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10 days classic tour

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  • Historical-Cultural
  • Access for disabled
  • Groups allowed
  • Pet allowed
  • Tour guides

Description

Dear tourists, welcome to Armenia!

Armenia is the first country, which adopted Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD.

Armenia is truly an indescribable open-air museum. Here even the ruins of temples and historical monuments treasure the history of centuries and have a significant importance.

Armenia is a fabulous place, a country of contrasts, where the summer nights are so comfortable and soulful, that your heart is filled with warmth.

Armenia is an earthly paradise with its sharp turns and passes. Only in Armenia you can move from one city to another through lots of passes. The nature of Armenia is not only strikingly beautiful, but also healing.

The Armenian nation, being formed in the second millennium BC, is one of the most ancient nations in the world: the genetic code of Armenians is more than 4000 years old.

Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I. In 1950 in the territory of modern-day Yerevan was found a cuneiform script with the following text: «By the greatness of God Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, built this mighty stronghold and proclaimed it Erebuni for the glory of Biainili and to instill fear among the king’s enemies…»

Meeting at the “Zvartnots” airport, transfer to the hotel in Yerevan, registration and a short rest. After having lunch at the hotel the city tour will begin.

So, the most important sights of Yerevan are waiting for you: places, which you have seen in pictures or probably have heard and read about, but have never seen live.

We’ll begin with the Arshakunyats Avenue and will come to the train station (Kayaran). The decoration of the forecourt is the fabulous statue David of Sasoon by famous Armenian sculptor Ervand Kochar.

Following the route we’ll pass the streets Tigran Mets, Ervand Kochar and will stop at the St. Gregory the Illuminator cathedral, which was founded in 1997.

 It’s the biggest cathedral in Armenia and the second biggest in
Transcaucasia. Passing the main streets of the capital we’ll see trade center “Russia”, the Pedаgogical University, the statue of Griboyedov established in 1975. Alexander Griboyedov was very close to the Armenian nation, shared its joys and sorrows, and did a lot for the Armenians. Today his statue is deservedly considered a decoration of street scenery of the Armenian capital.

Turning to Khanjian Street and reaching the Vernisage, on the opposite side of the street you’ll see the majestic statue of Armenian nobleman and warlord Vardan Mamikonyan. Reaching one of the central streets, Sayat-Nova, on the right side we can see the Chess House and also the Armenian Radio House already located on the Alex Manoogian Street. On the same street you’ll see the building of Yerevan State University, in front of which stands the statue of the creator of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots and the Catholicos Sahak the Parthian. Also here is situated the Armenian State University of Economics. Passing the Nalbandyan Street we’re turning to the Moskovyan. On the right side we see the statue of famous Armenian painter Ivan Aivazovsky. A little further, on the crossroad of Moskovyan and Abovyan streets is situated the statue of polar explorer and a great friend of the Armenian nation Fridtjof Nansen. And here it is, the heart and the flavor of the city, the Abovyan Street, through which, looking at the universities (Yerevan State Medical University, branches of YSU), passing the garden after Abovyan, we’re heading to the Victory Park – one of the favorite places of townspeople. Here stands the monument Mother Armenia in honor of the victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War. The statue is 54 meters in height and symbolizes a figure of an Armenian mother putting her sword into the scabbard and with a shield lying under her feet. The pedestal hosts the Mother Armenia Military museum of the Ministry of Defense, which houses exhibit of the times of World War II and Nagorno-Karabakh War.

From the Victory Park we’ll go down to the center of the city by the stairs of Cascade (we can also use the escalator). Through the Tamanyan Street we’ll pass to the Marshal Baghramyan Avenue. There are a lot of residencies of public organizations on this avenue. Here is situated the complex of buildings of the National Academy of Sciences. In front of it is situated the building of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. From here through the Leningradyan Street we’ll head to a large trade and entertainment center “Dalma Garden Mall”, we’ll see the Municipality of Yerevan and pass to the Republic Square, where we’ll stop to take a rest and to have a dinner. And, of course, the History Museum of Armenia located on the Republic Square and the Yerevan History Museum hosted by the building of the municipality will not be deprived of attention. The museum contains ancient household items, unique medieval books, drawings of foreign travellers who have visited Yerevan, military banners, awards and weapons, jewelry and of course the historical record of the Urartu king Argishti I, where the date of founding of the city-fortress of Erebuni (the nowadays Yerevan) is indicated – 782 BC .

