About Armenia
How to get a visa
Regions of Armenia
History of Armenia
Armenian Church
Haiots Ashkharh
Armenian resorts
Photos on Armenia
Cultural workers
Armenian cuisine
Tour operators
Useful linkes
Armenian alphabet
Beauty contest Miss Internet Armenia
Literary pages
Guest book
Add to news
Haiots Ashkharh
Jugha (Julfa)
Nakhichevan Fellow Countrymen
International Club of Tbilisians
Mass Media
Mass Media

Rambler's Top100

: Itineraries | : admin | 15.03.2007, 05:45

High up in the mountains is situated the pearl of Armenia - lake Sevan . The former name of the lake is the Geghama sea. It lies in the deep hollow surrounded with mountain ridges, at the height of 1897 meters above sea level. 28 rivers flow into it, and only Hrazdan flows out. It is difficult to describe the beauty of Sevan - you need to see it with your own eyes. But here it is possible to admire not only the beauty of the landscape. The surroundings of the lake are spotted with many historical monuments .
Sevan is a historical area to which its former name - Gegharkunik nowadays was returned. Here in II-I millennia B.C. were centered the fortresses serving both as administrative centres and strong points for Urartu garrisons . Many of these monuments are kept up to now. Let's familiarize ourselves with some of them.
At a distance of about 3 km off the coast, near the course of the river Hrazdan rose an uninhabited rocky island, which became peninsula due to the shallowing of the lake. Right at the end of VIII century monks settled here, who constructed a chapel and some cells. Then three churches, economic constructions and cells were erected of which the following churches have remained to now: St. Arakelots and St. Astvatsatsin, erected in 874, which are small crusade-dome constructions constructed of smoothly hewed stones. From the western side the church is adjoined by a vestibule the wooden ceiling of which was supported by four columns, which ended in the capitals distinguished by unique carved work. Now they are kept in museums. The wooden door of the monastery is also in the museum, which serves as a sample of the most amazing fine work: a scene from the Holy Writ represented on it - "Advent of Holy Spirit". The monastery had a rich library. In IX century the King Ashot Erkat (Iron) lived here for some time. From here he fought against Arabs, approached the coast of Sevan, during which he gained the victory. Both around the monastery and inside the building there are a lot of highly artistic cross stones. This church monastery desisted from existing in 1930, when the last monk left the Lchashen church. Here for about three millennia ago the cuneiform writing was created by the King of Urartu - Argishti . The legend says, that the King heard from the priests about the country, which was settled by rich and aggressive tribes of cattlemen, decided to subdue it. They won victory very easily. Like a whirlwind soldiers of Argishti attacked the fortress and quickly seized it. The inhabitants, seemingly, did not expect an attack. Then the cuneiform writing narrating about his victories was left by the King. Then powerful Urartu fortresses were constructed on this place. The ruins of one of Urartu fortress constructed in VII century B.C. has been kept up to now. Massive walls of the fortress blocked the way of the enemies. Near to the fortress a barrow necropolis was found out. At excavation hearses and fighting chariots and works of bronze - models of chariots with horses and soldiers, figurine of bulls, deer and birds were also found.
In town of BAYAZET stood the ruins of another Urartu fortress which carried the name "City of God Haldi". The fortress was divided into two parts. Smaller part of the fortress was above precipice and has been enclosed with more powerful wall - probably, it was a citadel of the governor of this area. Later, in the IX century on the ruins of the fortress chapel St. STEPANOS was erected. In the centre of the city operates church St. ASTVATSATSIN constructed in 1848, in the territory of ancient cemetery IX-XIV of centuries, the church of X century - ST. KARAPET and at entry into the town, ruins of a church of IX century - St. HOVHANNES have survived.
The settlement NORADUZ in XVI century was the residence of Armenian melics. In the center of settlement there is the church St. ASTVATSATSIN constructed in IX century. In XIV century it was destroyed by Persians, then rebuilt up in XV century. Beside it, on the cemetery dating from VII-XVII centuries, there are many beautiful gravestones, which represent a remarkable sculptural collection. The settlement was glorified by the cross-stones. The oldest of them relates to 996. On the suburb of Noraduz there is a small cruciform-dome church SURB GRIGOR erected in X century.
