Historic Sites, Ancient Temples, Fortresses and Churches and the Main Shrine of Armenia - Etchmiadzin Cathedral
Included in cost
- TRANSFER YEREVAN - ZVARTNOTS 30 minutes
- SIGHTSEEING ZVARTNOTS CATHEDRAL 1 hour
- ETCHMIADZIN CATHEDRAL INCLUDING MUSEUM 2 hours
- LUNCH IN AGAPE 1 hour
- TRANSFER ETCHMIADZIN - OSHAKAN 30 minutes
- ST MESROP MASHTOTS CHURCH 45 minutes
- TRANSFER AND CITY TOUR TO ASHTARAK 45 minutes
- TRANSFER ASHTARAK - AMBERD 1 hour
- AMBERD FORTRESS 1 hour
- TRANSFER AMBERD - YEREVAN 1 hour
Aragatsotn region, located at a distance of 50km from Yerevan.
We invite you to admire one of the most striking examples of medieval Armenian architecture. The fortress is located in the region of Aragatsotn, which is simply strewn with numerous cultural and historical monuments. One of the few remaining fortresses in Armenia was founded in the 7th century, while the preserved walls are striking in their monumentality. The main part of the complex - the church, built by Prince Wagram Pahlavuni in 1026. The church is operational - just imagine, despite all the vicissitudes of history, church services and ceremonies have been going on here for almost 1000 years!
Amberd served as the main outpost of the Bagratuni dynasty in this part of historical Armenia. The complex is located at an altitude of 2300 meters, so it offers simply dizzying views! A small fact: the popular Russian film "Bastards" was filmed here.
The city of Ashtarak is a regional center located on the right, high bank of the river Kasah, 20 km north-west of Yerevan. The city lies at the intersection of roads connecting the three largest cities in the country -Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor. Ashtarak is one of the oldest cities in Armenia with numerous monuments of material culture and traditions of national life. It is famous for its areas, streets, houses, landscape. Ashtarak still retained the color of the ancient and beautiful Armenian city.
Now a days, Ashtarak “stepped over” to the other - the left bank of the river, a beautiful new bridge was thrown across the gorge. Previously, the old three-arch bridge was used, located upstream of the river. It was built in XIII century and remodeled in XVII century. Now the movement on this bridge has almost stopped, and it is interesting only as a historical monument. Under the bridge is also an old water mill, which operated until the 70s of the 20th century. Separately, it is worth mentioning the Gourmet Durme chocolate factory located in Ashtarak. Founded by the Armenian brothers from France, the factory produces chocolate according to the highest European standards and is the pride of the Ashtarak people. Also in Ashtarak there are about ten gastro-yards where you can cook and taste various dishes of Armenian cuisine, there are also several wineries.
extra: Gastro Yards - Restaurants, Chocolate Factory
Aragatsotn region, located at a distance of 30km from Yerevan.
Oshakan Village is 4 km away on south of Ashtarak, among the vineyards and greenery of pomegranate gardens, occupying the entire space between Ashtarak and Etchmiadzin. Here is the burial place of the great enlightener of Armenia, Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of scripts of completely different language peoples - Armenians, Georgians, and Caucasian Albanians. Over the grave of Mesrop, located in the southeastern part of the village, in 443 Prince Vagan Amatuni built a small chapel on the site of which in 1875-1879 Catholicos Gevorg III built a church, which stands to this day. It is a traditional one-nave basilica, crowned with a belfry over the altar apse, and recalls the first centuries of Christianity in Armenia.
During the tour you will see an unusual composition, which was built in the 1600-th anniversary of the Armenian alphabet.
Near the village erected a monument in memory of those killed at the battle of Oshakan during the Russian-Persian War in 1827., Russian and Armenian warriors. It was built from red tufa in 1833-1834 at the expense of the local population
Extras: cottage restaurant Hatsekats in Oshakan
Armavir Region, 20 km from Yerevan
To visit Armenia and not see Etchmiadzin means not to visit this country at all. We invite you to visit the first church in the world and truly experience the spirit of the ancient people.
Each nation has its own holy and especially revered places. For the Armenians of the whole world, for almost two thousand years, Etchmiadzin is such a place, spread out on the picturesque Ararat plain. An ancient monastery complex with the residence of the Supreme Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, erected around the temple of amazing beauty and grace - the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. Pay attention to the treasury - a museum with legendary Christian artifacts such as the Spear of Longinus, a piece of the Cross, a piece of Noah's Ark and the relics of several apostles and saints.
In addition to the cathedral itself, we will see several more churches whose age is impressive - for example, St. Hripsime Church was built in the 7th century!
In 2000, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral and churches were included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
Armavir region, located at a distance of 15km from Yerevan.
Zvartnots temple was supposedly built in 643-652 in the years of turbulent for Armenia. Arab conquerors invaded the country and, having captured the capital Dvin in 640, threatened to conquer the whole country. At that time, Bishop Nerses Taetsi was elected Catholicos. For his construction activities, the creation of many churches and monasteries and the strengthening of the Christian faith, Nerses was nicknamed the Builder. In 641, he transferred the Catholicosate to Zvartnots and in about 643 ordered the construction of the cathedral.
Zvartnots temple was a unique architectural structure. Interestingly, during the construction, it was one of the tallest buildings in the world (45-49 m). Instead of domed cruciform buildings or basilicas characteristic of that period, Zvartnots was built in a completely new style with a central dome resting on a single circle formed by many angles and altars. With its impressive size and unique design, the temple became a “real architectural miracle”, “an amazing space creation”, about which many legends were created, and the luxury of its design was mentioned many times in written sources. According to chroniclers, in 652, the Byzantine emperor Costas II, who was present at the consecration of the temple, was so impressed by its magnificence and size that he took the architect of the temple with him to build something similar in Constantinople, but the architect fell ill and died on the way.
Directly on the territory of the temple is also the archaeological museum with artifacts related to the temple.
In 2000, Zvartnots was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.