This bridge was built in 1664 and is called the three-arch bridge and is situated on the river called the "Kasagh". It is a bridge heavily used in the past for transport from Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia to the city of Gyumri but now it is less commonly travelled due to a newly constructed bridge elsewhere.
The old bridge has a rather unusual appearance in that the three arches are unequal in size with the southernmost arch almost twice the height of the northernmost.
This region of Ashtarak is not very commonly visited by tourists.. Many tourists pass by this bridge and area on their way to the three churches (one of which is the small red tuff church of St. Sargis) a little to the north of where the bridge is.
When traveling Armenia's off the beaten paths and visiting monastaries and villages away from Yerevan, the capital city.. You will see many shepherds with their cows or ship grazing the lands by the roads..
They're very genuine people and we had the opportunity and the fortune to speak to a couple of them when we were taking a break from driving and walking and just sitting with nature absorbing the beauty of the mountains and the blue color of the sky contrasting the clear white clouds...... They were great moments!!
The central square of the town Ejmiatsin is called the Komitas Square and a statue of Komitas, the composer, made by Ervand Kochar (Same person responsible for the eagle at Zvartnots) was erected in 1969.
Komitas (1869-1935) is perhaps the best known composer of more recent times in Armenian history. He has written many wonderful chants as well as other compositions in traditional Armenian style.
Listening to Komitas beautiful chants in any of Armenia's churches on a sunday morning is an experience which every visitor to Armenia should seek out.
Yezidi people are fire-worshipping Zoroastrians. Modern Yezidi cemeteries are distinctive with graves that look almost like small houses. An older cemetery is by the road in the village of Rya Taza where there are tombstones in the form of horses for the men though much simpler ones, sometimes depicting a cradle, for women.
We stopped by at a village called Arteni to buy some apricots. For those who don't know, Armenian apricots are known to be the sweetest and tastiest.. You just have to taste some when you go to Armenia.. If they're in season which they were when we were there in July, you get to taste the fruit but if you go off season, you can always puchase from the store the halved dried apricots which they call "Apricot Cheer" in Armenia.. The picture is of a villager in Arteni who proudly stands infront of the table in his backyard where he is drying halved apricots to sell in off season.. We bought apricots from them to take with us on our journey that day. They tasted sweet and so wonderful.
To read more about Arteni and the villagers, please visit Arteni village
Amberd is a fortress complex with a church built on the slopes of Mt. Aragats at 2,300 meters above sea level in the 11-13 centuries.Amberd is a tall fortress built on a rise in between two streams. The church, built in 1026 by the architect Vagram Pakhlavuni, is slightly down the hill from the fortress, nearer to where the two streams join.
Amberd stands on a rocky eminence, again one of the impregnable fortresses of medieval Armenia. The princely castle of Amberd was built in the 11th to 13th centuries. A two-storeyed structure fitted with a majestic staircase, the castle is protected by walls with inclined towers. The baths were constructed outside the palace in the 13th century. The church was built in 1026 by Prince Vahram Pahlavuni. It belongs to the cupola'd hall type. The exterior architecture is simple and expressive, crowned by an umbrella shaped cupola.
Bring a lunch along because it is a perfect spot to relax, go back in time, and catch your breath. As well there were no places to stop for food anywhere near Amberd.
the absolutely breathtaking views -on the way and - in the town of Dilijan. (Lake Sevan is not so bad either.. ;-)
no really, there's so many places that are worth seeing but lies away from Yerevan, these places are (as I mentioned before) Sevan, Dilijan, Khorvirap, Echmiadzin, Garni, Geghard, Sardarapat, and last but not least Kharabagh (Artsakh) - the part of Armenia that officially belongs to azerbadjian, but is inhabited by armenians has a very fine untouched wildlife.
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