

The Karmir Blur Fortress (Teishebaini), which summarizes the entire chronicle of ancient history of Armenia, is in the District Shengavit, Yerevan, near the River Hrazdan. It was built by Urartian King Rusa II in the 6th century. Founding the fortress and taking into consideration a very strategic position of it, Rusa II brought here the part of the property of the pre-urartian settlement and the entire fortune of the Erebuni fortress.

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METSAMOR

Metsamor is the oldest settlement of historic Armenia / the end of the IV millennium and the beginning of the III millennium/. From the beginning of the ΙΙ millennium, it is a developed city occupying 100 hectares. The citadel, with powerful cyclopean walls and a large temple complex with seven sanctuaries, is particularly well excavated. The ziggurate observatory, the oldest in the world, is located on a small hill of the citadel.

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SHENGAVIT

The Shengavit Settlement is an archaeological site and occupies 6 hectares area. During the excavations numerous buildings were found out, including a building with a rectangular plan/layout/, dated to 27-28c BC. There have been found huge wheat siloses near the building area. One of the most exceptional findings is the charmer made from soft stone. The remarkabel thing is the wedge-form/cuneiform/ornaments on the stone. If it is a cuneiform inscription, that means it is the oldest in the Caucasus.

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UGHTASAR

Ughtasar petroglyphs are located about 25 km north of the city Sisian, at an altitude of 3300 m above sea level. The road to leading to that place is difficult and is accessible only in June-September. These rocky testimonies of the Armenian ancestors' artistic thinking are dated approximately to the V-II millenniums BC. They are engraved on more than 1000 quartz.

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TIGRANAKERT (ARTSAKH)

Tigranakert was founded in Artsakh by the King of Armenia-Tigran(II) the Great. It is the only settlement by the name of Tigran, whose place has accurately been clarified and that is still being subjected to archaeological research. As a result of the excavations, a part of the walls of the citadel, the rocky bases of the walls and a part of the basilica of the central part were opened.

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KARAHUNJ

Settlement-observatory/the beginning of the II millennium/, some researchers date it to Neolithic period (the new Stone Age). Giant menhirs, each of them has well-developed holes. The menhirs are placed in circle- the large circle and the small circle in the center. There are also well-preserved stone houses, where the first attempt was made by a neolitian to cover a house with a stone roof.

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Oshakan village

In separate parts of the Didi-Kond hill, located in the center of Oshakan village, monuments of various eras have been revealed. A quadrate castle, with huge stones fastened with mortar, was excavated at the top of the hill/VII-V centuries BC/. There are cellars and residential buildings inside the castle. On the northern slope of the hill and on the foot of it 5 palace complexes were founded/VII c BC/ ,of which only the first and part of the second one are excavated; the latter consists of 40 rooms, halls and temples.

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MARRIAGE

The marriage for the Armenians is special and somehow mysterious. The Armenians look for their second halves with care and thoroughly .It is important the spouse /female or male/ to be phisically and psycologically perfect, the most important is intellect. The spouse should be intelligent and educated.The spouses' parents carefully examine the bride or the bridegroom.Then the bride and the bridegroom start to get acquainted with each other , and after that the day of the wedding party is fixed.

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WINE

The wine has a 9000-year-old history in the Armenian Highland. It was considered a unique beverage for the gods and kings in Armenia. To compress the grape in the winepress was a ritual the right of which was only for the men. It was supposed that the wine which was pressed by the women become vinegar very easily.

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DOLMA

Dolma with the leaves of the grape: the leaves of the grape-vine are gathered, wrapped together in a special way and are kept till the autumn. And it is sold in a ready-form in autumn.The famous Armenian ''dolma'' is prepared using the grape leaves which are kept in a special way. Dolma has been known since Urartian periods.

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FAMILY TRADITIONS

In the ancient times mastering carpet weaving was a must for each Armenian woman. A girl was preapering to get married from the early ages. She should have known both carpet weaving and sewing. The dowry was bride's handmade work. Generally, master gave the style of the carpet and the young girls weaved it.

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ZHINGYALOV HATS

Zhingyalov hats is considered a traditional Artsakh dish. It is especially well prepаred by the Artsakh Armenians. The dish consists of a dough and a plant called zhingyal which is grown only in Artsakh. Armenian women gather zhingyal the season of which starts from May till the end of summer.

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KHASH

Traditional Armenian and one can say exclusively Armenian dish. Armenians have been eating 'khash' from the early times. At first it was ' the poors' dish' but later on it gradually became a national one. And even the process of ' khash eating' includes the idea of pride, dignity and also the respect to the guests. Khash is not eaten alone, it isn't an individual dish. Hardly anyone can find an Arminian who eats khash alone.

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ARIES

Aries has been a saint animal for all the times in Armenia. And today the aries is worshiped by the Armenians because it is the only oblation animal in Armenia. The walls of pre-Christian and Christian armenian temples have always been portrayed the heads of aries/ram/.

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ARMENIAN MAN

The head of the Armenian family is Armenian man, the defender and the 'legislator' of it. He never deals with the inner affairs of the family/ it is considered to be shameful/. He is a soldier, the symbol of strength and wisdom. The most difficult affair is entrusted to only the Armenian man. He must build a house and protect it.

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ARMENIAN BREAD- LAVASH

Armenia is in the geographical zone known as 'Golden Bow' for its ancient traditions of baking bread. That is why bread plays a very important role in our nation's menu. And the psychology of our people is even very interesting because we say not 'to have supper', 'to have breakfast',' to have dinner', etc., but just to "eat bread."

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HARISSA

Harissa is a tipical national dish in Armenia but meanwhile it is prepared in a special way in each district of Armenia. It is made of wheat. At first the wheat is steamed and dried, after that it is beaten with a special tool which is called 'zing'. Then the wheat is husked after which it is tured into groats. Harissa is being made in such a way: you take groats and meat/ the meat must be only chicken one/ and cook till the meat and the groats merge into the water.

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АRMENIAN LANGUAGE

The Armenian language is one of the most ancient languages in the world that have been used for already 4500 years. It is an Indo-European language and it forms its own separate branch in that family. Armenian is spoken by 10 million Armenians, among whom 3.2 million in Armenia. Generally, there is an opinion among the linguists that the Armenian language is the second one after the French language by its luxury. Armenian has 120 thousand roots which enables to do translations from any language into Armenian perfectly.

