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Areni and Birds’ Cave, Khor Virap and Jermuk Waterfall

Areni and Birds’ Cave 

Birds’ cave is situated 12 km from Yeghegnadzor, on the left bank of the river Areni. The cave is consisted of 3 halls, has approximately 500 m² area, the large part of which still hasn’t been explored. As a result of studies, metal knives, fruit seeds, grain residues, rope, dishes, clothing, dried grapes and plums, dated to 4200-3500 BC, were found in the cave. The oldest leather shoe of the world was found right here. It is more than 5500 years old. Also, in the same area, there were found world’s oldest women’s skirt (3900 BC), as well as the first winery in the whole world.

Khor Virap

The Khor Virap is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of Artashat, Ararat Province, within the territory of ancient Artaxata. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos.
Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.

Jermuk Waterfall

Jermuk waterfall is located in Jermuk. It is in the bosom of forest mountains, 2080 m above sea level. The city is located in South-East of the Republic of Armenia, in Vayots Dzor region.
Jermuk waterfall, 72 m high, flows into the  river Arpa. The waterfall reminds girly hair. Hence the other name of the waterfall is mermaid's hair. 




Dadivank also Khutavank is an Armenian monastery  in the Shahumian Region of the  Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It was built between the 9th and 13th century. The monastery was founded by St. Dadi, a disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle  who spread Christianity in Eastern Armenia during the first century AD.  The monastic complex of Dadivank consists of two groups of structures; the ecclesiastical structures in the north and the secular buildings in the south: two bell towers, 2 ancient churches, monk cells, guest house, bookhouse, etc.


The idea of creating a lion’s rock sculpture has been since 2006. Painter Aram Avagyan has begun working on lion's sculpture since 2007. It has been built on the territory adjacent to ''Tsovin Qar'' hotel of Gandzasar complex.


Gandzasar is a monastic complex, a spiritual and cultural center. The monastery is located in Martakert region of NKR, on Gandzasar hill, near Vank village. The complex was called after the hill; silver and other metals mines were found in its depths.
The monastery was the main religious center  of Western provinces of Armenia for centuries. Sculptured bass-reliefs of biblical characters and the members of princely family are still preserved. Basically, there are 200 manuscripts preserved in the monastery.

Mayraberd Fortress

Mayraberd Fortress is located 14 km North-East of Stepanakert city. The construction of the fortress took place in the 50-ies of the 18th century. Earlier the fortress and the nearest settlement were called Mayraberd. The location and double walls with thickness of 2 m and height of 9 m served as an insurmountable obstacle for enemies.

“We are our Mountains” monument

“We are our Mountains” monument is located in  Artsakh; mostly known as “Grandfather-Grandmother” . It was erected in 1967. The sculptor is Sargis Baghdasaryan and the architect is Yuri Hakobyan. The monument is made of red  tufa. It symbolizes the kinship between Artsakh soil and the nation.

St. Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral

St. Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral  (Surb Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots) is located in the center of Shushi city of NKR. St. Savior Cathedral is the pride of Shushi city. Chazanchetsots was built in 1868-1887 on the place of a small  single-nave church by means of inhabitants, emigrated to Shushi from Chazanchi (Shahkert) village of Nakhichevan; by architect  Simeon Ter-Hakobyan’s project. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1888, on 20th of September. St. Savoir Chazanchetsots Cathedral is one of the most prominent Armenian churches (length: 35 m, width: 23m, height: 35m).

Hunot Gorg

State Historic Museum “Hunot Canyon” amazes guests with its unbelievable beauty. From the highest point of Zrnduz you can see 250 m high walls of the canyon. They are situated above the river Karkar, in the South-West of Shushi Fortress. Travelers, preferring walking tours in the canyon, will have the chance to see awesome waterfalls, thick forests, caves, which were inhabited during Stone Age, ruins of Hunot village, ancient bridges …
Cave–spring is fresh water, which flowing from the cave riches “Mamrot Kar”, and getting the creek, creates the impression of natural «mossy umbrella», which became one of the most scenic spots of «Hunot Canyon».
«Avana Karan» cave has served as a defensive shelter. Due to the hardly accessible location, the cave can become a safe refuge.


Lake Sevan, Sevanavank, Haghartsin monastery

Lake Sevan

Lake Sevan is the only lake in Armenia, which belongs to the class of large lakes. This is one of the 3 major lakes, which we used to call seas (Sevan was called Geghama Sea and Gegharkunyats Sea). Sevan is the largest lake in Caucasus and the highest fresh-water lake in the world.

There are lots of so called «cyclopean» castles (Lchashen, Ayravank) in the adjacent areas. The archeological excavations, performed in the dried areas of the lake, showed that 3500 years ago most part of Sevan was land. There were settlements here, the population of which kept survival due to agriculture and cattle breeding.

A lot of buildings and inscriptions from Urartian period were preserved in the territory of the lake (Velukhi, inscriptions of king Rusa). And, of course, there are also middle age buildings: Sevanavank, Ayravank and so on.

Lake Sevan is a gift of nature, an irreplaceable resort, where summer tourism is already developed. However, the lake with its catchment basin has also great opportunities and perspectives for winter sport tourism.


Sevanavank is a monastic complex, located on Sevan peninsula of Gegharkunik region.

According to found materials, the first st. Harutyun church (Resurrection) was built on the island of Sevan (now peninsula) in 305 by Gregory the Enlightener on the place of a pagan temple. It was destroyed because of the earthquake of 995. In the 9th century monk Mesrop Eghivardetci (Catholicos Mesrop Eghivardetsi in future) founded st. Arakelots monastery. According to ecclesiastic sources, nowadays monastery was built in 874 by the order of Ashot A's daughter duchess Mariam. Then the monastery was surrounded by walls, which were destroyed in 16-17th centuries.