Then we’ll return to the hotel. You’ll have a free schedule.

Yerevan Cascade

After having breakfast at the hotel, we’ll head to a city of an important destination – Vagharshapat.

 

Vagharshapat

The holy city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) founded by the Armenian Arsacid king Vagharsh I in 117 is the historical center of the Armenian Apostolic Church and place of worship of the early Christians. In the territory of Etchmiadzin Cathedral is situated the residency of the current Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II.

You’ll also see the temples dedicated to the martyred nuns St. Hripsime and St. Gayane. After Christianity was proclaimed a state religion by king Tiridates III in 301, Vagharshapat became the religious capital of the country. And right in the place of destroyed pagan temple was built the first Armenia Cathedral – the St. Etchmiadzin. In 1945 the town was renamed to Etchmiadzin, but in 1992 the former name was given back to the city. Nowadays both names are widely used. In 2001, when celebrating the 1700th anniversary of the Christianization of Armenia, Pope John Paul II brought the relics of the first Armenian Catholicos. For 500 years the relics of Gregory the Illuminator were kept in Naples, and now they are in Etchmiadzin Cathedral.

On our way back to Yerevan we’ll stop near the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral.

Zvartnots

The temple of Zvartnots (or “the Temple of Vigil Powers”) is the pearl of Armenian architecture of the early Middle Ages. From the territory of the temple is perfectly visible the Biblical Ararat in all its unique glory.  The divine architecture of Zvartnots and the nature are merged here. Nowadays, from the temple remained only ruins, which you can tirelessly admire, ruins, which treasure pride and majesty. The temple was 49 meters in height. From the bottom and up to the height Zvartnots was exquisitely carved. The powerful three-tier cathedral with a spherical cupola was the highest building of the era. Zvartnots was destroyed by the severe earthquake in 930. The supporting columns of the second tier were weak and collapsed, burying all the beauty and splendor of the temple.

After having dinner in Yerevan, we’re heading to Garni.

Garni

We’re heading to Garni, where we’ll continue our tour after the dinner. The only memorial in Armenia, which remained from the era of paganism, the temple of Garni, was built in the second half of the first century AD by the Armenian Arsacid king Tiridates I and was dedicated to the sun god Mihr, whose figure was standing in the depths of the sanctuary. The fortress of Garni is one of the clearest evidences of the centuries-old culture of pre-Christian Armenia. Its construction began in the II century BC and continued during ancient times and, partly, in the Middle Ages. The temple is characterized with its unique structure. 9 massive 30 cm high steps stretched-out over the entire width of the facade strengthen the majesty of the temple. The 24 columns have their designation (2+4=6, i.e. perfection, 24=8*3, according to the sacral geometry – new life multiplied by the Holy Trinity, i.e. life given by God). The location of the columns also has its designation: 6 columns set up on both front and rear parts of the structure, and 8 columns (the symbol of life, infinity) on each of the sides.

Geghard

After visiting the temple of Garni we’ll head to the monastic complex of Geghard, which is a unique architectural construction located in the gorge of the river Azat. According to the chronicles, Geghard was founded in the IV century. In the times of paganism in its place was a stream, which starts from the cave, and the water from this stream was considered sacred. The old name of the fortress is Ayrivank, which means “the Monastery of the Cave”, and the full name Geghardavank literally means “the Monastery of the Spear”. The biblical spear, by which Jesus Christ had been wounded on the Cross, allegedly was brought here by Apostle Thaddeus and is kept in the museum of Etchmiadzin monastery nowadays. After our interesting sightseeing trip we’ll return to the capital, which is very dear to us.

Further you’ll have free schedule. Let’s enjoy the colors and warm atmosphere of the evening Yerevan, not forgetting to relax, as we’ve got an eventful day ahead of us tomorrow.

Vagharshapat (Ejmiatsin)

Zvartnots Cathedral

Temple of Garni

Monastery of Geghard

After having breakfast at the hotel, we’ll continue our sightseeing.

Sevan

Lake Sevan is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world. The lake is located in the heart of the Armenian highlands at the altitude of 1900 meters. The average depth of the Sevan is 27 meters, the maximum – 80-90 meters. The nature is indescribably beautiful here, the coastline is very picturesque with thickly wooded slopes, plains, stone cliffs, alpine forests and sand beaches. The lake and its surrounding area are included in the protected zone of Sevan National Park. Here always dominates moderate coolness, clean and clear water, fresh mountain air. This makes the Sevan beloved and unique for both locals and tourists.

