This small nation within the Caucuses was once the first country to undertake Christianity as its state faith in 301 AD. In reality, Christianity started to unfold during Armenia quickly after the loss of life of Jesus Christ. Consequently, there are millions of non secular structures and artifacts scattered throughout Armenia.
Armenia has been described as an ‘open-air museum of Christianity’, and we expect that’s a sexy correct description!
One of the vital primary causes we travelled to Armenia was once to seek advice from the lovely monasteries dotted around the Armenian geographical region. Many of those monasteries date again loads of years and are continuously positioned in far off gorges or atop mountains. Some are even carved into rocky cliff faces.
There are such a lot of monasteries to make a choice from in Armenia, so we have now indexed our 5 favourites under to get you began. The most productive section? Access to all of those monasteries is loose.
1. Geghard Monastery
Geghard Monastery is essentially the most available monastery in Armenia, positioned lower than one hour’s pressure from Yerevan. This rock-hewn monastic complicated is an out of this world instance of the construction abilities of Armenia’s medieval architects.
The primary structures have been finished within the 13th century, however some sections of the monastery date again so far as 1177 AD. A whole neighborhood of priests have been housed within the complicated and the priests lived, studied and labored right here.
The monastery integrated a college, scriptorium and library, but in addition held vital non secular relics. Essentially the most well-known relic was once the spear that wounded Christ at the Pass, however that is now lacking.
Attending to Geghard Monastery
There are many excursion corporations providing quite priced day journeys to Geghard Monastery. You’ll additionally catch a minibus from the Gai bus station in Yerevan (close to the Mercedes Benz store) to Garni, then catch a taxi or stroll to Geghard.
The primary bus leaves Yerevan at 11am. We employed a automotive in Armenia, and controlled to get two rushing tickets and hit a couple of potholes on the best way to Geghard! Take a look at this inexpensive day travel from Yerevan to Geghard.
2. Noravank Monastery
Noravank Monastery is ready among jaw-dropping purple cliffs in a far off gorge off the Yerevan-Goris freeway. Top-profile bishops and princes have been housed within the Thirteenth-century monastery.
The Mongols raided the monastery in 1238 AD, however the monastery has been ready to retain its medieval allure. Noravank is a well-liked day travel from Yerevan, so get right here early to overcome the vacationers. Noravank has a small museum too, which has a couple of medieval artifacts and works of art.
Attending to Noravank Monastery
Noravank Monastery is positioned 116 kilometers southeast of Yerevan. We suggest visiting Noravank Monastery on a day excursion from Yerevan or with your individual automotive. Take a look at this inexpensive day travel which takes in 2 monasteries and a vineyard.
Marshrutky (minivans) from Yerevan or Yeghednadzor too can drop you off on the turn-off simply out of doors Areni (at Edem Eating place). From there you’ll stroll or hitchhike the 6km to the monastery.
3. Tatev Monastery
The Tatev Monastery is without doubt one of the maximum far-flung monasteries in Armenia. Consequently, many travellers unfortunately skip this surprising spot. However we promise it’s well worth the pressure!
The monastery is ready prime upon a clifftop overlooking an enormous valley. This operating monastery was once constructed within the 9th century and has an eerie medieval really feel. Priests nonetheless are living right here, so when you’re fortunate you’re going to see them wearing complete garb wandering the grounds.
Attending to Tatev Monastery
Tatev Monastery is positioned 250 kilometers southeast of Yerevan, however the adventure can take as much as 6 hours. One of the best ways to seek advice from Tatev is via excursion or your individual automotive.
You’ll additionally catch a mashrutka from Yerevan’s Kilikia bus station to Goris, or a shared taxi. Most of the people rent a taxi from Goris to the ‘Wings of Tatev’ cable automotive in Halidzor village (22 kilometres).
The cable automotive runs between Halidzor and Tatev Monastery. There also are a few mashrutkas to Tatev that go away from the marketplace on Syuniki St in Goris. Test together with your guesthouse for present timetables. We additionally met a few backpackers who had effectively hitchhiked across the house.
4. Sevanavank Monastery
The hilltop monastery of Sevanavank isn’t the largest in Armenia, nevertheless it arguably has the most productive perspectives. The monastery is located on a peninsula simply north of Sevan, and provides panoramic perspectives of Sevan Lake and the encompassing snow-capped mountains.
Princess Mariam based the church in 874 AD. She was once a real romantic, having constructed a lot of church buildings throughout Armenia in reminiscence of her overdue husband. Via the nineteenth century, errant priests have been being reformed on the remoted monastery.
Sevanavank was once first of all constructed on an island, however after the bogus draining of Lake Sevan all the way through the Soviet generation the island become a peninsula. In all probability no longer remoted sufficient for errant priests anymore.
Attending to Sevanavank Monastery
Sevanavank Monastery is positioned 82 kilometers northeast of Yerevan. There are many excursion corporations and hostels in Yerevan setting up day journeys to Lake Sevan, which incorporates Sevanavank Monastery. This highly-rated excursion is inexpensive and provides nice price.
You’ll additionally catch a marshrutka from Yerevan’s northern bus station to Sevan. Arrive via 10am to order your seat. From Sevan, you’ll catch a taxi to the monastery.
5. Sanahin Monastery
The Sanahin Monastery is positioned within the stunning Debed Canyon. The monastery is in a far off a part of northern Armenia, however had an enormous affect on medieval structure around the nation. Sanahin is now a UNESCO International Heritage website online because of its architectural significance.
The monastery was once constructed all the way through the Byzantine generation between the tenth and 13th centuries, in conjunction with within sight Haghpat Monastery. It served as crucial centre of studying all the way through medieval occasions. Consequently, you’ll nonetheless in finding medieval libraries and secret hiding puts for manuscripts within the complicated.
We suggest paying a small tip for the professional excursion this is presented. The information provides you with a sneak peek into rooms which might be generally locked, and will be offering an enchanting perception into the historical past of Sanahin.
Attending to Sanahin Monastery
Sanahin is positioned close to the village of Alaverdi within the Debed Canyon, 165 kilometers north of Yerevan. We drove to Alaverdi in our trusty Nissan Micra rent automotive, however I don’t suggest it.
Your most suitable option is to take a excursion or catch a marshrutka. Marshrutkas go away Yerevan’s Kilikia bus station day by day for Alaverdi. If you’ll’t in finding an instantaneous connection, you’ll additionally catch a marshrutka to Vanadzor then catch any other to Alaverdi.
Armenia is a vacation spot that isn’t totally on vacationers’ radar. However, the lovely monasteries by myself must make you need to plot a travel. Should you’re within the area, don’t pass over within sight Tbilisi in Georgia, and when you’re ready, head into Turkey and notice the Armenian ruins of Ani, that are simply around the border between Armenia and Turkey.
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