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Architectural monuments in Armenia
Monasteries, churches, temples of Armenia. A scenic and historical places in Armenia



Amberd Amberd
The principal architectural features of medieval fortress-building have found their reflection in this fortress. Having been built on a naturally well-defended cape, Amberd has for long time served as an important military fort. Next to this secular edifice there is a church built in 1026 by the duke Vahram Pahlavuni.

 

Askeran Askeran fortress
The fortress of Askeran is in the village of the same name, 4 km far from Stepanakert. It has been an important strategical fort since the 18th century. The formidable ramparts and watchtowers once made the fortress almost inaccessible.

 

Ereruyk Ereruyk
Ereruyk is one of the most popular monuments of ancient architecture of Armenia. It has a very special place among the early Christian basilic churches, as it is one of their classical examples built in the 5th century. It is the highest achievement of early Armenian ecclesiastical architecture and contains the answers to various questions concerning the origination and formulation of Armenian architecture.

 

Garni Garni
Garni temple which towers over a triangular cape, is the unique survived example of heathen culture in Armenia. It is a blend of Greco-Roman and Armenian styles. King Trdat the First ordered building the temple in the first century A.D. and dedicated it to the God of Sun. After adopting Christianity in 301 the pagan temple lost its significance and the fortress of Garni became the summer residence of the kings. Nowadays the ruins of the royal palace and the bathroom with a stunning mosaic work can be found near the temple.

 

Geghard Geghard
Geghard monastery is the unsurpassable masterpiece of the 13th century Armenian architecture. Some of the churches of the complex are masterfully hewn in a huge rock. From the outset the complex was called Ayrivank (cave monastery), later it was renamed Geghard (lance), as the lance used by the roman soldier to sting Jesus Christ's side, was kept in this monastery for many centuries. Due to its construction Geghardavank serves the best place for singing spiritual songs. The complex is rich in subtle sculptural embellishments and many striking khachkars (cross-stones).

 

Gandzasar Gandzasar
Among the monuments of Artsakh Gandzasar monastery has its significant and special place. It is considered one of the pearls of Armenian medieval architecture. It consists of a church, monk cells and other buildings of economic significance. The dome of the cupola of the main church is of great artistic value due to its delicate bas-reliefs. The monastery is built on the peak of Gandzasar Mountain (mountain of treasures).

 

Ghazanchetsots  St. Ghazanchetsots church
The church is in the ancient city of Shoushi. The magnificent church is built of white limestone. The whole church is decorated with sculptural works, which highlight the majestic look of the church. According to an ancient manuscript, having been found in the church, it was built in 1868-1888.

 

St. Hripsime St. Hripsime
St. Hripsime church is the one of the famous ecclesiastical buildings in the city of Echmiadzin. This is the developed and perfect example of cross-cupola churches in Armenia. The church is notable with its architectural simplicity and loftiness. The tomb of the Christian martyr Virgin Hripsime is in the sacristy of the church.

 

St. Gayane St. Gayane
Not far from the Echmiadzin Cathedral against the background of white peaks of Ararat one can see the silhouette of the cupola of St. Gayane church. The church was built in the 7th century and belongs to the domed-basilica style. According to the legend this church was constructed over the tomb of Virgin Gayane, who was martyred for preaching Christianity.

 

Echmiadzin Cathedral of Echmiadzin
The center of Armenian Apostolic church- St. Echmiadzin is located 20 km far from Yerevan. The Cathedral of Echmiadzin was founded at the beginning of the forth century and is one of the oldest churches in the world. According to the legend the church was built in the place where apparition of Jesus Christ was seen to Grigory the Illuminator in the dream. The interior of the church is covered with frescoes created by Hovnatanyan family. The residence of the Catholicos and the Theological Academy are situated near the Cathedral.

 

Haghartsin Haghartsin
Haghartsin monastery situated in the woodlands of Tavush region represents an indescribable example of blend of nature with architecture. It was founded in the 10-11th centuries, though new buildings were added in the 12-13th centuries. Now it consists of St. Grigor, St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), St. Stepanos churches and some other buildings.The refectory due to its skillful architectural composition is of great interest. The huge oak tree, which is almost at the age of the monastery, completes the whole scene.

 

Haghpat Haghpat
Situated not far from Sanahin Haghpat monastery has its significant place in the historical and cultural life of Armenia. It was built during the reign of king Ashot Bagratuni. Numerous valuable manuscripts and miniature paintings have been produced in the scriptorium of Haghpat for many centuries. In the 18th century the famous Armenian bard Sayat-Nova used to live and create in this monastery. The belfry with its unique architectural composition is of stunning interest.

 

Karahunj Karahunj
The scientific expeditions proved Karahunj to be one of the oldest observatories in the world. It is said to be about 7500 years old. Some of the precisingly arranged huge stones have holes bored into them, which were used for astrological observations. The petroglyphs found nearby Karahunj reveal that the early inhabitants in Armenia were well aware of astrology.