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FUNERAL

Armenians bury their deceaseds in the earth/they don't cremate/. The funeral ritual has been conserved and passed from generation to generation from the ancient times. If in the ancient times the deceased was buried in a stone sarcophagus-mausoleum from tufa, after adopting christianity the deceased was buried in a wooden coffin. The ancient funerals were rich providing the deceased with all necessery things in afterlife.

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ARMENIANS

In general, Armenians are proud by nature, independent, respectable and also spirited, with high intelect, traditionalists. By appearance the Armenian men are mddle-height, handsome, with the specific features typical to Caucasian race, with black hair and brown eyes and Armenian women are slim with 'almond shaped' eyes.

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MATSUN

Matzoon/or strained matzoon/ is one of the useful meals of Armenian cuisine which is the basis of longlivity. Of course, different scientists have their proofs about the usefulness of matzoon. But the best proof about the usefulness of this meal is the good health of our grandpas and grandmas. By the way, it should be mentioned, that Armenian 'tan'/kind of yogurt drink/ with its magnificent scent is made of matzoon.

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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

According to the Armenian historian Aghatangelos, Tiridates the Great/Tiridates III/, during the persecutions of Christians, imprisoned Gregory the Illuminator in the prison of city Artashat where Illuminator stayed 14 years. After being released from the prison, from Khor Virap/ in Armenian 'khor' means deep,'virap' means pit, so Khor Virap is the deep pit where st.Gregory the Illuminator was thrown by the order of the king/ and having the patronage of the king, st.Gregory proclaimed the Christianity as a state religion. A church was built in the place of Khor Virap in the 5th century. Besides being a saint place and sanctuary, Khor virap has become all Armenians center of education and science. Vardan Areveltsi founded a high school here in 1255. In the 16th century the constructions of the church were badly damaged because of the political and economic conditions of Armenia. David Virapetsi built the walls and the inside buildings of the monastery in 1666-1669. The whole construction of the main church St.Astvatsatsin was accomplished in 1703. The pillared belfry was constructed from the western part of the church at the end of the 19th century.

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LORE BERD

On the left bank of the River Dzoraget, on a glorious gorge there was a Kingdom Tashir Dzoraget/founded in the 10 century/ , the capital city of which was Lore Fortress located 4km far from the city Stepanavan. The royal bath and the ruins of royal palace are well preserved. The walls of the city and the only gate are also well preserved. The arched bridge in the gorge connacted the right and the left parts of the city. Due to the historic sources Armenian King Ashot Yerkat Bagratuni lived in that fortress that is why Lore Berd/Lore Fortress/ is sometimes called Ashot Yerkat.

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MAKARAVANK

Makaravank is in Tavush Region, near Achajur village, 150km far from Yerevan.  The monastic complex is on the top of the Mount Paytatap surrounded by huge walls and oak forests. The complex is constructed by dark-rose andesite, tufa and some kind of green stone. All this in  harmony with the  wild beauty of the mount and with the greenery of the virgin forest creates an amazing artistic image. Everything in here 'breaths' with antiquity even the fresh cold water coming from the oldest pipe near the entrance to the monastry complex. The monastic complex consists of  3 churches, a gavit/narthex/, a zhamatun/chapel/ and other buildings, as well as walls and the spring/fountain /outside the complex. The oldest church of the complex dates to the 10th century, and the main church -1204,  the gavit-1207, st. Astvatsatsin small church -1198.  It is worth of mentioning that in Armenia, no one church, monastery with its architectural details look alike . For example, the main church of Makaravank monastery is a sample of the Armenian magnificent sculpture.  The uniquness of Makaravank in Armenian architecture is also the light which comes from the round and rectangular windows, but each window is an embroidered masterpiece.

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MARMASHEN

Marmashen monastic complex is 120km far from Yerevan, near the city Gyumri. It was founded by the Prince Vahram Pahlavuni during 986-1029. Sometimes Marmashen is called Vahramashen. Vahram Pahlavuni was the Armenian sparapet/general, millitary commander of the Armenian Army/, legendary commander during the last period of the Bagratuni Kings. In 1045 V.Pahlavuni defeated Byuzantine army near the capital city Ani three times. The monastry complex is the inimitable "pearl" of the Armenian architecture having the worldwide architecture Tiridate's "seal" on itself. Tiridate did everything to satisfy the powerful and capricious commander.The monastery complex is a synthesis of Armenian architectural schools. Consisting of four churches and a gavit-mausoleum, the monastery is a delicate union of totally different constructions. The surrounding area is quite special one. The church is on the River Akhurian,on a rocky hill. The surrounding hills have totally golden colour like field of the ripe wheat.There are apple orchards around the monastery. No one can go beyond this fantastic sceneary being a little artist at the buttom of her/his heart: an infinite 'golden' hills, emerland green inside, and, in the center, an amazing delicate monastery made of dark blue tufa raising to the sky. Perhaps this is the only case in the world when a person's real life becomes a legend during his/her lifetime and is perpetuated by another genius- in the "fairytale" by the architect Tiridate.

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MAYRABERD

The Askeran castle was built in the XVIII century. The architecture of the fortress as well as construction art of it has a lot in common with the Bovurkhan fortress-complex (XVII century), Avetaranots (XVIII), as well as with the castles in Shushi. The lower valley of the Karkar River, geographically, is a gateway, closing the entrance to Artsakh from Mughan fielld. And those very gates were the shortest paths that the Turks used to penetrate Artsakh to conquer the city Shushi. To protect the 'heart' of Artsakh, the gates in the VIII century turned into an inaccessible and durable castle with a unique plan. So the castle, along with the Armenian settlements nearby, have been called Mayraberd since then.

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MEGRI

Streching along the River Meghri, the city Meghri is on the lower stream  of it. It has a warm climate where sweet fruits grow that is why, maybe, the name of the city is Meghri/ in Armenian ''meghr'' means ''honey'',  so Meghri-"honey town"/. The fortress of Meghri has played a great role in protecting the city and is situated on the top of the northeastern mountain range. Each part of Meghri has its own church. In the left part of the city still you can see St. Astvatsatsin church/17 century/, well preserved. It is  a four-pillared-domed basilica: the alter, column, prayer houses are decorated with frescoes of  the 19th century. The church St. Hovhannes Mkrtich is on the right bank of the river. It is a three-nave-basilica and dates to the 17 century. The central part spreads around the church of Mets Tagh on the slopes of the mountain. It is like an amphitheatre where the series of the houses are in such a way that the roof of the one house serves as a yard for the another one. The lanes and the sinuous streets have a remarkable architectural and ethnographic appearance. St. Hovhannes church in Meghri is on the eastern part of the city/built in the 11-13 centuries/.

