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FAITH THROUGH THE AGES

4 nights/5 days  or  6 nights/7days


TEMPLE ECHMIADZIN-ZVARTNOTS-KHOR VIRAP-NORAVANK-GEGARD and other shrines of the first country in the world, which adopted Christianity as a state religion.


We invite you to an unforgettable trip, where you will explore the ancient shrines of Armenia: the Armenian "Vatican" - Echmiadzin, Zvartnots - in translation from the ancient Armenian " Temple of the Vigilant Angels". Also you will have the opportunity to get to the monastery at the foot of the mountain Ararat- Khor Virap. Visit the famous Noravank monasteries and the Geghard monastery.

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The church of Echmiadzin is the main temple of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Is located in city of Vagharshapat, Armavir region of Armenia. Construction of the Cathedral is associated with the name of King Trdat III and the Catholicos of St. Gregory the Illuminator. By tradition, Trdat III ordered 35 stones to throw stones at the nuns, after which gone crazy. One of the imprisoned Christians named Grigory (who became known under the name of Gregory the Illuminator) cured him and turned him into Christianity, after which the example of his ruler was followed by the whole population of Armenia. The place for the temple was indicated to Gregory the Illuminator himself Jesus Christ, where the name comes from. Since 2000, it is on the list a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest Christian Temples in the world.

 

Zvartnots - in the translation from ancient Armenian means "Temple of Vigilant Angels"

A temple of early medieval Armenian architecture, is located near Yerevan and Vagharshapat (Echmiadzin). According to the Armenian historian Sebeos, built under the Catholicos Nerses III Builder 640-650, who planned to move his residence from Dvina to Vagharshapat. Nerses III is also attributed construction in Khor Virap. At the consecration ceremony of the colossal church there was a Byzantine emperor Constant II, who wished to build such a same in Constantinople. In the 10th century, the temple, due to the weakness of the support units of the second tier collapsed during the earthquake. The ruins of Zvartnots were discovered by excavations in 1901-1907 years. By now almost completely reconstructed the first tier. In 2000, the ruins of the temple and the archaeological territory surrounding it

are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

 

Khor Virap is an Armenian monastery, located near the border with Turkey. The monastery is known for its location at the foot of the biblical mountain Ararat, on which, according to tradition, Noah appeared on the ark after The World Flood. The monastery is located above the underground prison, in which, according to the legend, the Armenian king Trdat III kept in custody for about 15 years of St.. Gregory the Illuminator before he was converted to Christianity, according to the traditional date, about 301 years. The whole of Armenia was

Christianity in 301, thus becoming the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion. On the territory of the monastery, in its central part is also the large church of St. Astvatsatsin (The Blessed Virgin), built in the middle of the XVII century. At the same time, there were monastic cells and the monastery were built. Now this is one of the most famous

Places of pilgrimage of Armenians from all over the world. A regular worship service.

 

Noravank is a monastic complex built in the 13th-14th centuries. Noravank was founded in 1205 by Bishop Hovhannes, former abbot of the monastery in Vaganavanke. The monastic complex includes the Surb Karapet church (St. John the Baptist), the chapel of St. Grigor (St. Gregory) with the vaulted hall and the church of St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God). Noravank was the residence of the Armenian princes Orbelyans. In the late 13th-early 14th centuries here worked architect Siranes and an outstanding sculptor and miniaturist Momik. The fortified monastic walls were built in the XVII-XVIII centuries. At several khachkars were preserved in the complex. The most intricate of all executed by Momik in 1308. A large cross over a shield-shaped socket and the convex eight-pointed stars, vertically arranged on the sides, are executed against a tracery carving. At the top of the khachkar – image deesis in the frame of five arches, symbolizing a covered alley of curly plants, as indicated by a background ornament of flowers, fruits and leaves of the vine.

 

Geghard is the full name of Gegardavank, literally "monastery of the spear". The name of the monastery complex comes from the lance of Longinus, who pierced the body of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and, as claimed, brought in Armenia by the Apostle Faddeeus among many other relics. Now the spear exhibited in the museum of Etchmiadzin. The monastery was founded in the IV century on the spot a sacred spring originating in a cave. Therefore, he  was given the name Ayrivank, which means "cave monastery". According to the legend, the founder of the monastery was St. Gregory the Illuminator. The surrounding Monastery cliffs are part of the gorge of the river Gokht, which, like the monastery complex is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Part of the temples of the monastery complex are completely carved out inside the rocks, while others are complex structures consisting of both walled rooms and rooms carved deep inside the cliff. On the territory of the monastery complex there are numerous carved stone walls and separately standing khachkars - traditional Armenian stone commemorative steles with crosses.

 







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