Fun things to do in Armenia

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Armenia

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    Taste Wine at Areni Winery

    by Tobbelkp Written Nov 2, 2013

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    Areni Winery is a small winery an hour away from Yerevan. If you stop there you will get a guided tour. Wine tasting is free if you buy a bottle. There were 14 different brands to taste and you could drink as much you liked.
    The bottles cost 2000 dram each, which is a bit more than in the supermarket. Some older bottles were more expensive, but I prefered the new sweeet wine and the Peach wine that was really delicious.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting

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    MONEY !

    by DAO Written Aug 26, 2012


    The currency of Armenia is the Dram. The symbol called 'Luma' represents the Dram and looks like an upside-down telephone pole bending to the left. The denominations are:

    Banknotes: 500, 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000

    Coins: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500

    If you think about 500 Drams being worth a Euro - this makes life a bit easier. Try and avoid getting an note above 5000. It just makes life difficult for you. Credit cards are accepted fairly well in Yerevan. I saw a lot of HSBC ATM Machines that are on the Cirrus and Plus Network. They accept, Visa, Mastercard and Arca (Armenian) Cards. I have a good tip about one of the grocery stores doing currency exchanges in Yerevan. There are several banks that will do this as well.

    Drams are convertible, but I would not take them out of Armenia. Also there is NO Black Market so don't even try.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel

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    Joining daily tour to remote sites

    by Sambawalk Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    As some travellers say, backpackers or budget travellers do not join daily tours from travel agents. I agree fully, but in view of distance, accessibility and time constraints, we should balance the pros and cons, including freedom. I would say a wise traveller should be able to balance all factors, convenience, cash available in pocket, or more bottles of beers in exchange for few kms of hiking. The choice is always yours.

    In Yerevan, I only had 4 days, so I chose to travel on my own for first and last days while joining the local daily tour from Sati for 2 days to visit those places require either your own transportation or long walks. For effectiveness and efficiency, I made a right choice.

    I must say Sati tour is very professional, after seeing some comments from VTers. I would recommend to single travellers if they have extra cash in pockets.

    See their website fro daily tour available.

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    Armenia genocide museum (Tsitsernakaberd)

    by Sambawalk Updated Sep 5, 2009

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    Armenia genocide museum (Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex) commemorates the the Genocide took place between 1915-1921.

    Admission is free and remember to visit the memorial. A taxi ride from teh Yerevan city (e.g. Opera house) is about 700-800AMD. Return trip is double.

    I went there before I went to airport for flight to Kiev. I got a good deal for all together in 2,500AMD. Airport alone will cost about 2,500- 3,000 AMD.

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    lake sevan

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

    This huge mountain lake which takes up 5% of Armenia's surface area and is about 2,000 meters above sea level. On a clear and sunny day, the water is often a deep turquoise color. Maxim Gorky once said about the waters that they were like a piece of the sky that had descended to the earth among the mountains. The shores are white sand and most beaches are uncrowded. The monastery peninsula (called the island in Armenian) is the most popular spot, and is the closest place to visit as well. The water is about 18-22 Celsius in the summer, a very refreshing swim after a hot week in Yerevan. It is a freshwater lake, so you do not have any salt residue after swimming. There are fish in the lake, however there has been a ban on commercial fishing (without authorization) in recent years. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see men standing along the main road signaling cars by hand the supposed length of the fish they sell. To put these fish on display would mean calling the attention of unwanted authorities.

    Locals have told visitors that the name Sevan comes from many centuries ago during a cold winter when one of the frequent invasions by Arabs was imminent. The villagers warned one another and proceeded across the ice of Sevan to the (then) island on which Sevanavank was located. Once everyone was across they barracaded themselves in the church and prayed that their lives be spared. As the Arabs approached the ice they too crossed, but once they were well on their way across it, the ice gave and the invaders drown in the icy waters. The villagers viewed this as an act of God, sparing them from sure death. The lake was black with bodies of the dead soldiers so they named it Sevan (Sev meaning "black" in Armenian).