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MUGHNI

The church is located in the southern part of the village Mughni, Aragatsotn Region. The church of Mughni was founded by the Hovhanavank Unity by bringing st. George's relics there. It is a four-pillared-domed basilica constructed of black and red tufa. From the western part there is a three arched open hall with a belfry inside. The dome is in the center of the large prayer hall, on cruciform columns. The relics of disciple Thaddeus, Mattew the Apostle as well as  the relics from the right hand of st. George have been kept in the church for a long time. A number of manuscripts were written during the 13-15th centuries. St. George church of Mughni has become a pilgrimage place for people.

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OSHAKAN

St Mesrop Mashtots church is in the center of Oshaka. It was built by the Catolicos George IV in 1875-79 in the very place of the church founded by Vahan Amatuni in 443. The mausoleum of Mesrop Mashtots is under the altar of the church/443/ ; it is a rectangular arched cell with niches in the eastern part and with clefts in the western part and also having enterances both from northern and southern sides/the northern entrance is closed and the southern one -leads to the prayer house/. In 1960, the interior of the church was coverd with frescos. The two-storied belfry is adjacent from the eastern part/1884/. It is a unique construction in Armenian architecture both with the location and the cylinder form volume. Both the mausoleum of Mesrop Mashtots and St Mesrop Mashtots church in Oshakan is considered to be the second main senctuary after St Etchmiadzin. Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian Alphabet, is one of the great saints of the Armenian Church.

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KOBAYR MONASTERY

Kobayr Monastery is one of the prominent monuments of the Armenian architecture of developed Middle Ages the history of which is closely connected with the outstanding Armenian medieval dynasties- The Bagratuni/Bagratid/ and the Zakarians/Zakarids/. The Kobayr Monastery, as a priory, was already famous and fully completed at the end of the XIII century. The monastery complex is remarkable with its valuable archicectural memorials, with its high level of stone processing and decorataion, with frescos illustrating the cluster of the Armenian medieval painting. Kobayr is one of the most important educational/literary/ and cultural centers the activity of which is connected with the prominent historian of the XII century-David Kobayretsi.

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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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SANAHIN MONASTERY

Sanahin, the glory of medieval Armenia, is situated 170 km far from Yerevan in the area of city Alaverdi, on the edge of steep gorge of Deped . The art of the Armenian arcitecure has astomished the whole world till now.Armenians have built monasteries, fortresses on the tops of the mountains, on the edge of the deep and steep gorges, one of which is Sanahin the constuction art and the scientific meaning of which is out of the national borders.Sanahin monastery consists of two churches, a zhamatun/ of 10th century/, an academy building/11th century/, a book depository/ 1063/, a gallery/ of 10th century/, a gavit/narthex, 1181/, a belfry/ of 13th century/ and a bridge/1192/.The exact date of the first construction is unknown, but in 10th – 11th cc, the number of monkhood was already over hundreds. In that period Sanahin became the largest educational centre, and the school turned into an academy. In the Armenian history it is known as Academy after Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni. The academy paid a great attention to teaching human science in those times. The main church was built by the auspices of Queen Khosrovanush/the wife of Ashot the 3rd Voghormats/, for 'the goodness of her sons Smbat and Kyurikeh'. At the end of the 10th century that church was the cathedral of the Kingdom Lori, a symbol of power and wonder. In the territory of Sanahin monastery there are family cemetery of two powerful princes: the branch of Zakarids-Arghutians and Zakaryan Princes/who were the governors of Transcaucasia in 12th – 13th cc, the destructors of the state of Seljuks, and the wealthy Armenian people of XIXc/. We also should mention the crossstone of the architect of this wonderful monastery – Grigor Tutevordi. Everything in Sanahin is in harmony- architecture, engineering, spiritual part.Maybe here is the mystorious influence and that Sanahin is the birthplace of such famous people as Loris Melikov/ the general in Russun Empire in 1876-80/, Artem Mikoyan/popular aircraft designer, also designer of MIG millitary aircraft/, Anastas Mikoyan/ the second person in the Soviet Union in the 20th c, head of the of Supreme Council the Soviet Union, a great diplomat in the resolustion of Cuban Missile Crisis/.

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SARDARAPAT

In Sardarapat Museum /Armenia Ethnography Museum and the National Liberation Movement/ one can see exibits of Before Christ as well as things considered to be the indivisable parts of the Armenian life in the 20 century. The museum has over 70 000 exhibitions and 4500 sq m exhibition area. Xenophone testifies that Armenia used oil in the IX century BC. Besides, the world oldest leather shoe was made in Armenia in 3500 BC. And here in Armenia, human skull surgery operation was done a millennium ago. The whole evidence of the above mentioned is kept in Sardarapat Memorial complex museum. Tools having a millennium history are kept here which are invaluable not only for the Armenians but for all the humanity. There is a exhibition hall of the Battle of Sardarapat dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the historic battle.

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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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LAKE SEVAN

Lake Sevan is the largest mountain freshwater lake and the largest one in Transcaucasia surrounded by Pambak, Sevan, Vardenis and Geghama mountain ranges. Before decreasing the the level of the water ( for the industrial purpose in 1949 ), the surface of the water was 1416 sq.km, the maximum depth was 99 m. Now the surface of the lake is 1244 sq.km, the maximum depth is 81 m, the water volume is 39 billion m3. It is 1898 meters high above sea level, 28 rivers flow into the lake and one river begins - Hrazdan River. Arpa-Sevan  long tunnel (48km) was built to preserve the lake level at the end of  the 20th century. This structure was one of the engineering miracles of those times. Sevan is the largest resort zone in Armenia. Various holiday homes, tour-bases, beaches, etc., extend across the lake (around 300 km). The surrounding area of the lake is also rich with historical monuments, famous monastery complexes, fortresses, and cyclopean fortresses of the kingdom of Van. But above all the mentioned, the Sevan Island monasteries (built in 878) are characterized by a strong architectural style and extremely attractive landscapes. The other one, of course, is Lchashen,  built in 2000 BC. This is a unique city, the discovery of which is enough to write an entire adventure novel. Like anything in Armenia, Sevan is also incomparable with its unique identity and peculiarity. The only type of "trout" fish  is an endemic species of  Lake Sevan and it is extremely delicious and extremely expensive. Many attempts have been made to acclimatize  trouts, but nothing has been achieved (a trout weighs 150 g, 2-3 years old- 20kg). There are many legends associated with Lake Sevan and its famous fish- the trout. One of them is that Khrushchev, the head of the Soviet Empire, liked the trout so much that he ordered to build the Arpa-Sevan tunnel (48 km) to save Lake Sevan and  its trout.

