Armenia: Noratus, Tatev, Noravank, Khor Virap and more
Today, I would like to show you some amazing tourist attractions in Armenia, many of them will be churches and monastic sites. Before I begin, I want to say that Armenia is a very poor country, devastated by years of communism, earthquakes (a very powerful one in 1988) and wars. It has a very painful history and is still surrounded by enemies. My blog will not show the poverty and destruction of Armenia because I prefer to admire its beauty. It is important to know the painful history of this nation but also it is important to appreciate the progress they have made in recent years to become an attractive tourist destination. So let’s have a look!
Noratus is the largest of several groupings of khachkars in Armenia, in other words it is a khachkar cemetery.
At 2,344m, Vorotan Pass is marked by a large concrete structure on each side of the road: the symbolic Gates of Syunik.
Zorats Karer is often called “Armenian Stonehenge.” This prehistoric archaeological site is 7,500 years old.
Orbelian’s Caravanserai from the 14th century. Caravanserai was a place where people could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Armenia had an important position on the Great Silk Road:
Dolma – stuffed cabbage leaves:
Tatev Monastery, perched on a basalt plateau overlooking the Vorotan River, can be reached by a cable car – Wings of Tatev. The 5.7km cableway built in 2010 was considered the longest in the world. (Now, the longest one is in China, Tianmen Mountain Cable Car)
Gata – Armenian sweet bread:
Noravank – one of Armenia’s best loved monasteries, beautifully located in a narrow gorge made by the Amaghu River. It is spectacular!
Khor Virap, a monastery facing Armenia’s most sacred mountain – Mount Ararat (5,154m). Today, Mt. Ararat is in Turkey. Due to heat and pollution, the view of the mountain is not the best.
Mt. Ararat has two peaks: Greater Ararat and Little Ararat.
Mount Ararat is very important for Armenian people. The mountain is situated in a territory that historically used to be Armenian. In Armenian language Ararat means “a creation of God” or “a place created by God.” It is not only the resting place of Noah’s Ark, it is a national icon for Armenian people.
Armenians call themselves Hai and claim descend from Haik, the great-grand-son of Japeth, son of Noah. Haik challenged the authority of Babylonian despot Belus, killed him in combat, and gathering his family, settled on what was to become known as the home of the Armenians, around 1200 BC.