Devil’s bridge is located on Vorotan River to the east from Tatev village. The bridge consists of travertine and has natural origin. Its length is about 30m, width 50-60m, along the bridge passes the road Goris-Tatev (village).
There are many mineral springs around, from which have formed wonderful stalactites. Some springs are under the bridge and fall into Vorotan River making it more full-flowing.
At first sight it looks like a little river flows under the bridge and a big one outflows from the other side. It is assumed that this might be the reason of a strange name of the bridge.
Many historical events are connected with the Devil’s bridge. The location and natural conditions had a huge meaning in Syunik liberation war, leaded by Garegin Njdeh. From the bridge’s heights Njdeh threw into the canyon Turkish Bolsheviks and askers, who tried to occupy Armenian lands.Read More
The St.Marine church is located in the north-eastern part of Ashtarak (Aragatzotn district). It was built in 1281 from brownish shaved toof. Its inside is erected from cruciform and is a rectangular vault from outside. The church has emphasized rising symmetry and is simple in development. The vault’s drum is circle-like from the inside and dectagon from outside. During 1838, a bell-tower was built on the the south wing of the roof. The remnants of the wall around the church were made with massive rough bazalt.Read More
In the 17th century life in Eastern Armenia became relatively stabilized with the immediate result that the economy of the country, where important trade routes lay, revived. Settlements were restored, civil and religious buildings were erected. New monastery complexes were small, as a rule. As distinct from their predecessors they had one church with a chapel and a belfry, residential and service premises situated along the fortress wall which enclosed the bailey. Such is the monastery in the village of Mughni, Aragatzotn district.
Standing on an elevation, it is the architectural dominant of a vast settlement and of the territory adjacent to it. Its only church, St.Gevorg (XIVc), is in the center of a wall-enclosed rectangle the north-eastern corner of which is occupied by celIs and service structures. The first storey of the northern wing housed storerooms and the second one – monks’ cells.
The Eastern wing was much smarter in appearance. At the top, there were the Father Superior’s chambers to which an external one-flight stairway led. Below, there was a refectory with a kitchen and a pantry. For the worshipper’s convenience, it had an exit to a small square beyond the eastern wall of the monastery. Pilgrims’ carts were usually parked there.
St.Gevorg church was restored in 1661-1669 by the architects Sahak Khizanetsi and his successor Murat. It is of a cross-winged domed basilica type. This capital structure of a considerable size is among the best works of architecture of those times.
Architectural details emphasize the artistic expressiveness of the building. Special attention was given to the tympanum of the western portal which is decorated with an ornament of luxuriant foliage and vases typical of West European baroque. It can be accounted for by Armenia’s trade ties with Western Europe.
In the interior of the church there have survived fragments of frescoes dating back to the seventeenth century, which were probably created by Naghash Ovnatan, the decorator of Ejmiatzin cathedral and of a number of churches near Yerevan and Agulis.Read More
In the upper reaches of the Aghstev River, there is Haghartzin monastery ensemble of the Tavush district. It is situated in dense oak wood, in the gorge of small but turbulent mountain river. The local terrain and scenery determined the compositional peculiarities of this ensemble.
The church of St.Astvatzatzin (1281) deserves special mention. This is the biggest building of all, the artistic dominant of the ensemble. The tall sixteen-faceted dome, dominating all the other structures, is decorated with a graceful arcature. This adds to the optical height of the dome and creates the impression that its drum is weightless.
The interesting sculptural group of the church’s eastern facade shows two men in monks’ attires who point with their hands at a model of a church and a picture of a dove with half-spread wings placed between them. The figures are shown wearing different dresses – the one standing right is dressed richer than the one standing left. The faces, with their long whiskers, luxuriant combed beards, and large almond-shaped eyes, are also executed in different manners. These are probably the founders of the church, the Father Superior, and his assistant.
The refectory of Haghartzin, built by the architect Minas in 1248, is a structure of a rare composition. The structure is divided by pillars into two square-plan parts roofed with a system of intersecting arches. The walls are lined with stone benches, and at the western butt wall, next to the door, there is a broad archway for the numerous pilgrims to get in and out. The decoration is concentrated only in the central sections of the roofing, near the main lighting apertures. The proportionally diminishing architectural shapes create the impression of airiness and space.Read More
In the 21st century, speaking on the path of development, Armenia provides every opportunity for the self-development of its young people. They should understand life correctly and use it effectively. What does our youth prefer? First, get an education. Impressively, but also the fact that young people have a love for education. They want to be diversified as much as the opportunity allows. True, in today’s reality, face-to-face contact with a book seems to be relegated to the background, but there is also a small portion of young people who prefer live reading than direct contact with the book. In addition, there are literary clubs where many readers attend and conduct literary discussions. It is also pleasant to note that today’s young people like to be in the center of cultural events, go to the theater, go to the cinema, go to museums, and also spend time in other places of entertainment. It should also be noted that currently IT technologies are widely used in Armenia, and our young people have achieved significant success in this field. As we have already seen, modern youth loves life and wants to get as much as possible from it.