    On the peninsula there is the monastery of Sevanavank, consisting of two rather rough churches. It is worthwhile to climb up the many stairs for the view and the green khatchkars. They were carved from a plentiful local green stone and stood out from the others which are all made of tuff. All over the West and North shores are places to stay. On of the nicer (normal) ones is the Sevan Hotel at the very north end, just past the massive remains of an unfinished Soviet construction. The Harsna Kar luxury resort is located a few hundred meters from the Peninsula as well. On the East shore is the painters house at the tip of the opposite penninsula near Shorjha, and just south of that is probably the nicest beach on the lake. Kilometers long, nice waters, and some pine trees for shade behind them. It is perfect for camping or getting away from the crowd on the West shores. (About 40 minutes of extra driving down from the north, very bad road if you drive up from the south) If you go down the western shore you will reach Hayravank Monastery, a nicer monastery which very few visit. A bit further lays Noratus with a nice old church, and old basilica ruins, and more importantly the largest khachkar cemetery in Armenia. Continuing south towards Vardenis you will hit the nice sites of Ddmashen Church, Vanevan Monastery and Makenyats Monastery.

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    vahanamank monastery

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

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    5 km towards SW of Kapan, one of the medieval Armenian historical monument-complexes is situated at the foot of Tigranasar mountain rising on the right bank of Voghji River. According to lithographic sources Syunik's ruler Dzaghik's son Vahan built Vahanavank (Վահանավանք) in the beginning of X c. A spiritual school was opened by this huge convent with more than 100 preceptors, where studied young boys from Baghk and other provinces. In 40's of X c Vahanavank's abbot becomes its own pupil Vahan II Jevanshir, which later on becomes the spiritual leader of Syunik region, and then the Catholicos in 60's. During his power he built a great many constructions, which preserved only as ruins.

    Vahanavank reaches pick of its fame during Syunyats kingdom. But many foreign invasions eventually make it unnoteworthy and in XIV c it becomes a full of ruins. Vahanavank woke up from its ages-lasting sleep when in 1966 excavations began here. Thank to excavations the following constructions came out under the thick ground and nature.

    Gregory Illuminator church was built by Vahan Nakhashinogh in 911. Cruciform in scheme, with cruciform dome this temple in right and left sides of eastern bay, as well as by the western pillars has vestibules. The drum rises on huge steeple rocks. The building at first was built from pumice stone, the remainders of which preserved on the southeastern wall. The church had two entries from west and south. The vestibule was built by Vahan Jevanshir in first half of X c. This rectangle-square in scheme construction stands out with cornices decorated with vegetable and animal ornamental motives, which border the southern and northern walls.

    Hors-shoe-shaped three strong arches leaning on beautiful unique bays, without any connecting material, carried the roof of the vestibule. The vestibule was destroyed because of the middle arch ruined during the earthquake. The entry was from south.

    This construction also served as cemetery. Vahan Nakhashinogh's (X c), princess Khuchesh's (X c), prince Kyurikid's (XI c), military leader Gevorg Pahlevuli's (1101) and others' tombstones were found here during excavations.


    VahanavankPortico: this unique architectural example with 140 m2 territory was built along the St. Gragory Illuminator church and vaulted vestibule. By the discovered architectural details we can guess that the opposite arches of the portico's roof leaned on 14 bays (7 from north, 7 from south). One of the southern entries takes the church, and the other- to the vestibule. The building just like the whole complex was built from reddish limestone. The portico also served as family cemetery. Here are buried kings Smbat II, Grigor I, queens Sophy and Dinar, Prince Ashot Jevanshir, Khaghbak and others. A building inscription of 1046 was found here.
    Syunyats queen Shahandukht II built two-storied mausoleum-church (St. Virgin) in 1086. This comparatively small temple leans on rocks from west, and from east it stands on the vaulted entry of the serf wall built of split stone. The eastern bay used to have a stage with window-passages on its right and left sides. The roof of the church was tiled (just like all the constructions of Vahanavank).

    From south, north and east it was belted with a portico, about which tells XIII c historian St. Orbelyan.

    From the top story of the temple a beautiful sight opens towards Vahanadzor (canyon) and the big temple. The valuable inscription of Catholicos Stepanos (XI c) was found in the vestibule of St. Virgin's church.

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    tegher monastery

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

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    The monastery is located on the southern reach of Mount Aragats, in the province of Ashtarak. Its church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a sober cupola'd hall, was built in the 13th century. A gavit, with two chapels erected on its roof, leans against the west flank of the church. [Paragraph Source: Monuments of Armenia]

    Continuing N. up the mountain from Aghdzk, one bears left at the fork to reach the monastery of Tegher* (176 v), made of dark gray basalt. The gavit, finished in 1232, is particularly impressive. The complex was built at the behest of Mamakhatun, wife of Prince Vache Vachutian, and the architect, according to an inscription on a column of the gavit, was the vardapet Aghbayrik. The ruined village has interesting houses and the remains of a funerary chapel. Taking the right fork, the road winds to Orgov (329 v), with several huge radio-astronomy telescopes, near the telescope one can see a huge mirror plate – an unfinished solar energy station and, in the W part of the village, remains of a Bronze Age cyclopean fort, beside which an underground passage was recently discovered leading to a neighboring spring. (Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook.)