Sevanavank

Sevanvank is an ancient monastery at the north – western shore of Lake Sevan. The monastery was founded in 874. Only two small three – apse cross – domed churches have survived up to our days – St. Arakelots ans St. Astvatsatsin (871 – 874). Today, at the monastery operates a theological seminary named after Vazgen I. Sevanavank monastery, in contrast to other monastic complexes, is small and modest. At the same time, the main highlights of Sevanavank are the amazing views of the lake and surrounding area opening from the windows

Vaskenian Theological Academy

The Vaskenian Theological Academy is a seminary of the Armenian Apostolic Church located on the Sevan peninsula. In 2002 a new, more comfortable and equipped building was built for the seminary. The academy is named in honor of the Catholicos of All Armenians and head of the Armenian Apostolic Church Vazgen I. Here future clergymen are being prepared.

We’ll have dinner in Sevan and then we’ll continue our way to Dilijan.

Dilijan

Dilijan is a town which has a status of a national park, the most ecologically clean region of Armenia. It’s located in the Tavush province at the north – east of the Armenian Highlands. Due to its location, nature, clean and fresh air Dilijan, out of competition, is considered as a health and mountain resort. In addition to everything, there’s a fascinating picturesque landscape.  The way to Dilijan itself is very interesting: the endless passes with the densely growing trees lying around them. On our way we’ll see the statue of the characters from popular movie “Mimino” and also we’ll visit the “Old Dilijan” complex on the Vanik Sharambeyan Street: Vanik Sharambeyan is a famous Armenian artist, who established the Folk – Art Museum in Dilijan. This area is called Tufenkian. Here are the works of the skilled artists from Dilijan. We’ll spend the night here to continue our tour in wonderful Dilijan tomorrow.

Haghartsin

Haghartsin is one of the oldest and, undoubtedly, one of the most fabulous architectural structures in the holy Armenian land. Established in the X – XIII centuries in the territory of Haghartsin canyon surrounded by densely blossoming forests and proud mountains of Dilijan, Haghartsavank monastery stores silence and quietism. The secular monastery complex is founded by the monks, true followers of Christianity, who had fled from prosecutions from the Western Armenia, which was a part of the Byzantine Empire at the end of the X century.

Goshavank

Now we’re heading to Goshavank monastic complex, which is also called Nor Getik (in Armenian nor – new, get – river, because of the river passing near the church), built in the XII – XIII centuries in the territory of the village Gosh. It’s a magnificent architectural structure with a fabulous background – the nature of Armenia. In 1972 the Historical and Architectural Museum was opened here.

                We’ll return to the hotel in Dilijan, where well relax and recover.

Sevanavank

Haghartsin Monastery

Goshavank Monastery

After having breakfast at the hotel we’ll continue our tour in Dilijan.

Odzun

Dilijan is so beautiful and rich in sights, that it’s impossible to see everything in one day. That’s why we’re stopping here for a couple of days to see at least half of all the natural harmony. So, we’re heading to a monastery with a very interesting name, and not less interesting architecture and history – Odzun, a monastic complex located on the central hill of the village, which is visible from almost every point of the village. Data on the date of construction of the church have not survived in the primary sources, but based on the general construction and some of the architectural subtleties, the monastery can be attributed to the middle of the VI century

Sanahin

Sanahin is one of the oldest memorials of Armenian architectural culture. It’s an indescribably wonderful place. Being inside these walls, touching the precious tuff, breathing air saturated with warmth, you’re unwittingly taking with you a piece of the ancient Armenia when leaving this ancient monastery.

The monastic complex was one of the centers of cultural and educational life of medieval Armenia, the Kingdom of Kyurikids (X – XII centuries), the Duchy of Zakaryans (XII – IV centuries). It was founded by the Bagratid king Abas in the X century. In ancient times there were no certain dates of founding of the monasteries, but the name “Sanahin” literally means “this one is older than that” (arm. “sa nranic hin e”).