In Middle Ages Sevanavank was a prominent historic-architectural complex, which besides the churches included constructions for different purposes (printing house, guest houses, warehouses, refectory, and so on). Sevanavank had the following churches: st. Astvatsamayr (Holy Virgin), st. Lusavorich (Enlightener), st. Hovhannes Mkrtich (John the Baptist) and st. Nshan; this names were used for the monastery for long years. Up today only st. Astvatsamayr and st. Araketots churches are preserved.

There are ruins of old buildings, cross-stones (khachkars), graves in the territory of the complex. In 1956-1957 the churches were restored.

Haghartsin monastery

Exact date of foundation of Haghartsin monastery is not discovered yet. Research Center Haghartsin was mentioned within leading cultural centers of 13th century (Konstantin D Bardzrberdtsi, Stepanos Orbelyan). Haghartsin started to flourish in the 30-ies of the 13th century, during Khachatur Taronetsi’s leadership. Before that the monastery had been abandoned for a long time.

The composition of the monastery includes: 3 churches, 2 parishes (1 is destroyed), refectory, chapels, khachkars (cross-stones). The oldest is St. Gregory’s church (about X century); domed structure with 4 apses; crossed inside, rectangular outside.

In 1281 with the support of virtues father Hovhannes and father Sargis the main church of the complex was restored: St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Virgin) church (founded supposedly in the 10-11th century). The church has domed hall with a pair of pylons; there are “Armenian holes” (narrow crevices like one for windows) on the fronts of the church (except Western one ). High drum of the dome is decorated with an arcade; portals of Southern and Western doors are characteristic to the 13th century. Two ktitors on the Eastern front keep the monastery mock in their hands.

The refectory of the monastery is one the best examples of Armenian architecture with its architectural solutions and fine arts. There are ruins of other construction in the Western part of the refectory (probably dining-room, bakery and other). In the North-Eastern angle of the Western yerdik (lighting aperture) word «Minas» is inscribed; letter «M» is more likely to the first letter of the architect's first name.

There are several chapels in the territory of the monastery: on rock slopes. 350 kg bronze cauldron, found here, is an example of highly artistic art of metal forging. Inscription on the top of the cauldron notes the date of production – 1232. Four holders of the cauldron are sculptures of lions with decorated legs.


Noravank, Tatev Monastery, Khndzoresk


Noravank is the generalized name for the monastic complex, built in the 13th-14th cc by bishop Hovhannes. It is located 3 km North-East of Amaghu village of Vayots Dzor region.

The monastic complex, protected with fortress walls includes: 2 neighboring churches, parish, church-crypt, two-stored church on the Eastern side, 2 chapels behind the walls.

Noravank is one the best monuments of Armenian architecture due to its peculiarities and combination of different arts.

Tatev Monastery

Tatev Monastery is located in Syunik Province of RA, in the South of Tatev village. The monastery was founded in the 4th century; in the 5th-8th cc it was an advanced educational center; in the 8th – the residence of Syunik bishopric.

There is a beautiful legend about the origin of the name of the monastery. When the master finished his work on the construction, he asked God to give him wings, so that he could see the magnificent beauty from the sky. God, listened to his request and made it come true. Word “tatev” is translated from Armenian as “give me wings”. Approaching the monastery you feel why it is called so. Tatev, is surrounded with abysses from all sides, as if soars above the gorge.


Khndzoresk is famous for its antique cave dwellings, which have been used up to 1950s. From ancient times people lived in these rocky hills, constructing artificial shelters and places for food storage.

The length of the cave city is 3 km. The village had 3000 houses and population of 15000 people. Most of the houses in the village are dug into the rock. There were 2 churches and 3 schools, which tells not only about huge population, but about active cultural and spiritual lives. Great Armenian general Mkhitar Sparapet’s grave is located in this canyon.


The Amberd Fortress, Aragats, Lake Kari, The Monastery of Tegher

The Amberd Fortress

Amberd, the largest standing fortress in Armenia, is located on the southern slopes of Mount Aragats, on a triangular cape where the rivers Arkashen and Amberd join. Amberd means “a fortress in the clouds," a fitting name given its elevation at 2 300 m above sea level. The mansion and some sections of the walls were constructed in the 7th century by the noble house of Kamsarakan. In the 10th century, it was rebuilt by Vahram Pahlavuni. The complex of Amberd derives its great historical importance from its uniqueness, being one of the best examples of Armenian fortress construction. The site incorporates a rich variety of buildings including: a church, a chapel, baths, walls and several gates.


Aragats is the highest mount in Armenia and the forth in the territory of Armenian Highlands. It is also the highest point of Transcaucasia. Aragats is extinct volcano, which can be seen from city of Yerevan and Shirak, Kotayk and Aragatsotn provinces. It consists of 4 peaks, the highest of which is Northern (4090m), and the lowest – Southern (3879m).

Lake Kari

Lake Kari is situated on Mount Aragats. The Altitude is 3402 m; the surface area is 0,12sq.m; the depth is 9 m. It is possible to reach Kari Lake from Byurakan by highway. There is a meteorological station, equipped on the Eastern coast of the lake.

The lake appeared from ice formations. It is surrounded by snow most of the time and that is why water is rather cold. The river Arkashen starts from Lake Kari.

The Monastery of Tegher

Tegher Monastery or Tegheri Vank is an early 13th c. monastery located on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Aragats, near the modern village of Tegher. It was built for Princess Khatun (also known as Mamakhatun), the wife of Prince Vache Vachutian, who had purchased the district of Aragatsotn from the Zakarian brothers. The monastery consists of the church of Surb Astvatsatsin (1213 AD) and adjacent gavit completed in 1221.