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Rambler's Top100

KHOR- VIRAP
: Itineraries | : admin | 15.03.2007, 06:49



KHOR-VIRAP is a monastic fortress of XVII century located on a hill. According to legends here was situated the ancient Artashat , and its prison was on the place of the present church. The prisoners were thrown into the holes teeming with snakes, poisonous insects . GREGORY the ILLUMINATOR was put into prison without time limit at the end of III century in one of these holes for propagating Christianity. He was punished by the pagan king Tiridat for his convictions. Gregory had been under the sentence for long years. According to legends during all these years a woman brought him meal, and the god gave him strength of mind. The legend goes that after 13 years of the imprisonment of the righteous person in a hole, Tiridat came down with a severe disease. The vision came on to the king informing, that only Gregory will rescue him. The king ordered to release the captive from the prison and bring him to Vagharshapat. The prediction came true; the king recovered and justified the prisoner. So the former captive who is an example of stability, a sample of the person not changing his confession, became the founder of the Armenian Christian Church, and Trdat having accepted Christianity, became the first Christian king of Armenia.
In 642 on the place of the imprisonment a white limestone chapel was constructed. It was a round structure with 8 columns. In 1662 on the same place a church was constructed which has survived up to now. In the right part of the church there are steps on which it is possible to go down to the hole where ILLUMINATOR was kept prisoner. The hole has 6 meters in depth. Its diameter is equal to 4, 4 meters. The bell tower adjoins to church.
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