 

Kecharis Kecharis
Kecharis monastery is in the north-western part of Tsakhkadzor. It was built in 11-13th centuries. The monastery consists of four churches and a half-destroyed mausoleum of Grigorius Pahlavuni, who financed building the monastery.

 

Khor Virap Khor Virap
Khor Virap is the most famous pilgrimage site in Armenia, as it is directly connected with the adoption of Christianity. As a state religion Christianity in Armenia was adopted in 301 due to endeavors of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, who before converting king Trdat the 3rd to Christianity, was imprisoned in the dungeon over which a church of Khor Virap monastery was built in the 17th century. From the monastery one can admire the stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat.

 

Noratus Noratus
The art of khachkar (cross-stone) is the most original manifestation of Armenian medieval culture. Noratus which is truly considered to be a forest of khachkars and open-air museum, displays hundreds of khachkars, the most stunning of which are the so called "embroidered" ones typical to the 13th-14th centuries. This is a unique place, where one can reveal the development of khachkarial art in its historical process.

 

Noravank Noravank
Passing a narrow road surrounded by rocks of hundred caves one discovers a scene of harmony of architecture with nature. The monastery enshrined with fine architectural solutions and luxurious embellishments is one of the brightest examples of Armenian architecture of the 13th century. Noravank consists of St. Karapet, St. Grigory the Illuminator churches and St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) two-storey church, which is notable for its ideal constructive and sculptural work.

 

Odzun Odzun
The village of Odzun is one of the biggest villages of Lori region. The domed basilica is situated in the middle of the village and is seen almost from every side. The inscriptions of the church do not convey any information about its foundation, though the architectural and artistic analyses have proven that it was built in the 6th century.

 

Oshakan Oshakan, Tomb of St. Mesrop Mashtots
Oshakan village has been a holy place since the 5th century, when in 440 due to the duke Vahan Amatuni's efforts the creator of Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots was buried there and a small church was built over his tomb. In the 19th century a bigger church bearing the name of St. Mesrop Mashtots was constructed in the place of the old one. Every year many first class schoolchildren learn the first letter of the alphabet in this church after an oath at the tomb of St. Mashtots.

 

Saghmosavank Saghmosavank
5 km far from Hovhanavank monastery on the edge of Kasakh river canyon, in the 13th century Vachutian dukes built Saghmosavank monastery. The main church is adjacent to the scriptorium, where many manuscripts have been produced during centuries. Saghmosavank underwent the devastating influence of the earthquake in 1988. The reconstruction comleted in 2000 returned the church its beauty and glory.

 

Sanahin Sanahin
The monastery of Sanahin is on the right bank of Debed River. This architectural complex consists of several churches, seminary, book depository. The building of the seminary, which connects St. Astvatsastin (Holy Mother of God) and Allsaviour churches was from the outset built to make the edifices more earthquake resistant.

 

Sardarapat Sardarapat
This memorial sculptural complex is built in the sunny Ararat valley. By allegories it represents the Armenian-turkish battle in 1918 and glorifies the brilliant victory of Armenian people. Near the entrance of the complex there are two huge winged bulls symbolizing the persistence of Armenian nation and the alley fringed by five eagles leads to the Ethnography museum with a rich exhibition of Armenian culture, trades and crafts.

 

Sevanavank Sevanavank
A marvelous scene opens in the north-western part of Sevan Lake, where the peninsula towers over the transparent surface of the lake. Sevanavank monastery was built on the peninsula in 874 by the order of king Ashot Bagratuni's daughter princess Mariam. The silhouette of the churches against the background of the turquoise lake and blue sky casts unexplainable impression on the visitors.

 

Vayots Dzor Vayots Dzor >>>
Vayots Dzor, one of the southern regions of Armenia, is centered on the watershed of the Arpa River, Most of its territory is upland without woods and only 20% of the soil is being cultivated. The province is 1000-2300 m above sea level and the uplands have potential hiking/horseback/mountain bike tracks. The regional center Yeghegnadzor, situated on the bank of Arpa River is full of fruit trees. In Yeghegnadzor there are monuments preserved from the first millennium B.C. to 17th с A.D. and there is a Museum of Regional Ethnography and an Art Gallery, a Park named after Momik as well...

 

Zvartnots Zvartnots
This marvelous temple is a result of skillfulness and brave creativity of Armenian architects of the 7th century. Having been built on several columns it could survive only till the 10th century. When in the beginning of the 20th century this site was being excavated many specialists could hardly accept its reconstruction model designed by famous Armenian architect Toros Toramanyan as it was difficult to believe that such a huge and complicated construction could have been built those days, and amazingly at that time one of the bas-relieves of St. Chapelle church in Paris came to prove Toramanyan's version; the bas-relief depicts Zvartnots temple with Noah's Ark and it looks like the model represented by the architect.

 


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