Three optional social programs are offered within the 95th anniversary celebration agenda. You are free to choose any of them and enjoy unforgettable experiences. You are as well welcome to choose a tour within the city and trip to Echmiadzin peppered with must-visit sites.
I. Trip to Garni, Geghard, Matenadaran
is one of the most popular and frequently visited sights in Armenia, being an architectural masterpiece. Here we find the only pagan temple preserved from pre-Christian times. The temple, ancient baths-house, the old fortress walls, the ruins of the VII century church… all are found in one site.
The Geghard Monastery…
was founded in IV century. According to ancient legend the legendary spear that pierced Christ was brought to Geghard Monastery. Here there are many things to see, most interesting are chambers carved from the mountain and rock-carved constructions. The carved chambers are also known for the incredible acoustics.
Matenadaran is an ancient manuscript repository located in the centre of Yerevan. Here one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books can be found. All of them include a broad range of subjects, also representing history, philosophy, medicine, literature, art history in Armenian and many other languages.
II. Trip to Lake Sevan, Dilijan
No trip to Armenia is ever complete without a visit to Lake Sevan, one of the largest and highest lakes in Eurasia at about 2,000 meters above sea level. On a clear and sunny day, the water is often a deep turquoise color. The shores are white sand and most beaches are deserted.
Armenia’s ever changing topography includes a way to lush environs of Dilijan. This is one of Armenia’s most appealing resort towns considered to be evergreen. The town is abundant with numerous magnificent Armenian traditional architectural masterpieces. Dilijan’s most popular religious site is the Haghartsin Monastery comprising three churches. The other monastery, Goshavank, (12th century) was one of Armenia’s prominent theological centers in the Middle Ages.
III. Trip to Khor Virab, Noravank
Khor Virab Monastery
Through the fertile plains of the Ararat valley, Khor Virab Monastery is observed; the cradle of Christianity in Armenia. The monastery is magnificently set against the towering slopes of Biblical Mount Ararat. The monastery is a pilgrimage destination for the whole Armenian population.
Noravank is a 13th century monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge. The monastery is best known for its two-storey S. Astvatsatsin church (Holy Mother of God), which grants access to the second floor by way of narrow stones jutting out from the face of building. It also includes two more churches, the ruins of various civil buildings and khachkars are found within the monastic complex.
IV. Echmiadzin, Tour within Yerevan
Many of the most interesting sights in Armenia are associated with the heritage of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Echmiadzin was the capital of Armenia from AD 180-340 and remains the site of the country’s most important cathedral, and home of the church’s Supreme Catholics. Holy Echmiadzin is the historical center of Armenian Apostolic Church, the seat of the Catholicos of All Armenians.
While walking within the city, one can observe the amazing and absolutely creative mixture of old and new, traditional and modern. University facilities, cultural centres, sculptural masterpieces, lively streets, attractive parks, exclusive cuisines, luxurious shops, first-class hotels… all these is to be found in the focal centre of Armenia, Yerevan.
A glimpse of Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world’s oldest continuously-inhabited cities. It is situated on the Hrazdan River, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial centre of the country. It has been the capital of Armenia since 1918, history of which dates back to the 8th century BC. The climate of Yerevan is relatively continental, with dry, hot summers and cold, short winters. The city can be characterized as the cornerstone of education and culture for whole Armenian nation. Majority of people are Armenians, having adopted Christianity as the official state religion first in the world, in 301 AD.
There is much to be explored within the city than it seems. Today, the appearance of new buildings, roads, restaurants, boutiques, quarters etc. indicate the growth of economy of the country. Yerevan is in the ongoing transformation from an old capital into a modern one with the exquisite and creative mixture of old and new.
More information about Yerevan and Armenia is available at www.armeniainfo.am