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In the footsteps of Armenian history

Locations:Yerevan Temple Garni Monastery Khor Virap Monastery Noravank Monastery Geghard Amberd Fortress
In the footsteps of Armenian history

A trip to the pagan temple of Garni, to the resort town of Tsakhkadzor, the fortress of Amberd. Inspection of Memorial in Sardarapat and visiting the Ethnographic Museum. Visiting the monastery of Khor Virap and Noravank.

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Tour program

Tour program

Day 1 - City-tour & sightseeing of one of the world

Excursion to Erebuni fortress, founded by Argishti I King of Urartu in 782 BC, and Erebuni museum which is housed in the ancient citadel of Erebuni, the predecessor of the present-day Yerevan. Its display includes bronze and iron tools, earthenware, weapons, ornaments and other articles made by Urartu craftsmen. All these have been discovered during excavations of the ancient town-fortress.
Visiting Matenadaran – depository of ancient manuscripts, guarded by the statue of primordial alphabet - giver St. Mashtots. There are conservation rooms for the 17000 manuscripts in dozen languages.
Visiting the Memorial in Tsitsernakaberd dedicated to the victims of the Genocide in 1915.
Visiting the State History Museum in Republic Square. The important archeological collection from Stone Age through Medieval periods are shown there. One should note a Latin inscription from Ejmiatsin attesting to the presence of a Roman garrison. There are some interesting models of early modern Yerevan and other historical exhibits.

Day 2 - Tour to Garni, Geghard and Cognac Factory

Visiting the Hellenistic fortress of Garni, which has a different charm in each new season. The Greco-Roman-style temple was build around 77 AD under King Trdat I. This is the only architectural monument saved up to our days from Hellenistic period. The Temple is dedicated to the God of Sun Mher. It collapsed from the earthquake in 1679 and was reconstructed in 1970-s.
Route towards Geghardavank, a supremely beautiful architectural monument built in the 13th century. “Geghard” means a spear-headed metal object once housed in Geghard, with which Christ was wounded in the side. Now it is saved in the Ejmiatsin treasury.
Visiting Cognac Factory. You will discover what the living legend of the Armenian Brandy is. During the tour: distillation workshop, barrel-making workshop, aging workshop, bottling workshop, museum (history and evolution of the company), bar tasting, shop (an exclusive chance to buy genuine brandy). Free time for shopping.

Day 3 - Route towards Tsaghkadzor, Dilijan, Sevan

Trip to wonderful resort-town Tsaghkadzor, founded in 1049, called Darachichak in Persian times. “Tsaghkadzor” means “valley of flowers” in Armenian. Visiting Kecharis, founded early in the 11thc. by Grigor Pahlavuni. Kecharis was considered to be a spiritual and cultural centre.
Route towards famous Lake Sevan (1900m above see level), that enters recorded history with the Urartians. King Rusa I conquered Sevan basin and made it the eastern frontier of the kingdom of Urartu sometime around the 720 BC. A number of boundary markers of Artashes I written in Aramaic, the Middle Eastern lingua franca, show the presence of the Artashesid dynasty in Hellenistic times. In the medieval times, Gegharkunik was dominated by the Dopian clan.
Visiting Haghartsin (11th c.), one of the most beautiful monuments of medieval architecture. There is an ancient nut tree nearby (said to be 1000 years old), shading a fine viewpoint of various remains of graves with typical Armenian ornaments, including “royal” graves of the Bagratuni family. There is a belief that one can have his dreams come true by passing through a huge hole right in the famous tree.
Back to Yerevan.