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    selim kawanserei

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

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    In medieval Armenia many buildings were built along commercial routes for the accommodation of travelers. One of those, the caravanserai of Selim (Սելիմ), was built in 1332 by Prince Chesar Orbelian, according to an inscription in Armenian and Arabic. This caravanserai offered hospitality to travelers along the highway crossing the Selim (Sulema) mountains. The best preserved of all medieval caravanserais in Armenia, it comprises a vaulted antechamber and a large hall partitioned into three sections lighted through openings in the ceiling. This building is an excellent example of Armenian secular architecture in the Middle Ages. [Paragraph Source: Monuments of Armenia]

    Selim Caravansaray** lies below the road just before the summit on the south side of Selim Pass (2410 m), a splendid relic of the days when an international trade route connected Vayots Dzor to the Sevan basin and points North. According to the Armenian inscription on the right inside the door, Prince Chesar Orbelian and his brothers built this rest-house in 1332 in the reign of Abu Said Il Khan, "the ruler of the world," whose death in 1335 deprived the world of an enlightened Mongol despot and ushered in a new wave of invasions. The Persian inscription on the outside lintel (almost effaced by recent vandals) gives the date 1326‑7. The Armenian inscription reads:

    "In the name of the Almighty and powerful God, in the year 1332, in the world-rule of Busaid Khan, I Chesar son of Prince of Princes Liparit and my mother Ana, grandson of Ivane, and my brothers, handsome as lions, the princes Burtel, Smbat and Elikom of the Orbelian nation, and my wife Khorishah daughter of Vardan [and ...] of the Senikarimans, built this spiritual house with our own funds for the salvation of our souls and those of our parents and brothers reposing in Christ, and of my living brothers and sons Sargis, Hovhannes the priest, Kurd and Vardan. We beseech you, passers-by, remember us in Christ. The beginning of the house {took place} in the high-priesthood of Esai, and the end, thanks to his prayers, in the year 1332.
    The best preserved caravansaray in Armenia, Selim is built of basalt blocks, with a cavernous central hall for animals separated from the two vaulted side aisles by rows of stone mangers. Bring a flashlight (though the dim light through the smoke holes in the roof adds a proper medieval flavor). There is a little spring/fountain monument just uphill beyond the caravansaray. The road that leads up to the Caravanserai and thereafter to Martuni, has recently been repaved, and is an awesome drive in the springtime. (3 Paragraph Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook)

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    garni temple

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

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    Garni is on the road to Geghard and both can be comfortably seen on the same day. Halfway to Garni however, take a few minutes to look at the Charents Arch. The arch itself is not what you stop for, but for the great view of Ararat which it frames on a clear day. Truly a Kodak moment. When you get to Garni, it will remind you of a somewhat plain Parthenon. It was built in the first century A.D. by the Armenian King Tiridates with the money he received after visiting Emperor Nero in Rome. The temple was destroyed in 1679 in an earthquake, but was reconstructed in Soviet times. (You can recognize the new stones by their lack of carving, which allows you to appreciate the originals.) It is an excellent reconstruction and a very worthwhile place to visit. You can even see carved graffiti in Arabic... There are also ruins of mosaic ancient baths and residences in Garni. If you came in a car (not bus) or can hike, take the time to go down to the very worthy Garni Gorge, and maybe hike up to the extensive and virtually unvisited ruins of Havuts Tar Monastery.
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    The fortress of Garni is situated in the village of the same name in the Abovian District. That was a mighty fortress well known from chronicles (Cornelius Tacitus, Movses Khorenatsi, etc.). The structures of Garni combine elements of Hellenistic and national culture, which is an evidence of antique influences and the distinctive building traditions of the Armenian people. The artistic merit and uniqueness of its monuments place Garni among outstanding creations of architecture of world importance.

    The structures of the fortress of Garni are in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature. The fortress is situated in a picturesque mountain locality and commands a broad panorama of orchards, fields and mountain slopes covered with motley carpets of varicoloured grasses, of the jagged and precipitous canyon of the Azat river.