According to the legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator chose this place for the monastery. As the first Catholicos of All Armenians, he set up the first Christian temples along with king Tiridates III. The oldest building of Sanahin was built in the X century, during the reign of king Abas of Bagratuni Dynasty: in 934 the largest church of the complex, St. Astvatsatsin (the Holy mother of God), was built.

The time flies, while we’re exploring the hidden corners of Armenia, and now it’s already dinner time. We’ll have dinner in “Atorik” restaurant. Then we’ll visit one more sight of Armenia – Haghpat.

Haghpat

Reaching Haghpat, we’ll stop at a restaurant to have dinner.

Located on a high plateau surrounded by gorges, Haghpat monastery is one of the most important monuments of urban planning in medieval Armenia with the most rigorous architecture. The monastery differs with its density, asymmetrical design, as well as with the elegance of the decorative details and extraordinary silhouette on the mountainous terrain.

Haghpat monastery is situated in the village with the same name. The monastery was founded in 976 by  Bagratid king Ashot III and was one of the centers of spiritual and cultural life of Armenia, the Kingdom of Kyurikids (X – XII centuries), the Duchy of Zakaryans (XII – IV centuries).

We’re returning to Yerevan.

Sanahin Monastery

Dilijan

Haghpat Monastery

The Matenadaran

We’ll have breakfast at the hotel and then we’ll start exploring the Matenadaran in Yerevan. The Matenadaran – the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, was established on the base of the collection of manuscripts held in the Etchmiadzin monastery, which was confiscated in 1920. The research center is one of the largest repositories in the world. The institute houses manuscripts of XVI – XVIII centuries, works of ancient and medieval Armenian historians, philosophers, mathematicians, writers, geographers, doctors, translations of the works of ancient Greek, Arab, Syrian and Latin scholars, including a number of works not preserved in the original language.

Tsitsernakaberd

The memorial complex in Yerevan is dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The 44-meters stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians. Next to the stele 12 slabs are positioned in a circle. In the center of the circle, at a depth of 1.5 meters, the eternal flame burns. The two-storied Genocide Museum with a total area of 2000 square meters was open in 1995 and almost entirely is underground.

Not far from the museum is situated the alley, were the foreign statesmen plant trees in memory of the victims of the genocide. The Forbes listed the Armenian Genocide Museum among the 9 must-see memorial museums.

Then we’ll return to the center and will visit the History Museum of Armenia at the Republic Square. The museum was founded in 1921. It houses more than 400 000 subjects of national heritage. The exposition of the museum is divided into following departments: Ethnography, Archeology, Department of Historical Architecture, Department of Modern and Contemporary History of Armenia. Here are represented artifacts found on the territory of Armenia and related to the period from the Stone Age to the end of the XIX century.

Evening Yerevan will host you with its colors, lights and warmth. You’re free to spend the free time as you wish.

Matenadaran

Tsitsernakaberd

After having breakfast at the hotel, we’ll continue our sightseeing in Armenia.

Khor Virap

Following the route we’re heading to the monastery-fortress located underneath the magnificent mountain Ararat – Khor Virap – one of the religious centers of the country. In Armenian Khor Virap means “deep pit”. During the reign of pagan king Tiridates III, in this pit, filled with poisonous snakes and insects, the criminals condemned to death were being imprisoned. According to famous Armenian historian Agathangelos here was imprisoned also the initiator of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia (in 301) – St. Gregory the Illuminator, who survived and lived there for more than 13 years. In the XVII century at the place of Gregory the Illuminator’s prison cell was built the St. Astvatsatsin (the Holy mother of God). You can see the pit and go down the narrow stairs.

Noravank

We’re continuing our tour after the dinner.

“Noravank” literally means new monastery. The complex founded in XII-XIV centuries is located in narrow gorge made by the river Amaghu. It’s hard to describe in words and even in photos the whole majesty of this amazing ancient complex amid steep red rocks on the ledge of the gorge. The monastic complex includes: St. Karapet Church, St. Gregory Chapel and St. Astvatsatsin (the Holy Mother of God) Church. During the XIII – XIV centuries the monastic complex was the residency of bishops of Syunik, and later it remained an important religious and educational center of Armenia.

Karahunj

Karahunj or Zorats Karer (literally means Army Stones) is an ancient megalithic complex consisting of a number of huge standing stones. Since 2009 Karahunj is considered a historical and cultural reserve. The complex is located on a field strewn with stones, which have served as construction material for it. The structure consists of 223 (registered) basalt stones with weight up to 8.5 tons and height ranging from 1.5 to 2.8 meters. In the center the stones form a circle, on the opposite sides of which there are walkways. These stones are eroded by the wind and covered with moss and lichen. There are also many broken and unnumbered stones.