LANDJAGUGH. Ruins from the times of Urartu empire were also kept up here. Near to them on the slope of a high hill in X-I centuries was built a small monastery ILIKAVAN or NUNNERY . In one of the preserved walls of the monastery two cross-stones of X century were built, which according to inscriptions on them, were taken out from the Western Armenia.
MAKENIS. It is the monastery of VII century, which played a significant role in the dissemination of written culture. The main temple of the monastery - St. ASTVATSATSIN was rebuilt by the governor of Gegarkunik at the end of IX century. The record made on the east wall the fragments of which have reached up to now testifies it. A part of the constructions of Makenis which have reached us is withinin the fencing of the monastery, another one has settled down outside of its borders. Inside the fencing the main temple of the monastery rises. It has a cruciform-dome composition with side-chapels on all four corners. A vestibule was constructed to the west of it. Here there were both a small chapel and monastic cells as well as other services of the monastery. Outside the fencing there were two small churches and a monastic cemetery with intact cross-stones. The monastery played significant role in the cultural life of Armenia. Many outstanding figures of Armenia were from there.
ARTSVANIST. This settlement from III century was called Vanavan. Here on the bank of the river, in a valley surrounded with rocks, there is a monastery VANEVANK constructed by the Armenian military leader - Bagratuni in 903. In the central temple of the monastery there is a small church St GRIGOR. One more anonymous church and monastic cells were preserved.
DZORAGYUGH. This was a place of ancient armenian settlement. Here there was a monastery and church St. SHOGAKAT. The church and a monastery up to the end of XVII century have been inhabited and had the priors. Unfortunately, time and wars did not spare these constructions and up to now ruins have reached only. Near to the monastery a small chapel and a cemetery, with preserved cross-stones settled down. In the settlement the small church of IX century - MASRUNTS ANAPAT, combined of roughly hewed stones is kept. In the small vestibule of the church, a little ancient cross stone and very interesting stone busts were collected. Historians suppose that they were the busts of eremites who earned themselves glory by administering sacred rituals.
NERKIN GETASHEN. In the early Middle Ages here was the center of Gegharkunik area and the residence of the prince. From those far times on the surburb of settlement has stood a simple chapel - ISHKHANAVANK . On the other surburb of the settlement on the rocky bank of the river the monastery KOTAVANK constructed in IX century is located. It is a small construction with side chapels, erected of hewed stone blocks. The graceful dome of the church and a part of its wall was destroyed in XVII century. In NERKIN GETASHEN the ruins of medieval houses were kept also, in the cemetery rare samples of stone sarcophagi were found out. A lot of highly artistic cross-stones from I centuries are also there.
In Geghama Mountains thousands of rock drawings which relate to epoch of the Stone Age and early bronze are discovered. In mountains many stone images of dragons - the deities protecting water are also found. These stone sculptures were established both at the beginning of irrigating systems, and on the sites where sacrifices were offered.
On the gravestones which have remained in considerable number, various scenes from the lay life had been cut out : here is the plowman with horses, here is a cheerful table meeting, and there are hunters chasing the game and animals. Since the IX century the stone images became more complicated, the ornaments more intricate. Though the same elements are used: crosses, rosette, asterisks, interlacings, garlands, but no two identical cross stones could be found. In Armenia there is a lot of beautiful and original sites with a unique landscape and unique monuments of architecture. But the miracle of the nature - SEVAN -is unrivalled.
Advertising on the site

Language Courses

Networks, computers

Cellphone games
Currency Rates
    (AMD) Full List...
Banks of Armenia
Hotels, apartments, houses to rent
Personal Contacts

Singles in Armenia
Armenian Universities
Armenian Universities
Embassies & Consulates
Folk Crafts
Skiing Resort in Armeni
Armenian Business Catalogue
Armenian Enterprises
Soft for accountancy & banks
Literature on Armenia
Literary pages
Armenian Literature
House of Book
Medical Library
Medieval Literature
Libraries of Armenia
Union of Libraries
National Library
Children`s Library
Isahakyan Library
: 137
: 184
: 240
: 79
: 170
: 151
: 147
: 550271
: 1604
OnLine: 4
Armenian Travel Guide