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AZAT GORGE

The River Azat has a 56 km lenght and a drainage basin of 548 square km. It starts from the Geghama Mountains and flows into the Araks/Aras/ River, largely impetuous and fast. It flows through the narrow gorge and goes down to the Ararat valley.

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LAKE AKNA

Lake Akna is a volcanic lake. It is located on the slopes of the Geghama Mountains. It is 3030m high above the sea level, the surface of the lake is 0.5 square km. The lake is fed with snow and springs. It is surrounded by young volcanic cones and alpine meadows.

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LAKE AYGHR

The lake Ayghr is in the Ararat valley, 30 km far from Yerevan. The lake has a surface of 7.2 hectare, the maximum depth is 10m. The Metsamor River starts from it. The peculiarity of the lake is that it is fed from groundwater, that's the reason that the water of the lake is cold, clear and very tasty.

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MOUNT ARAGATS

Тhe highest point of the Republic of Armenia is the Mount Aragats (4095 meters). It is located in the north-west of Armenia and has a central location. In the ancient times it was one of the largest active volcanoes of the Armenian Highlands. It now has 4 peaks, which are the ''walls''/preserved till now/ of the decayed crater as a result of strong volcanic explosion.

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MOUNT ARA

The Mount Ara is located in the Kotayk and Aragatsotn Regions of Armenia, 33 km north to Yerevan. The gardens of apple named "demirchian"/one of the type of apples in Armenia/ are on the way to the mount. The mount Ara is relatively isolated from other mountain ranges and is interesting from geomorphological point of view.

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MOUNT ARMAGHAN

Armaghan mountain is located at an altitude of 2829 m above sea level. The peak of the mountain is crowned with a magnificent lake view. The lake of 100 diameter is fed from rainwater. The beautiful surroundings of the mountain and the lake of volcanic origin make it one of the best sights in Armenia. Locals say that Armaghan is the God's gift: once you visit there, you will definitely return again and again.

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ARJER CAVE

Arjer cave is located in the Province Vayots Dzor, 150 km south-east from Yerevan, near Noravank monastery complex. It is possible to reach there only on foot, with narrow paths, in severe mountainous conditions. It is 30 minutes way from Noravank. But these difficulties are fully compensated by watching the cave- the amazing wonder of nature.

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LAKE ARPI

Lake Arpi is the largest water reservoir in Armenia after Lake Sevan. It is located on the Ashotsk plateau at the altitude of 2020m. The lake surface is more than 20 square meters, the volume is 105 milion cubic kilometers. It is fed by springs and rivers. It frozes in winter.

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NATURAL PYRAMIDS

The full panoramic view of Goris city is marvelous. The city is in a vast valley of River Vararak surrounded by the wooded mountains . The surrounding area of the city is full of unique towers, castles, pyramids and caves. These are the 'works' of Zangezur Nature.

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DENDROPARK

In 1933 on the northern slopes of Bazum mountain range, 150km north-west to Yerevan the first Botanical Garden of Armenia was founded. The Botanical Garden has 35 hectares area, 17.5 hectares of which are natural forest, and 15 hectares are trees assimilated to the climate. More than 2,500 plant species have been tested during the 70 years, trying to find a new species which can grow there.

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LASTIVER

The Ijevan Region is a place of worship of the pagan period and it doesn't have a similar one in Armenia. It is called "Anapat Cave". It is known that thousands of years ago before the Christianity was proclaimed as a state religion in Armenia, there was a place of worship here. It was dedicated to one of the deities, most probably to Nane or Anahit. The evidence of it is a number of bas reliefs of women on the walls of the cave.

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LATSOGH SYUNER

In the western part of the Kobayr monastery there is a steep cliff with about 150m height. The water jets, starting from it, are entwined with an inspirational landscape. The huge stone columns like a gigantic pipe organ, under the influence of an invisible force, hung on the infinite abyss.

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KHOSROV FOREST STATE RESERVE

There are numerous evidences in the history of humanity that the kings or wealthy people of this or that state, have built reservoirs, artificial lakes and forests. But perhaps everyone will agree, that in this aspect, Armenia is an exclusive one. The Armenian mind is original in all respects, up to changing landscape created over thousands of years and preserving the artificially modified appearance for millennia. King Khosrov Kotak (330-338 BC), during his short reign, perpetuated in the memory of the Armenian people for two cases- by founding the city Dvin, in 335, which was the capital city of Armenia for 630 years and the largest city in the East, yielding only to Baghdad , and secondly - planting a large forest next to the capital and filling it with hunting animals. This forest still exists, called "Khosrov Forest" and is the oldest artificial forest in the world of 1,700 years. Currently, the forest area is a state reserve, established in 1958, with a total area of 23,878 hectares. It is located on the slopes of the Geghama Ridge and its mountainous areas, within the limits of 850-2300 m absolute altitudes. In the valleys of Khosrov and Azat Rivers, the majority of trees are juniper and fraxinus ones. Flora of the reserve numbers 1849 species of vascular plants. More than 80 species are listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia and 24 species are endemic. Forest coverage is 16%. Glades, scrubs and shrubs occupy 20% and the remaining 64% is represented by different types of symbiosis of high-mountainous zone. Fauna includes 44 species of mammals, 192 birds, 33 reptiles, 5 amphibians and 9 fish. Stony, rocky, steep slopes of the reserve are habitats for brown bear (Ursus arctos syriacus), bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus) and Caucasian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica) which are registered in the Red Data Book of Armenia. As to compare with the flora of St. Petersburg, it is of about 800 species. Havuts Tar Monastery, Aghjots Monastery and is located on the territory of the reserve, Aghzhts Monastery and the Geghi (Kakavaberd) castle and bridge,built on the Azat River in the 1-13th centuries are located in the territory of the reserve.