Lake Sevan is situated in the north-eastern part of the Armenian Highland, in Gegharkunik Region. Sevan is considered to be one of the three ancient and biggest lakes (Vana and Urmia) of the Armenian Kingdom. It was called the “blue eyes” of Armenia and is surrounded by Geghama, Vardenis, Pambak, Sevan and Areguni mountain chains. The blue beauty of Armenia situates at an altitude of 1900m above sea level and the total surface area is about 5000 km2. It was famous with the names of “Geghama Tsov(in English sea), Gegharkunyats Tsov”.
Sevan is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Caucasus, nearly 29 rivers spill into it. The research revealed that it was originated in the 3rd century which has a very rare and endemic type of fish called “Ishkhan”, in English “Trout” with its four types; unluckily the fish is at the edge of extinction and registered in Red Book. The other species of fish are “Sig” and “Koghak”.
It is interesting to know that, here works the Federation of professional Windsurfing and Karting in Armenia. This is a place where you can have a rest, relax, take a sunbath and see historical places. It offers tours by ship, water cycling, volleyball, tennis and other services.
Noravank is a monastery building which was built in the13th -14th centuries. It is placed near Amaghu town, Vayots Dzor Region. According to Stepanos Orbelian, the church was a sanctuary.In the beginning of the 13th century, Noravank was the religious center of Syunik Region. In Noravank worked famous Armenian architects Siranes and Momik.
This monastery includes the main church Saint Karapet, Saint Grigor and Saint Astvatsatsin, the courtyard and the mausoleum of Duke Smbat. In the western side of the church are remains of ancient buildings.The general church of the Noravank Monastery was built Liparit Orbelian in 1216-1223.The courtyard was built after the construction of the church. In 1321 the courtyard was destroyed by the earthquake, the reconstruction of it did a celebrated sculptor and architect Momik.
The second church of the monastery is the Saint Astvatsatsin which was built in 1339. It is two-storey mausoleum called Burtelashen named after Duke Burtel Orbelian, who built this church which is considered to be the last masterpiece of Momik. Noravank complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, in 1995.Read More
Located in Tavush, the Lastiver district is a paradise on earth! It’s a place where you can escape from the hot heat and the city noise, a place where no one will be able to disturb your leisure.
Geography of the Area
Tavush province is rich in rivers, the largest of which is the Aghstev River. One of the tributaries of this river, Khachahpyur, leads to the beautiful corners of Ijevan, to the area of Lastiver. Lastiver is within a few hours’ drive from Yerevan and is one of the most favorite places for active leisure, both among the citizens of the country and the tourists. Almost every travel agency has tour packages for Lastiver, yet if you’re traveling with the whole family, you can always rent a car and organize the trip yourself.
Picturesque Road Leading to Great Adventures
If you’re a fan of extreme new sensations and adrenaline, then the road to Lastiver is made just for you. The footpath to the Lastiver starts from the village of Enokavan, which also houses the famous zip-line, which functions both in summer and in winter. From the village of Enokavan begins a footpath to Lastiver. Just imagine the extraordinary beauty of the gorge, the green forests, and also, in places, rocky hills. On the way to Lastiver you will constantly stop to admire the eagles you’ll spot in the middle of their flight, soaring above the abyss and aspiring to the sky. The road will take around an hour or an hour and a half, depending on your pace. During your journey you’ll pass through the thickets of the forests, in some places opening up a beautiful view of the endless gorges.
Wooden Houses out of European Fairy Tales
While the road to Lastiver is gorgeous on its own, the beauty of Lastiver itself is hard to put into words. After a grueling walk you will have the opportunity to relax and unwind in a place specifically designed and equipped for it. Here you will find wooden gazebos and lodges where you can spend the night at an additional cost. The houses are quite comfortable and will make you feel as if you’re in one of your favorite fairy tales. On the territory of Lastiver there is also a bar and usually a large bonfire, around which people gather in the evening, play the guitar and sing their favorite songs in the company of one another. Locals are always happy to see people visiting and will greet you there with great hospitality.
Away from the wooden structures you will have a beautiful view of the waterfall. The water in the river is crystal clear – you can even drink it. But, keep in mind that it is very cold, so you can not stay barefoot in it for long. However, this doesn’t stop some daredevils who dive headfirst into the freezing cold spring water, an excellent way to boost their immune system.
Caves and Centuries of History
If you decide to go Lastiver, you definitely need to visit the cave famously known by its name Anapat (Desert), which has an interesting and ancient history. It’s said that during the Mongol invasions in the XIII-XIV centuries, the locals found shelter in this very cave.
On the walls of the cave there is an interesting semi bas-relief, where you can see a portrayal of a wedding. During his solitude in the cave, the author of the carving portrayed a wedding celebration in Cana of Galilee and it’s preserved in an excellent for even to this day.
The cave itself is located on the almost flat slope of the canyon, at the bottom of which you’ll find a beautiful waterfall. The road to it runs through a long ladder of logs put on top of one another. The construction was carried out by the local residents. The very word “Lastiver” translates from Armenian as “up the dam”.
This formidable 11th century walled monastery stands half ruined on an outcrop across the Garni River gorge from the village of Goght.