    Strategically, the place for building this fortress was very cleverly chosen. In very ancient times (the third millennium B.C.) a cyclopic fortress existed there. According to a cuneiform record found on the territory of Garni, the fortress was conquered by Argishti I, the king of Urartu, in the first half of the 8th century B.C. In the epoch of the Armenian rulers of the Ervandids, Artashesids and Arshakids dynasties (since the third century B.C. to the fourth century A.D.) Garni was a summer residence of the kings and the place where their troops were stationed,

    The fortress of Garni stands on a triangular cape which dominates the locality and juts into the river. A deep gorge and steep mountain slopes serve as a natural impregnable obstacle, and therefore the fortress wall was put up only on the side of the plain. It was put together of large square-shaped slabs of basalt placed flat on top of each other without mortar and fastened together with iron cramps sealed with lead. The evenly spaced rectangular towers and the concave shape of the middle of the most vulnerable northern wall, which increased the effectiveness of flank shooting, added much to the defense capacity of the fortress and, at the same time, enhanced its artistic merits.

    The palace complex included several disconnected buildings: a temple, a presence chamber, a columned tall, a residential block. a bath-house. etc. They were situated around the vast main square of the fortress, in its southern part, away from the entranceway, where they formed all ensemble. In the northern part there probably were the premises of the service staff, the king’s guards and the garrison.

    The summit of the cape was crowned with a temple which overlooked the square by its main northern façade. The temple, the artistic center of the complex, is on the central axis passing through the fortress gate.

    The temple was built in the second half of the first century B.C. and dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mithra, the god of the sun whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary (naos). After Christianity had been proclaimed the state religion in Armenia in 301, the temple was probably used as a summer residence of the kings. A chronicle describes it as ‘‘a house of coolness’.

    In its style, the temple, a six-column periptere, resembles similar structures in Asia Minor (baths at Sagala and Pergamum), Syria (Baalbek) and Rome. Its architectural shapes are basically-Hellenistic but local traditions also show in it. It should be noted that a rectangle-based religious edifice with columns and a pediment was known on the territory of the Armenian upland back in the epoch of the Urarts; such, for instance, was the temple in Musasir (the 9th‑8th centuries B.C.), a representation of which can be seen on an ancient Assyrian bas-relief. Quite possibly, this type of architecture influenced the overall composition of Armenia's heathen temples in general, and that of Garni temple, especially the outlines of certain details and the interior decoration.

    The temple stands on a high podium with a two-step base and is surrounded with 24 Ionic columns. A broad nine-step stairway leads up to the podium. The sides of the stairway are decorated with bas-relief, placed symmetrically relative to the main axis of the building, showing kneeling Atlantes with uplifted hands who seemed to support the torches which used to stand higher. This sculptural motif is flown from later monuments of East Roman provinces, such a Niha in Syria (the first century A.D.). In front of a rectangular stone-floored naos there is a shallow pronaos with antae and an entrance-way framed in a platband. The small size of the sanctuary shows that it contained only a statue of the deity, and that worship was performed in the pronaos.

    The bases of the columns resemble those of Attic temples in their shapes, the shafts are smooth, the Ionic capitals are decorated with clean-cut moulded, rather than hewn, volutes and ovae and leaf ornaments which differ from column to column — a characteristic feature of Armenian monuments. The shape of the corner capitals is most interesting — on them as distinct from the inside columns, the volutes of the adjacent front sides are turned at a right angle, and the floral ornament of the lateral sides are more graceful in their composition.

    The richly ornamented entablature is distinguished by the overhanging upper part of the architrave and frieze. This feature is also to be seen in the later monuments of Syria (2nd century) and Italy (4th century). As distinct from these works of Hellenistic art, however, the ornamentation of the entablature of Garni temple is more variegated. The frieze shows fronds of acanthus combined with flowers and rosettes of various shapes and outlines. Besides acanthus, it also features laurel and oak leaves, as well as grapes, pomegranate and other floral motives characteristic of the Orient.

    The cornice is ornamented with dummy spillways shaped as lions’ heads with bared teeth. These, along with oxen, often occurred in Urartu murals, on arms and seals. Contrasting with the flat bas-relief leaf ornament of the cornice, they created the rhythm of the crowning details of lateral façades, connected with the columns.