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LORI GORGE

Lori is an ecologically cleanest region of Armenia and of the whole region, and always attracts the most enthusiastic person with an amazing force. The concept of the Lori valley is quite wide, it includes several canyons of rivers and canyon of Debed River. The peculiarity of this region is the huge massifs surrounded by thick oak and beech centuries-old forests. The rivers, in here, are mountainous, flooded, powerful, and they spliti mountain ranges creating deep, beautiful canyons typical only of Armenia. A number of canyons are so unique and charm that inspired artists, and there are also those which are terribly horrible. Lori has always been a place of brave men, mystical stories, and even there are places where people have not yet set foot. By the way, there are many such places in Armenia, but Lori is the most conspicuous. These amazing natural wonders are especially enjoyable with the mighty castles and fortresses on the top of mountains, and the wonderful monasteries and temples in the valleys.

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KHUSTUP

There are numerous and difficult trails which lead to the historic and natural places of interest. And the adventureres will find the huge Khustup mountain on the altitude of 3201m height . With its stepp granite cliffs Khustup is a dangerous experiment for even the most experienced climbers. There are at least 5 different comlicated trials leading to the top of the mountain and one must be sophesticated and physically strong. There are about 50,000 hectares of forests in Kapan, mainly forests of oak and beech. In the brushwood of Khustup mountain there are mulberry, rosehip, mushrooms, black currant, walnuts and wild cherry. Mountain forests are a shelter for bears, boars, chamois, rams, hedgehogs, lions and lynxes.

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SHAKI WATERFALL

Before reaching town Sisian , near the village of Shake, in a deep gorge at a height of 1700 meters above sea level is the natural wonder of Zangezur - the Waterfall Shaki, with the height of 18 m. They say that during the protection of her native village, a girl named Shake, was fighting against the enemy along with the men.

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SHIKAHOGH STATE RESERVE

Shikahogh Reserve, having more than 10000 ha of protected forests, was founded in 1958. Bears and other animals can be seen in oak and hornbeam forests of Shikahogh. Here is the only park of the beeches in the southern part of Armenia, as well as the unique park of plane tree/platanus/ that stretches from the banks of the Bassuta River up to Arax River and occupy a 60 hectare area.

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LAKE PARZ

The lake Parz is 0,027 square km, located 9 km north-east from Dilijan city, on the picturesque forested slopes of the Areguni mountain range. According to the legend, a couple of newlywed has drowned in this lake. It has become a tradition - all newlyweds come to Parz lake on their wedding day to honor the memory of dead spouses.

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WATERFALL- UMBRELLA

One of the unique miracles of nature in Armenia are the waterfalls in the gorge of Karkar River. Near the Shushi town, the river creates the deepest canyon in Armenia, about 300-350 m. At the bottom of the gorge, at a height of about 30m above the river, a spring flows through the cliff, which slips into the river over the stone caves, creating the cascade of miraculous waterfalls.

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JERMUK WATERFALL

Falling from 70 m height to the canyon Arpa, this natural wonder, which reminds scattered hair, people call it "mermaid's hair". The legend says that a long time ago, on the present-day place of the waterfall, on the top of a rocky cliffs, there was the Prince's fortress. The beauty of the fortress was accomlished by the beauty of prince's daughter.

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SATANI KAMURJ

There is one of nature wonders of Armenia on Vorotan River – Satani kamurj (Devil's Bridge). It is an amazing natural bridge hung on the river, with 150m width and 170 m length. The bridge is made from travertine, limestone and has a flat surface, on which Goris-Tatev road is passing. The bridge is 50m high above the river level.

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SEV LICH/LAKE/

Sev Lake is located in the Syunik Region, on the sounth-eastern part of the hillside Mets Ishkhanasar, at an altitude of 2666 m. The lake has no tributaries and has fresh water. The area is 2 sq. km, the length is 1,6 km, width- 1.2 km, depth- 7,5 m, the volume of water is 9 million cubic meters. The water of the lake is used for irrigation.

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PLANE TREE/PLATANUS/

In the village of Skhtorashen, a huge platanus tree/chinar/ has recently been granted with a 'passport' as the tallest and the eldest/a 2033-year-old/ tree in the world. The chinar has a 44-square-meter hollow, where more than a hundred people can accommodate.

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VARVOGH JUR

"Varvogh jur"/the burning water/ is one of the unique miracles of the nature on the whole planet. It is common springs water without any harmful properties and both the inhabitants of the village and their pets drink that water. But it is enough to light a match and draw it near to the source of the water, when all of a sudden, it flares and the water starts to blaze with a bright blue flame. Many scientists have tried to explain this phenomenon of nature, but in vain.

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KASAGH CANYON

The Kasakh River starts from Mount Aragats, flows southward to the River Metsamor and is mixed with it. Kasakh, first of all, is famous for its canyon- with its vast flow of about 60 km and with a depth of 150-200 m it makes a huge gorge. The charm of the gorge is in its steep basalt and limestone cliffs. In these rocks Armenians have dug caves that have served as shelters, castles and monasteries since the ancient times.

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QARI LICH/LAKE/

The Qari lake is located on the mount Aragats with the height of 3207 m above the sea level and the mirror surface is 0.12 square km. The lake has a beautiful natural setting: on three sides it is surrounded by the slopes of the southern part of the mount and only on one side it has an open visible area. From here one can see the splendid view of Mount Ararat and Ararat Valley.

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WARM WATER OF ZUAR

Warm springs in Karvachar are unique miracles of nature. These springs, also known as "Warm Water", were the summer residence and resort area of Tsar/Zar Principality, and then of Dopian Principality . For centuries, these rich sources have amazed with their unique healing properties. The quantity of the water outflow is about 50 liters per second, the temperature is 45 degrees.

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ARZNI

Arzni is 1420m high above sea level. Now Arzni village is a popular resort area and there are 5 sanatoriums there. Such diseases as gastrointestinal tract, ischemic and rheumatic diseases are treated in the sanatoriums. The climate is continental with mild, cold winters /the average temperature is -5°C in January/, warm and pleasant summer /the average temperature in July is +22 °C/, with long and warm autumn.