Goris

Goris is a nice town in the eastern part of the Syunik province. The town is located in a mining pit surrounded by caves and cliffs. Near Goris is situated the village of Khndzoresk a complex of ancient cave – dwellings. Since ancient times the natural caves have been used as dwellings, which have been completed after the appearance of metal tools forming a rather large settlement. The town is rich in cultural and historical monuments, which worth seeing. Goris is a part of green picturesque Armenia, a paradise, far from the daily hustle and bustle.

We’ll stop at the hotel in Goris for the night.

Khor Virap

Noravank

Zorats Karer

Tatev

After the breakfast we’ll continue our acquaintance with Goris. So, by the longest cableway of the world, admiring the wonderful Armenian nature, breathing pure mountain air we’re reaching the ancient monastery – fortress of Tatev. Here it is, the cherished and legendary Tatev.

The monastic complex of the IX – XIII centuries located in the Syunik province is 20 km from Goris. It stands on the right bank of the river Vorotan, where we can admire the amazing view over the canyon. Tatev is a part of touristic complex, which includes the “Wings of Tatev” cableway (the longest cableway in the world with the length of 5.7 km). During the 15 – minute ride in the cab we can enjoy the picturesque view over the immense valleys of fairy Syunik. The maximum height above the gorge is 320 meters. At the height of the bird’s flight we feel a special freedom not comparable with anything. In the Middle Ages the monastery was one of the intellectual centers of the country, where Tatev School of Miniatures operated. Due to its unique location (the monastery is situated in the rock), the fortress has never been conquered by anybody hitherto.

We’ll stop to have dinner.

Khndzoresk

“Khndzor” in Armenian means “apple”: the settlement was named “Khndzoresk” because a large number of apple trees grew in this area. In the XX century the local settlement was moved to the top of the canyon. The major sight of Khndzoresk is the “cave town”, among the significant historical monuments are St. Hripsime church with limestone walls, St. Thaddeus church and the ruins of the church school “Anapat”. Also here you can see two ancient monuments of the XVII century.

From here we’re heading to the the Nagorno – Kharabakh Republic (NKR).

Stepanakert

We’ll reach the capital of Artsakh – Stepanakert, where we’ll stop at a hotel for the night.

Tatev monastery

Stepanakert

After having breakfast at the hotel we’ll continue our tour.

Stepanakert is the capital of Artsakh. From the height of the mountains of Artsakh we can see the capital, formerly known as Vararakn, with its beautiful scenery at a glance. The city was designed by the great Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan in 1926. Artsakh people are very patriotic, they love and honor their city and keep it clean. In 2016 Stepanakert was listed among 10 cleanest cities of the world. In this quiet and picturesque city you can feel real Armenian hospitality.

We’ll start the tour from the center of the city – the Renaissance Square, where all the state institutions are situated: the Presidential Palace, buildings of the Government and the National Assembly. Then we’ll head to the Stepan Shahumyan Square, where stands the statue of the revolutionary Shahumyan. The capital is also named after Shahumyan. The city park is one of the favorite places of townspeople and guests, it’s always full of life. In the summer evenings the singing fountains and flashlights lighten the city, which invites everyone to his arms.

Then we’ll visit Artsakh State Historical Museum. It’s the only cultural center in the NKR, where the centuries-old history of Artsakh from the time of its formation till our days is presented. Here are collected material and spiritual values representing the life and culture of the nation. We’ll stop at the memorial «Bed of Honor». The first burials were made here during the World War II. Here you can see monuments dedicated to the victims of the Sumgait tragedy and also a sculpture symbolizing the sorrow for the victims of Spitak earthquake.

We’ll see the famous majestic monument of red tuff – “We Are Our Mountains”, which is blandly called “Grandpa and Grandpa” by the Artsakh people. The image of grandfather with a beard and grandmother in a national dress became a symbol of Artsakh. The monument symbolizes the people of Artsakh firmly standing on their land such as their tough and proud mountains.

After having dinner we’ll go ahead.

