Geghard Monastery (7 km from Garni, height 1500 m)
Do you want to experience the thrill of meeting with the Middle Ages? Do you want to see a temple carved right out of the rock? If yes, then immediately go on an excursion to the rarest temple of the XII – XIII centuries – St. Geghard.
Translated from the ancient Armenian St. Geghard means “holy spear” in honor of the very spear that was kept in it for a long time, with which the torment of Christ on the cross was interrupted (now it is in the museum of St. Etchmiadzin).
The temple is located high in the mountains in the picturesque gorge of the Azat River. This is a masterpiece of Armenian medieval architecture. It is a complex consisting of the main church, two cave churches, as well as a tomb. In the first cave temple, a cold spring beats out of the rock, which to this day is an object of worship. It is believed that his holy water heals from diseases, rejuvenates, gives beauty. Therefore, there are always a lot of people near the spring: everyone wants to wash and take this water with them. You also have such a chance! Do not postpone the trip, and you will get a lot of impressions and great pleasure.
Lake Sevan (60 km from Yerevan, altitude 1900 – 2000 m)
Lake Sevan is one of the wonders of Armenia. This dazzling blue lake is located high in the mountains. Cold and majestic, it is fraught with inexplicable beauty. No wonder many artists choose Sevan as the object of their art. In summer, Yerevan residents love to relax here or go on one-day picnics.
We also invite you to relax on its shore. Enjoy clean mountain air, lake views, swim, bask in the sun, sunbathe, but don’t burn out. Remember that the Sevan sun is very insidious – you will not even notice how it will turn you into “redskins”. So, if you do not want to change the color of your skin – stay under a canopy on the shore. This is enough for you to have a Hollywood tan by the evening.
On the beach at your disposal are boats, catamarans, water skis, bicycles, etc. You can dine in a restaurant located on the shore, which is designed for the most refined taste. Fish lovers will be especially lucky, because the “horse” of Sevan cuisine is ishkhan (trout) and whitefish, which are caught directly from the lake and cooked in different ways: fried on hot coals or specially boiled. It’s hard to say which tastes better. We recommend trying all options. And most importantly – a minimum of calories, no threat of cellulite!
If you climb to the top of the peninsula, you can visit the ancient Sevan monastery (IX century). According to the custom of the locals, they put a candle here and make a wish. The opened majestic panorama of the evening Sevan will enchant you.
Haghartsin is the most secluded monastery, as if cut off from the outside world, including a group of monastic buildings, closely pressed against each other. Suddenly emerging among the dense trees, the monastery creates a fabulous impression of a lost world.
These are the churches of St. Grigor (XI century), St. Stepanos (XIII century), St. Astvatsatsin (XIII century), a chapel (XIII century), the tomb of the royal family of Bagratids (XII century), the vestibule of St. Grigor (XII century BC). ), refectory (XIII century), premises of various monastic services (XII – XIII centuries). Surb Astvatsatsin Church deserves special attention. This is the largest building – the artistic dominant of the ensemble. The high sixteen-sided dome is decorated with graceful arches. The portal of the southern entrance is decorated with a carved platband. The eastern facade of the church is interesting for its sculptural composition. The refectory of the monastery, erected by the architect Minas, is one of the rare structures in its composition. It has the shape of an elongated rectangle.
There are stone benches along the walls. Illumination of the room is carried out due to the light holes in the hipped ceilings. A small chapel was the tomb of the Bagratid family. Two tombstones have been preserved. On one, the inscription “Tsar Smbat…” is still read, on the other it has been erased by time. The well-known Armenian medieval theologian Khachatur Taronetsi is also buried on the monastery grounds.