Day 4 - Trip to Aragatsotn region

Route towards Ashtarak town. “Ashtarak” means “Tower” in Armenian. It is endowed with many historical, architectural and religious monuments (Karmravor, Tsiranavor, Saghmosavank). Visiting Amberd fortress. Amberd is occupying a rugged promontory between the Amberd river and its main tributary. The fortress reached its zenith as the seat of the Pahlavuni feudal family in the 11th c.
Visiting burial site of Mesrop Mashtots at Oshakan. South from Ashtarak is Oshakan, which is most famous as the resting place of the creator of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots. The first phrase ever written in Armenian using Mashtots alphabet was the one translated from the Old Testament. Visiting burial site of Mesrop Mashtots at Oshakan. To the north of Ashtarak is the monastery Saghmosavank.
Back to Yerevan.

 

Day 5 - Visiting Sardarapat Memorial, the Museum of Ethnography, Pilgrimage to Holy Ejmiatsin

The Memorial Complex of the Sardarapat Battle Heroes was opened in 1968 and is situated 10 km away from Armavir town. This is the site where Armenians won a victory over Turkish aggressors in 1918. The complex includes a big park, a high bell tower and an alley with figures of eagles that leads up to the wall with a triumphal arch. Behind the wall there is the building of the Museum of Ethnography. The exposition of the museum is quite rich. It presents a multitude of materials from many historical and ethnographic regions of Armenia.
Pilgrimage to the first official Christian Church in the world and the seat of the Supreme Patriarch – Catholicos of all Armenians. Excursions to the ancient temple of St. Hripsime. Tour around Ejmiatsin town, visiting the Cathedral – religious center of all Armenians, and the Cathedral Museum. On the back way observing the ruins of Zvartnots (7th c.). The temple collapsed from the earthquake in the 10th c.
Back to Yerevan.

Day 6 - Visiting Khor Virap, Noravank and Gladzor

Route towards Khor Virap. Seeing the historical site of Khor Virap with an overwhelming view of Biblical Mount Ararat. There are two deep stone cisterns there, one of which is said to be the pit where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years by king Trdat III.
On the back way visiting famous Complex of Noravank, situated on a ledge of a deep winding gorge of a tributary of the Arpa River near the village of Amaghu, Yeghegnadzor District. Noravank ensemble stands amidst the bizarre-shaped precipitous red cliffs. Built in place of an ancient cloister, it grew in the reign of Princes Orbelian of Syunik. In the 13th-14th centuries it 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, primarily with Gladzor’s famed university and library.
Visiting the remains of the Gladzor University, famous medieval depository of manuscripts. There are photographs and maps charting the existence of educational institutions in Armenia and the influence of Gladzor and its pupils on the whole educational system in Armenia. Outside the door are seven modern khachqars, representing the trivium and quadrivium, the 7 branches of medieval learning (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic – the disciplines of the "trivium", and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music – the disciplines of the "quadrivium").
Back to Yerevan.

Day 7 - Trip to Lori region

Visiting Vanadzor on the way – the administrative center of Lori region.
Visiting Haghpat and Sanahin architectural monuments (10th-13th centuries), truly considered to be the jewels of medieval Armenian architecture preserved by UNESCO and included in the World Heritage list. Both were founded by Queen Khosrovanush around 976. Haghpat and Sanahin were major literary centres in the Middle Ages.
Back to Yerevan.

Day 8 - Shirak region

Visiting the center of Shirak region – Gyumri, which is considered to be a town of Armenian traditions and handicraftsmen.
Visiting monastery of Marmashen, located north-west to Gyumri, that is consisted of four churches. One of these recently discovered churches is circular, it has a "jhamatun" and a chapel. The "jhamatun" and the chapel are nearly in ruins. This impressive monastic complex sits on a picturesque shelf with fruit trees above the River Akhurian, beside a stream that ends in a waterfall. Vahram Pahlavuni, whose gravestone sits in the ruined “gavit”, between 988 and 1029 AD, built the Catoghike church of St. Stepanos. The "gavit" itself is 13th c. Apart from this, there are the Churches of St. Astvatsatsin and St. Petros, to be visited there. Archeologists found remnants of a fourth, nearly circular church, along with foundations of a pre-Christian temple and many service buildings.
Back to Yerevan.

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