    The pediment was smooth. The soffits of the architrave, the ceilings of the portico and the wings of the temple were decorated with floral ornaments, octagon and diamond-shaped ornamented caissons. Carving on hard basalt, rather than on the soft marble characteristic of Roman architecture, is evidence of the fact that all structures in the cities of that epoch — Armavir, Yervandashat, Vagarshapat, etc. — were created by Armenian craftsmen. Their style shows in the variety of ornamental motifs, in the depiction of specimens of local flora in ornaments and flat carvings.

    The temple’s proportions differ somewhat from the proportions of other antique structures. Its composition is based on the contrast between the horizontal divisions of the podium and the entablature and the vertical columns which rose sharply against the background of the sky. The temple makes an impressive sight from many remote and close observation points.

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    dilijan town remembering swiss landscape

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

    Dilijan (Arm: Դիլիջան) is a city in the Tavush region of Armenia. Called by locals the "Little Switzerland" of Armenia, it is a worthwhile place to see, and spend the night. The forested town has some great examples of traditional architecture of the region and is a brief trip to the beautiful monasteries of Haghartsin and Goshavank. Sharambeyan street near the bus stop has been preserved and maintained as an "old town Dilijan", complete with craftsmens workshops, a gallery and a museum. The cool green forests are a nice contrast to Ararat Valley, especially in the hot summer.

    [edit] Public Transport to Dilijan
    Take a marshrutni from the Pjhishkakan Hamalsaran (Medical University) on the corner of Abovyan and Korion to the upper Avtokayaran. From there you can take a marshrutni headed to Ijevan that will stop in Dilijan on the way.

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    yermuk town

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

    Jermuk - Bridge over canyon into resort areaJermuk is a great place to spend as much time as you can spare to relax and get away from it all. There is one main north to south highway in Armenia, and Jermuk is easily found off of this main road. About 25 minutes off of the highway, it is a nice way to cut the drive from Yerevan to Tatev Monastery or Karabakh in half. It is a mountain village, and was a very large and popular Soviet resort. Today it has very few visitors. The employees at the place we stayed at were extremely friendly and helpful. There are a few places called sanatoriums, which have facilities to bathe in the piping hot mineral water, but most were in very poor condition. There was also a nice hotel which could be reached by turning right at the end of the steel bridge into town and heading to a large bed and breakfast type place near a playground. This place cost less than $10 per person a night and was quite nice with heat in the winter. From here you can visit a sanatorium for a dip in the waters, or visit a roadside pool by the river.
    Jermuk resort town has a lot of parks, and forested areas. The resort town is reached by turning left at the end of the steel bridge at the end of the highway. Here you will find a few shops, some reflecting pools, ponds, and a row of urns (see picture) which have different temperatures of Jermuk pouring out from a tap. If you go down to the river from the town, you will find a waterfall, and near there is a cafe built under a natural land bridge. Across the river from that cafe, by the ride of the road is a small pool full of water from the hot springs.


    Jermuk Resort Town - hot mineral water galleryBefore reaching Jermuk resort area at the end of the road, you will pass a few villages and a large town named Jermuk which is separate. There is also a large lake above a dam, with recreational possibilities.

    The village of G'ndevaz is perched on some cliffs at the bottom of which lays G'ndevank. I highly recommend you visit it either on the way up to, or down from Jermuk. It can be reached much easier by the dilapidated old canyon road, rather than the new highway.

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    yermuk town

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

    Jermuk - Bridge over canyon into resort areaJermuk is a great place to spend as much time as you can spare to relax and get away from it all. There is one main north to south highway in Armenia, and Jermuk is easily found off of this main road. About 25 minutes off of the highway, it is a nice way to cut the drive from Yerevan to Tatev Monastery or Karabakh in half. It is a mountain village, and was a very large and popular Soviet resort. Today it has very few visitors. The employees at the place we stayed at were extremely friendly and helpful. There are a few places called sanatoriums, which have facilities to bathe in the piping hot mineral water, but most were in very poor condition. There was also a nice hotel which could be reached by turning right at the end of the steel bridge into town and heading to a large bed and breakfast type place near a playground. This place cost less than $10 per person a night and was quite nice with heat in the winter. From here you can visit a sanatorium for a dip in the waters, or visit a roadside pool by the river.
    Jermuk resort town has a lot of parks, and forested areas. The resort town is reached by turning left at the end of the steel bridge at the end of the highway. Here you will find a few shops, some reflecting pools, ponds, and a row of urns (see picture) which have different temperatures of Jermuk pouring out from a tap. If you go down to the river from the town, you will find a waterfall, and near there is a cafe built under a natural land bridge. Across the river from that cafe, by the ride of the road is a small pool full of water from the hot springs.


