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Khor Virap Monastery
Artashat and surrounding
Architecture,  Temples, Churches
Temples, Churches

Armenia is an ancient country with rich traditions. Besides, some cities of this state adopted Christianity much earlier than Rome, which then became the center of this faith.

In memory of the former greatness of ancient Armenia, many beautiful monastic complexes have been preserved. One of them, Khor Virap, is located near the city of Artashat, next to the majestic Mount Ararat. According to the legend, after the end of the Great Flood, Noah came out of his ark next to this mount.

It was here, around 180 BC, that the city of Artashat, one of the oldest capitals of Armenia, was founded. The territory of the monastery and the fortress city were incredibly large and strongly fortified, as crafts flourished here, life boomed, and many trade routes passed through the city.

The spread of Christianity throughout Armenia began from the monastery of Khor Virap. Therefore, ancient manuscripts were kept here, the most expensive gifts were brought here, and the fate of future representatives of the Church was decided here. The richest complex, located in the heart of the ancient capital next to the sacred mount, caused awe and respect.

But frequent internal wars led to the fact that the city was deserted, there were only some monks who continued to serve. And over time, they also left, leaving their abode – the cradle of the Christian faith in Armenia.

Unfortunately, only a part of the monastery complex has survived to this day, but it still impresses with its grandeur and monumentality.

Today, you can walk through the ancient ruins that used to be the homes of novices and cells of monks. You can also go to the chapel, built in the 5th century, you can attend a service in the current Church of the Holy Mother of God, built in the middle of the 17th century. And, of course, you can look into the famous dungeon – the oldest and most terrible prison of ancient Armenia. This is a tiny room for criminals, its size does not exceed four meters. A steep spiral staircase descends to a depth of six meters. No windows, no doors, only damp and stone walls. So terrible was the punishment for those who opposed the kings.

Address: Khor Virap Monastery

Published by

Natalia Globenko

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