The Havuts Tar monastery complex is located to the east of Garni on the left bank of the Azat River and was one of the major religious and cultural centres of medieval Armenia. This formidable 11th century walled monastery stands half ruined on an outcrop across the Garni River gorge from the village of Goght.
Havuts Tar can be reached in just under an hour on foot, either from Goght or from the dirt road at the bottom of the gorge, accessible by car from Garni. When leaving Goght take the track that starts at the end of the village square and past the ruined church and then fork to the left on the road at the end and through a gate into a farmyard.
Passing through the farmyard take a path to the right and down some concrete steps to a small wooden bridge across the river and up to the monastery. Most of the way up, a clear path goes right and you will reach a cluster of small shrines/tombs with the monastery lying just beyond.
Havuts Tar, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1679, was reconstructed by Catholicos Astvatsatur in the 18th century. The monastery complex consists of two groups of buildings. The western group, which dates from the 13th century and is built with plain reddish tuff, contains the main church.
Though in ruins, the architecture is multicolored and richly carved although the dome. Two half-ruined and one-nave shrine join the church on the south. The eastern group of edifices was fully reconstructed in the first half of the 18th century using the original masonry. To the north the partial outline of the St. Karapet Church which was started by Catholicos St. Astvatsatur in 1721, but lies unfinished due to Lezgin’s first invasion. Habitable rooms are adjacent to the fences on the northern side, and a vaulted guest-house is on the south-western side. Beyond this on an outcrop lies the Amenaprkich church which was built in 1013 by the young Grigor Pahlavuni, son of the lord of Bjni and nephew of the sparapet Vahram Pahlavuni.
A fascinating character that went down in history as Grigor Magistros from the Byzantine imperial titles he received after the Armenian kingdom of Gagik II Bagratuni passed into Byzantine hands in 1045. Having given his own lands to the Emperor, Grigor Magistros received estates in Mesopotamia and was ultimately appointed governor of large tracts of historical Armenia.
Armenian food derives most of its magic from the great abundance, quality, and freshness of its locally sourced ingredients. Experiencing Armenia means trying all of the delicious meals it has to offer. Whether it’s in a modern restaurant, a fast food spot, or a traditional home cooked meal – Armenia has many flavors to satisfy your taste buds.
Cuisine That Has Stood the Test of Time
Guests visiting Armenia are very fortunate: Armenian cuisine has stood the test of time for two millennia and offers bountiful tables of mouthwatering dishes that are accompanied with intimate drinks and toasts. Here, you will enjoy an inexpensive full dinner at a respectable restaurant, aromatic coffee at a cafe and local fruits and berries at the markets fresh from the orchard.
Armenia is a place where recipes are passed on from generation to generation and the signature of specialties become a treasured family secret. It is a place where chefs conjure in the kitchen by keeping to traditional recipes, interpreting or even boldly experimenting with old ones. It is a place that mixes influences from Levantine and European cuisine due to its unique location. The Armenian cuisine is very reflects on the seasonal aspects of traditional Armenian crops as well as the animals grown in the country.
Unique qualities of the Armenian Cuisine
Armenian cuisine incorporates fresh and dried herbs in many of the dishes. Often times fresh herbs are used as accompaniments. Certain dishes are filled with spices while the taste of the others mostly relies on freshness of the used ingredients. The old Armenian culinary traditions remain incorporated in the Armenia to this day. Clay kitchenware as well as clay furnaces are actively used by Armenians, adding a unique authentic flavor to the cuisine.
Armenian cuisine is full of many meat based as well as vegetable based dishes. Due to the devotion of the population to the preservation of the Great Lent as well as due to the quantity and quality of the fresh products, Armenian cuisine is very fitting for vegan and lactose intolerant people.
Destination for Food Connoisseurs
You will learn how to bake lavash, make khorovats (barbecue), wrap tolma in grape leaves and learn to distinguish authentic Armenian cognac. You will be offered to taste crawfish with raw beer. A seemingly casual meal, yet in V century BC Xenophon, an ancient Greek historian, mentioned in “Anabasis” that the beer he tried in Armenia had excellent taste.
National Geographic included Yerevan in the list of “Six Unexpected Cities for the Food Lovers” mentioning the capital city as one of the best places in Asia with rich cuisine: the magazine advises food lovers to try gastro tours to Armenia.
Armenian Spirits and Beverages
Alcoholic drinks in Armenia have a big cultural and historical significance. Armenians take pride in the local production of drinks such as cognac, wine and oghi (Armenian Vodka), due to its taste, quality and long history. As Armenia grows 6 varieties of grape, the conditions of the country are ideal for both cognac production and winemaking. Armenian cognac is famous all around the world and is considered one of the best quality and taste wise. The sweetness of the grapes allows for the production of highly alcoholic and strong drinks.
Armenia has also a variety of traditional non-alcoholic beverages. Coffee enthusiasts will be delighted to discover new flavors served in the small cups. Armenian coffee is not only famous for its flavor, but also the traditions such as fate readings based on the smudges that the coffee leaves in the cup. It’s a completely new experience worth trying out. Some other Armenian drinks, such as the mineral water so famous around the country, have health benefiting qualities.