    Jermuk Resort Town - hot mineral water galleryBefore reaching Jermuk resort area at the end of the road, you will pass a few villages and a large town named Jermuk which is separate. There is also a large lake above a dam, with recreational possibilities.

    The village of G'ndevaz is perched on some cliffs at the bottom of which lays G'ndevank. I highly recommend you visit it either on the way up to, or down from Jermuk. It can be reached much easier by the dilapidated old canyon road, rather than the new highway.

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    norawank monastery

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

    Noravank (Նորավանք, meaning new monastery) is a 13th century monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Darichay river, nearby the city of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery. The monastery is best known for its two-storey S. Astvatsatsin church, which grants access to the second floor by way of narrow stones jutting out from the face of building. The monastery is sometimes called Amaghu-Noravank, Amaghu being the name of a small recently destroyed village above the canyon, in order to distinguish it from Bgheno-Noravank Monastery, near Goris. In the 13th–14th centuries the monastery became a residence of Syunik's bishops and, consequently. a major religious and, later, cultural center of Armenia closely connected with many of the local seats of learning, especially with Gladzor's famed university and library.

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    yerewan capital of armenia

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

    Yerevan ("Երևան" in Armenian; former names include Erivan and ancient name Erebuni; sometimes mistakenly written in Russian transliteration as Erevan) (population: 1,201,539 (1989 census); 1,088,300 (2004 estimate) is the largest city and capital of Armenia. It is situated along the Hrazdan River, which is not navigable, on the Ararat Plain.

    Yerevan is a leading industrial, cultural, and scientific centre in the Caucasus region. It is also at the heart of an extensive rail network and is a major trading centre for agricultural products. In addition, industries in the city produce metals, machine tools, electrical equipment, chemicals, textiles, and food products.

    Educational and cultural facilities in Yerevan include universities, the Armenian Academy of Sciences, a state museum, and several libraries. The largest repository of Armenian manuscripts, and indeed one of the biggest repositories of manuscripts in the world, is the Matenadaran.

    Zvartnots International Airport serves Yerevan.

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    hayrawank monastery

    by hanspeter_W. Written Aug 29, 2009

    Berdkunk (161 v, formerly Aghkala), was a transit point on the ancient Dvin-Partev road. On the E edge of the village is a cyclopean fortress called locally Ishkhanats Amrots. From the village 1 km W and 200 m SE of the left edge of the Sevan-Gavar road is a cyclopean fortress with megalithic tombs. Hayravank or Ayrivan 488 v; 22.4 km from the Sevan highway, on the left (E of the road) shortly after the Geghama Pensionat, a paved road leads to a rock outcrop with a fine view of Lake Sevan. There stands Hayravank monastery*, with a late 9th c church, a 12th c. gavit, and khachkars. The rocks just NW preserve substantial walls of a Bronze Age through medieval fort and settlement; nearby are Iron Age tombs. There are two shrines in the village, with inscribed khachkars.

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  • Trdat's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    If your into architecture, check out the Goris, Dilijan, Shusha, Gyumri(backstreets), and the villages of Karin-tak and parts of Kelbajar these definitely are architectural marvels in there own merit, though falling apart they still represent what is left of the architecture of Eastern Armenia and you will notice a difference from south(white stones) to north(typically wooden). Some of the Russian/Molokan villages are nice as well... IF your up a party, find some diasporan Armenian get together's ask around where US, or Canadian Armenians hang out... If you want a taste of the locals, they are the best at enjoying the moment with Tamadan(Armenian and Georgian feast culture) just go any village and start speaking to them they will definitely invite you for food and a lot of alcohol. All the other touristy stuff are great, and city center life is pretty good to hang out...Let me warn you, its not a Europe but definitely the best nightlife in the Caucasus as a city(less pretentiousness and more middle class that come out) , perhaps a slightly duller city though its charm, soviet uniqueness and warmer people are what makes the city, I mean just city, a place to enjoy its life rather than just aesthetic feel. If your up for an adventure or awesome sight seeing, drive back from Karabagh from the Kelbajar route, or better still drive to Aghdam and get taste of the empty villages of Karabagh a symbol of Armenian pride after what happened to us in 1915(if your into history) and maybe a feel of the frontline as far as you can get to it. The oldest part of Yerevan is called Kond a slum but might be worth seeing... All the above are the non touristy stuff travelers miss out... then again these are my opinions... And honest truth without mollycoddling the country.

Armenia Things to Do

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