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DILIJAN

Dilijan is a spa town and is situated in the picturesque valley of the Aghstev river with the height of 1250m above sea level. The climate is mild, the average temperature is +3°C annualy. It's -2 ° C in January and +3°C , + 18 °C in July. All these factors witness that hardly anyone can find other place in Armenia with such favorable conditions as in Dilijan.

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IJEVAN

Ijevan is the administrative center of Tavush Province and has a picturesque nature. The summers are warm, the winters are mild. 51 percent of the province surface is coverd by mixed forests which are distinguished by the diversity of flora and fauna, by the unique monuments of natural heritage.The Dilijan State Reserve and the Ijevan Forest Park are created in the Aghstev basin to preserve the pre-existing state of the nature, to enrich it and to get new species at local conditions.

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JERMUK

Jermuk was a powerful resort zone during the period of the Soviet Armenia. But compared with the other regions the medical-resort direction was developed in the resort system in Armenia .Among the most famous health resorts in Armenia are resorts in Jermuk, Dilijan, Hanqavan, Arzni. Interestingly, being in the active volcanic belt, in various places on the surface of the Armenian Highland- hot springs appear. It the old times they were known as Jermajur.

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STEPANAVAN

Stepanavan is situated 1380 m high above sea level, on the plateau of Lori, it has a mild climate, which made it one of the best summer resorts in Armenia. The air is clean and clear. Average annual heat is equal to 3.20 in Stepanavan. The coldest temperature is - 30 degrees C. The warmest month is August and it has 170-180 heat.

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TSAGHKADZOR

Tsaghkadzor is located 1710 meters high above sea level. The nature of Tsakhkadzor is beautified by the forests surrounding by three sides and the abundant alpine vegetation. The total area of the forests is about 5,000 hectares. The majority of the trees are oak, maple , birch as well as wild apple and pear trees and pine parks.

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OSHAKAN BATTLE

On August 17, 1827 near the village Oshakan there took place a battle between the Persian Prince Abbas –Mirza( there were 30 000 warriors on Persian side) and the Russian General Krasovsky (3000 on the Russian side). General Krasovsky was coming to help the Russian detachment in Etchmiadzin which was surrounded by the Persians.

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ASKERAN BATTLE

In 1806 General Gudovich sent 400 detachment under the leadership of major Karyagin to support Shushi defenders. The detachment was ambushed near Askeran. For 20 days the Russian detachment had been staying on a hill, resisting the attack of 25,000 Persian army without water and food. Perhaps, this was an extraordinary success in the whole history of Russian army.

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MONUMENT OF FRIENDSHIP

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the liberation of the Eastern Armenia from the Persian Army by the Russian army, in 1978 the Memorial of Friendship of the Armenian and Russian Peoples opened in City Abovian. The memorial complex is the largest in Caucasus by its area. A renowned Armenian writer and literary critic Khachatur Abovyan’s face is carved on the entrance to the complex.

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SEV BERD (BLACK FORTRESS)

The round fortress of Gyumri or the Sev Berd( Black Fortress), as the locals name it, was built in 1830-1836. The giant thick walls of black basalt still have a shocking impression on a viewer. The walls of the fortress are so huge that 100 ordnance have been installed on them and 8,000 garrisons have been put inside.

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SHUSHI FORTRESS

On July, 1826, the Persian prince Abbas-Mirza besieged the fortress of Shushi with 80,000 troops. The small Russian garrison (1700 soldiers) under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Reut organizes the defense of the City Shushi with the help of Armenian villagers who are in the castle as well as those who has come from surrounding villages to have shelter in Shushi.

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MONUMENT TO PASKEVICH

I. Paskevich- prominent Russian military leader, Count of Yerevan, honored Viceroy of Warsaw, General-Field marshal in 1829. He was the military teacher of Emperor Nicholas I. In 1826-1828 during the Russian-Persian war, Paskevich was the commander of the Caucasian Front and personally led the capture of Yerevan fortress in 1827, October 1 and liberate Eastern Armenia.

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HILL OF GLORY

Lake Sevan is the largest mountain freshwater lake and the largest one in Transcaucasia surrounded by Pambak, Sevan, Vardenis and Geghama mountain ranges. Before decreasing the the level of the water ( for the industrial purpose in 1949 ), the surface of the water was 1416 sq.km, the maximum depth was 99 m. Now the surface of the lake is 1244 sq.km, the maximum depth is 81 m, the water volume is 39 billion m3.

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PUSHKIN PASS

One of Pushkin’s important journeys is the journey from Moscow to Erzurum in 1829, during which he passed 5200 kilometers. Later on he published his travelling notes in his book “ A Journey to Arzurum”. A part of that journey was dedicated to Armenia which is described with a special attention.

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RUSSIAN CHURCH

St. Astvatsatsin Orthodox Church in Kanaker district has a history of about 150 years. It is located on the picturesque plateau of Kanaker, Yerevan, next to the Russian military station. The church functions and serves not only the military station, but also the orthodox community of Yerevan.

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PAMBAK BATTLE

1804, the cavalry (6000) of Persian garrison in Yerevan surprisingly attacked the Russian detachment(114 person) in Village Spitak. By joining the Armenian volunteers of the village (100 person), the detachment had resisted over the enemy forces for about 18 days.

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AVAN

Five-domed temple is situated in the northern part of Avan district of Yerevan. The temple is in semi ruins. It is one of the best Armenian architectural monuments in the early medieval periods. The temple was built by Catholicos Hovhan Bagaratsi in the Vl century.

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AGHUDI

Aghudi was one of the first residences in Syunik with its political, religious, military and economic influence in early middle ages. Aghudi is popular with its prominent three-storied memorial which was built in the 6-7th centuries. This memorial alongside with the Odzun memorial are unique preserved memorials in Armenia.

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AMARAS

Amaras is the ancient and the main Christian monument in Arstakh built by Gregory the Illuminator. Yet in 330 Gregory the Illuminator’s grandson – Gregoris was appointed in the position of bishop of Artsakh and the family(dinasty) of Catholicos of Artsakh started.

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АRUCH

St. Gregory church(Aruchavank) was built by prince Grigor Mamikonian in the village Aruch(662-666). The church is a domed-hall type structure. The light panetrates into the church via its 41 windows and 3 wide doors. The frescos of the scenes - the existence of “ The God making Laws’’ and “Ascension’’ from the Bible have been pictured on the dome.

