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Armenia is an ancient citadel of monasteries and mountains met with many suffering. The country is bordered by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey. Mountains, rocks and ruins of ancient settlements have a special place in people’s hearts. And this is reflected in the large carved stone crosses, known as "Khach-Cary." Basically, cross-stones were constructed on the site’s of important events, make crosses in the form of stone slabs, sometimes as a stele on which is carved a cross, and various ornaments. Two similar "Khach Cary", you will not find anywhere. Thanks to the numerous monuments of antiquity, the clear mountain air and recently developed infrastructure in the country is more developed tourism, especially ecotourism.
For most people Armenian symbol is cognac drinks. British Prime Minister W. Churchill always drank exclusively Armenian cognac only. Therefore it is advisable to go to a tasting to Ararat brandy factory. Nation is especially proud of their unique alphabet. Sayat Nova, Armenian poet-ashough, who lived in Tbilisi and was killed for the Christianity rests in Tbilisi church of Surb Gevork. His Love poems presented in three languages. But most of the works are written in Azeri. Armenia is the first around the world in the stocks of volcanic tuff and felsite. Mesrop Mashtots (362-440 gg.) occupies a special place in Armenian history, as he created the Armenian alphabet St. Mashtots relics are buried in the crypt of an ancient chapel.
But let’s start, yet with ancient Christianity monuments. 5 km from Vagarshapat are the remains of Zvartnots church (Cathedral of Vigil Forces), built in the 6th century and destroyed by an earthquake in the Xth century. The temple was richly decorated with ornaments, which are still present in modern Armenian architecture.
Echmiadzin – the residence of Armenian Patriarch. On the complex territory is also located Theological Academy. Gates of the city is the Church of Surp Hripsimeh, built in 618 y. on the site of the martyrdom of St. Hripsimeh died for the Christian faith. The relics of St. Hripsimeh found peace in the tomb of the church.
In Garni is a pagan temple dedicated to the sun god Mithra and built in Ist century. An ancient temple built by the king for his wife, waiting for him during his long military campaigns. Around Harney is also interesting cave monastery of Geghard, which is part of a cliff.
Agartsin small church hidden in the mountain forests served as a refuge for people during the many invasions of Muslim hordes. Due to fierce raids and hard living conditions churches have very ascetic decoration with only a few icons and trays for candles.
Cathedral of Yerevan, named after St. Gregory the Illuminator was built in 2001. Temple of st. Gregory, as well as Tbilisi Sameba, looked too modern and lack of history and less prayed atmosphere.
After such a serious excursion into the Christianity history, it’s time to pamper yourself with city views and cozy restaurants of Yerevan. Armenian cuisine is a subject for extra page. Therefore certainly try dishes prepared by local chefs. Million population of the city is very friendly. There are two airports in the capital. The city can truly be called the European type capital. Capital museum and institute of ancient manuscripts Matenadaran maybe will open to you the secrets of its manuscripts, stored in museum and amounts to 5 thousand.
Take the opportunity to ride on the longest cable car in the world. The ancient Tatev monastery monument was built in early IXth c, which paved the way of mentioned cable car up to 5752 meters. The journey takes 11 minutes and on the way you can admire the scenery of the River Vorotan gorge from the height of 360 meters.
After a long tour you can rest and relax in Jermuk – the spa town, famous for its springs of warm mineral water. In Armenia is produced Jermuk mineral water. Also noteworthy is the Jermuk waterfall.
In South Caucasus countries can be seen very original ancient holidays, such as the Armenian Terendez. Terendez (Trndez) is a national holiday celebrated on February 13. Reminiscent of the "Pancake week" in the mix with " Valentine’s Day". Holiday’s main actors are couples and lovers. On this day in all the churches is hold blessing ritual. According to ancient Armenian legends, this day fueled bonfire, through which the couple had to jump over. In our time, kindle fires are rare, but the couples are walking with lit in the hands cups with candles.
Blue-eyed Lake Sevan is one of the highest lakes in the world. At the Lake located resort area. Sevan is famous for production of moon rock and a unique view of trout-Ishkhan, which in natural form is found only here.
One of the few surviving monuments of antiquity is Harichavank (VII – XIII cc.), standing on the edge of the cliff. Here is a mother-nature miracle – a "swinging rock", with a tiny chapel (VII cent.), Thanks to its design, it has resisted during the numerous earthquakes.
We have to mention Karahunj-stones forces, prehistoric megalithic complex on a mountain plateau (1770 m) on the banks of the river gorge Dar. Megaliths Karahunj are always compared with Stonehenge. Pointy blocks – menhirs 2-meter-high wall a vast territory, forming a circle with a stone dolmen in the middle. Armenian rich historical heritage will forever remain in your heart and Armenian land and citizens amaze with their hospitality. Armenia invites you to discover its mysteries and fall in love with this mountainous region!