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Stop At: Saghmosavank Monastery, Artashavan Armenia
Saghmosavank. The Saghmosavank literally "monastery of the Psalms"is a 13th-century Armenian monastic complex located in the village of Saghmosavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. Like the Hovhannavank monastery, Saghmosavank is situated atop the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river. Their silhouettes dominate the adjacent villages and rise sharp against the background of the mountains crowned by Mount Aragats. The main structures of the monasteries erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan—the Church of Zion in Saghmosavank and the Church of Karapet in Hovhannavank—belong to the same type of cross-winged domed structure with two-floor annexes in all the corners of the building. Subcupola space predominates in the interiors of both churches, which is reflected in the exterior shapes of these structures.
Duration: 40 minutes
Stop At: Hovhannavank Monastery, Ohanavan Armenia
Hovhannavank is a medieval monastery located in the village of Ohanavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. The monastery stands on the edge of the Kasagh River canyon, and its territory is adjacent to the village of Ohanavan. The deep gorge is carved by the Kasagh River. The oldest part of the monastery is the single nave basilica of St. Karapet that was founded at the beginning of the fourth century. The centerpiece of the monastery is the Cathedral built between 1216 and. The Cathedral has a cruciform floor plan, with two storey sacristies in each of the four extensions of the church. The dome has an umbrella-shaped roof, which is unique to Armenian churches. The monastery walls are covered with rich lapidary
Duration: 40 minutes
Stop At: Armenian Alphabet Monument, Artashavan Armenia
Armenian Alphabet Monument
When Mashtots began working on an Armenian alphabet, it was under great pressure so that it could be used to create a bible for the newly Christian kingdom. Elegantly planned, Mashtots laid out the structure of the alphabet around the religion. To honor his work, Armenian architect J. Torosyan created the stone carvings of every letter near Mashtots’ final resting place in 2005. Set against the backdrop of Armenia’s Mt. Aragats. The letters and a statue of Mashtots pay tribute to the complex and language, a national point of pride
Duration: 20 minutes
Stop At: Amberd Fortress, Byurakan Armenia
Amberd is a 7th-century fortress located 2,300 meters above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats. The name translates to "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian. It is also the name incorrectly attributed to Vahramashen Church, the 11th-century Armenian church near the castle. The site started as a Stone Age settlement. During the Bronze Age and Urartian periods, a fortress had been built that is now obsolete. Some sources say that Amberd used to be a summer residence for kings. Four centuries later the fortress and surrounding lands were purchased by the House of Pahlavuni and rebuilt by Prince Vahram Vachutian Pahlavuni. Vahram built the Church of Surb Astvatsatsin in 1026, fortified the complex with thicker stone walls, and added three bastions along the ridge of the Arkhashen canyon. Despite being unusual for a military installation, a bath house was built in the same period and has remained moderately intact along with the water supply system.
Duration: 1 hour
Pass By: Mount Aragats, Aragats Road Armenia
Mount Aragats is an isolated four-peaked volcano massif in Armenia. Its northern summit, at 4,090 m above sea level, is the highest point of the Lesser Caucasus and Armenia. It is also one of the highest points in the Armenian Highlands. Mt. Aragats plays a special role in Armenian history and culture. Along with Ararat, it is considered a sacred mountain for the Armenians. The name of the mountain is less often spelled Aragatz. According to Armenian tradition, Aragats originates from the words Ara and gah, which translates to "Aras throne". Ara refers to the legendary hero Ara the Beautiful. Aragats was mentioned by the early medieval historian Movses Khorenatsi. In his History of the Armenians Khorenatsi claims that the mountain is named after Aramaneak, the son of Hayk who is the legendary father of the Armenian people. A relatively modern name for the mountain is Alagöz, which literally means "variegated eye" in Turkish. This term was widely used up until the mid-20th century.