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AGHDZK

The village Aghdzk is famous for the mausoleum from the middle of the IV century, where the remains and relics of pagan and Christian Armenian Arshakid kings were buried. The two-storied underground mausoleum , which has a cross-shaped layout, has been preserved.

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VOSKEPAR

St. Astvatsatsin church is situated in Voskepar village. Judging by the architectural analysis it dates to VI-VII centuries and is among the churches belonging to the Mastara-church type. The walls inside probably were plastered and covered with frescoes.

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ST. GAYANE

St. Gayane church was built by Catholicos Ezra in Vagharshapat(Etchmiadzin) in 630. In 1683 near the front part a portico was built. St. Gayane church is a typical example of a domed basilica type churches (the 1st half of the 7th century). The frames of the windows are typical of the 7th century ones.

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KATOGHIKEH CHURCH, YEREVAN

Katoghikeh st. Astvatsatsin was a 7th century structure. The church has small size( 5,4x7,5m). The only entrance is from the western side. The small hall is succeeded by domed prayer hall in the church layout and after that are the vestries, semi circled altar. The southern, eastern and northern walls have windows.

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YEREROUK

One of the most prominent monuments in the early Christian Armenia is a three-nave basilica- Yererouk . It is located 100 km west to Yerevan. It is a three nave basilica by its architectural structure and was built in Vth century AD(22x33m). The temple is remarkable with its amazing construction combining three architectural schools in itself.

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ETCHMIADZIN

Etchmiadzin is located 15km from Yerevan. It is the oldest temple in the Christian World built by the State. It was built by the King Tiridate III in 303. The Armenian people first adopted Christianity in 301 as a state religion by the famous preacher Gregory the Illuminator.

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KARMRAVOR

The church st. Astvatsatsin (Karmravor) is on the high top of the city Ashtarak as if controling over the city. And this is not because of its huge volume. Despite this, it is rather small, neat, simple and meanwhile common. And this is the beauty of this church.

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ST. CHRISTOPHER MONASTERY

St. Christopher monastery is situated in Aragatsotn Province, in the ancient residence Qagheni. The monastery consists of a small, cross-domed church of the 7th century named st. Astvatsatsin. To the north of it the three-storied chaple-belfry with the rectangular plan.

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LMBATAVANK

Lmbatavank is located near the city Artik. The preserved inscriptions have not contained any information about the construction. According to the architectural analysis it dates to the 7th century with harmonic massive and decorative paintings. The building is restrained and humble.

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MASTARA

Church of st.John, Mastara is a unique architectural construction of early period of medieval Armenia. It was built by Prince Grigor Mamikonian(approximately in the year 645). But it is supposed that the church was built in the 5th century and it was repaired in the 7th century.

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ODZUN

Odzun church is located in the same village in Lori Province 160km north-west from Yerevan. The church is well preserved despite the huge size( 20,7x31,6m). The year of the construction isn’t known but the researchers date it to the 6th century.

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SEVANAVANK

Sevanavank- a monastery complex in Sevan island. In 874 Ashot Bagratuni’s daughter Mariam built two churches here- Arakelots (small one) and Astvatsatsin. St. Astvatsatsin church is a three-apse building and to the western part of it is the gavit (narthex, which stood till 1930). The pillars of the gavit have had wooden capitals which are now preserved in the Armenian State History Museum and in Hermitage. It is supposed that the capitals have been brought from a palace building. These capitals are surely the worthwhile patterns of Armenian medieval woodcarving.

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SISAVANK

Sisavank- St. Gregory temple is situated in the city Sisian. It was built by Prince of Syunik -Kohazat under the auspices of spiritual leader of the province Hovsep A(663-682) and the monk Theodore. The bas-reliefs of the builders of the temple with the corresponding inscriptions are under the dome of the temple on the squinches.

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CATHEDRAL OF TALIN

Katoghikeh( Cathedral of Talin) was built in the 7th century and belongs to the domed basilica type constructions. Two quadrate prayer halls are next to the main alter the upper parts of which are hiding places. The structure, made by red and black tufa, at first had a tile roof which was later replaced by stones.

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TSITSERNAVANK

Tsitsernavank church is one of the important structures of early medieval Armenian architecture with its decorations and characteristics. It is a three-nave basilica and the only well preserved example among the Armenian similar churches. Tsitsernavank has been a pagan temple turned into a church.

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AGHTAMAR

The island Aghtamar was the fame of the Armenian national history and culture. King Gagik Artsruni founded his capital city in the 10th century in this island and the cathedral St. Khach/ cathedral of Holy Cross/ became its glory. The cathedral St. Khach was built by the genius architect Manvel during the 915-921ies.

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ARDAHAN

The fortress of Ardahan is situated in the center of a fenced building, on a high and almost inaccessible rocky hill. The exact time of its construction is unknown. One thing is certain; it has existed since ancient times and was repaired and reinforced during the reign of Bagratuni dynasty.

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ARTSKE

Artske is located on the northern shore of lake Van, on a cape, opposite to a small island. One of the cuneiform inscriptions of Urartian king Rusa II have been preserved in here. In the old times, perhaps it was a fortress. When the water level of Lake Van raised in the X—XIIc., ancient Artske was covered with water.

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ARCHESH

Archesh is located on the northern shore of Lake Van, near the delta of River Archesh; a small river that flows into the lake. At different times Archesh is mentioned as a fortress and as a port. It has existed since the Urartian times. Its name is associated with the name of the Urartian King Argishti II ( about 685 BC).

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ARTAMET

Artamet was on the south-east coast of Lake Van. The town is completely full of fruit orchards, especially apple trees and walnuts. The apple in Artamet has been known all over Armenia. In the vicinity of and around the area, there are some remains of the old fortress, some churches, monasteries and sanctuaries.

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BAGHESH

Baghesh or Bitlis is located in the Aghdznik Region of the Greater Armenia. It corresponds to the main fortress of Salnizor District of the Aghdznik Region, which controls the most accessible natural passageway of Armenian Taurus Mountains - Chorapahak.

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BAYAZET

Daroynk was one of the well-known fortresses of the Greater Armenia- the Bagratunis' city. Later, a new fortress was erected on the site of Daroynk. The semi-traditional history of it is connected to the Ottoman Sultan Bayazet I and was named after the sultan.

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BERKRI

The ancient fortress of Berkri dates back to ancient times, and the historical heritage and ruins of various structures are worth to be mentioned. Of course, the most prominent among them is its fortress.

