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“Dramatic position” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Khor Virap

Khor Virap
| Artashat, Yerevan, Armenia
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Ranked #3 of 39 attractions in Yerevan
Type: Religious Sites
Attraction Details
Southampton
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Dramatic position”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

The monastery itself is interesting though not of great note, but the position makes it well worth a visit, standing as it does on a hill top with views across the Turkish border to Mount Ararat. If you can be there at sunset it can be very dramatic, and views from the roadside which set the monastery on its hilltop against the mountain are dramatic - perhaps even better at sunrise, but we didn't experience that.

Visited September 2013
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Maribor, Slovenia
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“A piece of history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

It's a great day trip from Yerevan. A church and monastery so closely connected with introduction of christianity to Armenia. Located right on a border with Turkey (which is closed- you can't cross it) with breathtaking view of a holy mountain of Ararat, where according to legend Noah ark landed after the great flood. You can visit the underground cell where Gregory the Illuminator was kept for 13 years (if you managed to climb the 6 meter narrow metall steps). Khor Virap it's easy reachable from Yerevan. You can combine your visit of this place with a little wine tasting in Areni, further south.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Going back to our roots...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

The monastary of Khor Virap (or "deep pit") is another amazing experience for any sort of traveller, especially history buffs. I recommend you familiarize yourself with the story of St. Gregory the Illuminator prior to visiting this holy shrine. It is where he was improsined for 13 years for preaching Christianity in Armenia in the late 200's AD. The amazing part of the visit is actually having a chance to descend into the same pit (or prison cell) he was trapped in, as well as climbing up the hill and seeing the most amazing view of the biblical Mount Ararat in front of you (if you're lucky, on a clear day). Before heading up to the monastary, you will be greeted by people shoving pigeons and doves in your hands. It is apparantly tradition to release the doves as a symbol of "awakening" or "rebirth", however be warned that shortly thereafter you will be expected to pay. If you do not wish to partake in this tradition, then simply, and politely, say no before they force the doves in your hands. If you're lucky enough, especially on the weekends, you can also witness a wedding or baptism here. Service on Sundays starts early and ends around noon or 1pm. The choir was amazing and haunting. Again, a truly spiritual experience!

Visited July 2013
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Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Wow!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

If you have only time to do one thing outside of Yerevan, come here. Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its national religion and it all started right here. I am not religious at all but I can really appreciate the significance of the place. You can climb down the ladder to where St. Gregory spent thirteen years in the bottom of pit. You must be pretty fit to get down it but it is worth it.

It is not Disneyland and it wont keep kids or bored teenagers interested for more than a few minutes. For thoughtful adults though, it is significant place with incredible history. Oh, and the view of Mt. Ararat behind the monastary as you drive up is worth the trip just by itself. Make sure you come on a clear day as the mountain can hide behind the haze on a hot summer day.

Visited July 2013
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Yerevan, Armenia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Beautiful monastery at the base of Mt. Ararat. Fantastic setting. Sad to see that it is so close and not possible to visit Mr. Ararat.

Visited January 2013
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