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ZEYTUN

The center of the Zeytun District was called Zeytun or Ulya. This settlement is located to the north of the city of Sis in Cilicia, between Marash and Hachn, on a plateau deep in the Anti-Taurus Mountains Ridge. Zeytun has fresh air and water.

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IGDIR

The town Igdir corresponds to Tsolakert during the middle ages. There are relatively little information about Igdir. As the center of the province, Igdir had its fortress, about which the European traveler R.G. de Clavijo had given enough information.

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KHARBERD

The fortress of Kharberd (Harpoot) was located on a top of Armenian Taurus ridge. Only its northern and eastern sides had been fenced. At the entrance there are still parts of the fences, double doors; many towers have been destroyed. Some parts of the eastern wall and a tower still stood.

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KHLAT

Khlat is located in the western part of Van Lake, in the high valley. Khlat is one of the oldest settlements of Armenia. Among the historical Khlat monuments caves , dug in rocks, in the vicinity of the city, have been preserved, as well as several towers of the defensive wall alongside of the lake, ruins of various buildings, which are mainly located in the place called “city in ruins”- in the place of the ancient Klat.

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KHOSHAB

Khoshab or Haykaberd Castle is located in the Province Hayots Dzor, near the River Khoshab, near the village of Khek. The tradition says that this is the place where the fight between Hayk and Bell has taken place. Here on the Belsar or Belissar Mount, Hayk wins Belle and disperses his army.

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KARIN

Karin was first known as a fortress city. It’s true, that the ruins of the ancient constructions of Armenian and Roman-Byzantine periods have not been preserved, but the traces of Persian and Arabic fortresses, as well as the relatively well-preserved ruins of the Turkish fortress of later periods, are obvious.

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KARS

Kars became the capital city of Armenia in 928. In 961 the capital city was moved to Ani, and Kars remained the capital of Bagratouni's junior branch - the capital city of Kars or Vanand Feudal Kingdom.

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CHAPAGHJUR

This settlement is known as Chapaghjur, now the Turks call it Bingyol. It is called Chapaghjur because of the many tributaries(branches) of rivers. Like hundreds of other settlements of Armenia, it was considered a village, a settlement, a castle or a fortress at different times.

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MANAZKERT

According to the ancient Armenian tradition, Manazkert (2020 BC) was founded by Hayk Nahapet's son Manavaz and called it by his name- Manavazakert. It is also supposed that Manazkert is the same capital city of Arzaghkun founded in the first half of the 9th century (BC) by the first king of Van -Arame.

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MUSH

The history of the city Mush starts with a deep antiquity. There has been found the cuneiform inscription by the King Menua of Van. The traces of cyclopean castles around the city are obvious. There have been 7 churches in Mush at various times. The city is surrounded by ancient and important historical monuments.

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SIS

Sis was proclaimed the capital city of the Cilician Armenia in 1173. The enrichment and the reinforcement of the city Sis has thoroughlyy been done by King Levon II. Among the monuments of the city; the Palace, founded by King Hetum I, is famous for its magnificent sculptures and marble black columns.

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VAGHARSHAVAN

The fortress of Hasankala of Vagharshavan was known from the Urartian times (IX-VI cc.). There has been preserved a large cuneiform inscription of the Urartian King Menua I, which tells about the construction of a palace. Both the fortress and the city are enclosured.

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VAN

The city Van is located on the shore of Lake Van, on the fruitful field surrounded by vineyards and gardens. The city has its name from the name of Viayna, which meant " The Land of the Via Dynasty."Almost all the Urartian kings have called themselves as " the King of Van."

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VARSHAK MINIRAL WATER

Varshak Mineral water base is located on the right bank of the upper stream of Aratsani and has its own fortress. At the right bank of the River Aratsani is also the major watercourse of Varshak, the chief one-Jermav. The water temperature is very high. According to eyewitnesses, even sheep meat can be cooked here.

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TIGRANAKERT

Tigranakert was built during the reign of Tigran II in 70 (BC) and was called by his name. The ruins of the ancient capital of Armenia are preserved to this day. Tigranakert was a Hellenistic city. The city has had more than 100,000 inhabitants during its flourishing period.

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Aram Khachatryan House-Museum

To testify that in 1947 the Armenian government gave the composer, in 1978 founded a house-museum of Aram Khachaturian. The museum contains more than 18,000 of valuables - photos, letters, books, handwritten notes, films, recordings, personal belongings, documents, leaflets, posters. In an emphatic introduction is accompanied by music hall. In the museum visitors can watch a movie about the life of Khachaturian, as well as video ballets. It operates a rich library, where, except for works by Khachaturian, you can hear classical music performed by world famous musicians.

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Botanical garden

Founded in 1935 ,Yerevan Botanical Garden is considered to be one of the best institutions in the USSR. More than 3000 species of trees, which are not endemic, and more than 1000 kinds of bushes are being preserved in the garden. Botanical Garden covers an area of 80 hectares. The purpose of the Botanical Garden is importation of different kinds of plants from all over the world and making the labour of assimilation effectively and totally. Unlike the other botanical gardens in the world, Yerevan Botanical Garden is a scientific institution. The garden, with its well-groomed and charming view, is a real paradise for the visitors.

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St Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral,Yerevan

St. Grigor Lusavorich Cathedral/st Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral/ was constructed in 1996-2001. The architect is Stepan Kurkchyan. The idea of construction was by the initiative of All Armenian Catholicos Vazgen A Palchyan. On July 14, 1989 the Supreme Spiritual Council of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Committee of Architectures decided to built an Armenian classic architectural cathedral in Yerevan for the commemoration of the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia. The cathedral is a complex of various constructions covered with tufa brought from Ani. It consists of a main church, of a chapel St Tiridate on the north-western part and of a chapel St. Ashkhen on the south-western part. A gavit/ narthex/ and a belfry are adjacent to the cathedral on the western part.

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Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory, Yerevan

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Yerevan zoological park

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Blue Mosque, Yerevan

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Yerevan History Museum

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Yervand Kochar Museum

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Underground Palace

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Zoravar St. Astvatsatsin Church

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Cascade

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Folk art museum

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History museum of Armenia

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Republic Square

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Matenadaran

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Sports and Concert Complex

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Market

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Saint Sarkis Cathedral

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Genocide Memorial

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Airport

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Sergey Parajanov House-Museum

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