Amaras

The early medieval monastery Amaras is located in the south – eastern part of Nagorno – Kharabakh. According to Armenian medieval chronicles St. Gregory the Illuminator founded the monastery at the start of the VI century. At the beginning of the V century the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, St. Mesrop Mashtots, established here the first – ever Armenian school, hence the development of Armenian writing language began.

Tnjri

Going on with our tour in the province of Martuni, we’ll see a very interesting tree in the village of Skhtorashen. It’s the famous oriental plane tree, which is more than 2000 years old. In Soviet times a passport was issued to the tree, as it was the highest (more than 54 meters) and the oldest tree. The hollow of the tree is 44 sq. m., the circumference is 27 meters. According to a legend, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet, St. Mesrop Mashtots, and famous Armenian poet and musician Sayat-Nova have visited the tree.

We’re returning to the hotel in Stepanakert.

Dadivank

Gandzasar monastery

After having breakfast at the hotel we’ll continue the tour. And our first destination is the ancient Tigranakert.

Tigranakert

Tigranakert is an ancient town in Artsakh, one of the ancient Armenian towns with the same name, founded nearly in the first century BC by Armenian king Tigran II the Great and boring his name. The archaeologists identify this city with the Antiquity and Middle Ages. The ruins of the reserve have been found in 2005. At the place of ancient city have survived stone sculptures carved into the rocks of the structure, churches.

We’ll visit the Archeological museum located in the walls of the reserve of the XVIII century, where we’ll see artifacts discovered during the excavations of ancient Tigranakert. On foot, by the mountain Vankasar, we’ll go to the church of the VI century. This lonely and proudly standing church has not kept its name and became known as Vankasar, in honor of the mountain. Going along this path we’ll reach the place, where the excavations of Tigranakert have started.

Askeran

Following the route we’ll head to a city on the left bank of the river Karkar – Askeran. The main attraction of Askeran is the fortress of Mayraberd located in the canyon of the high mountains. The fortress of the XVIII century has survived in its original form due to the thickness of the walls. The height of the fortress is 9 meters and the thickness of the walls is 2 meters. The towers were defensive and observation posts, which is evidenced by narrow corridors which have served to transmit information between the towers. We’ll visit the preserved Ethnographic District of the XIX century, which demonstrates how the people of Artsakh lived in those days. In the territory if the district the house museum of the Armenian fedayee Nikol Duman is situated. One of the halls of the museum is dedicated to his life and activity.

Further a very exciting and tasty event is waiting for us – cooking and tasting one of the favorite dishes of the Armenians – zhengyalov hats (a type of flatbreads stuffed with herbs). Traditionally more than 20 types of greens should be used, which makes the dish more useful.

We’ll have dinner in an unusually beautiful, densely populated village of Tsovin Qar. Then we’ll continue our way to Gandzasar.

Gandzasar

The pearl of Artsakh stands proudly on a high hill on the left bank of the river Khachen. The external structure of the church is focused on the dome. The architecture and the decorations inside and out of the church form an organic whole, which makes the church one of the brilliant achievements of the Armenian culture. The Gandzasar Complex bas built in 1238 and is famous with a legend, telling, that the head of John the Baptist is buried here. The complex is located near the village Vank. According to the popular legend the monastery was given this name in honor of a mountain, which is called Gandzasar by the locals due to the silver mines inside of it (arm. “gandz” – treasure, “sar” – mountain). Gandzasar is a treasure for the courageous people of Artsakh.

We’re returning to Stepanakert.

Tigranakert

After having breakfast in Stepanakert, we’ll explore the hero city of Shushi.

Shushi

At 10 kilometers from Stepanakert is situated the soul of Artsakh, the historical town of Shushi. The city – fortress surrounded by stone walls is the pride of the country. Our final day promises to be very eventful.

We’ll see the “Winner Tank” memorial. The 9th of May is a double celebration for Armenia. On this day we celebrate both the victory in the Great Patriotic War and the Day of Liberation of Shushi. The operation of liberation of Shushi was named “Wedding in the Mountains”: when Vazgen Sargsyan (at that time the Military Minister of Armenia) saw the plan of capture of Shushi, he said it’s impossible. Furthermore, he promised to get married after the capture of the city. On 9th of May at dawn Shushi was liberated.

Then we’ll see the St. Ghazanchecoc Cathedral of Christ the Holy Savor – a white church decorated with bas-relief images of angels. The church was built in the second half of the XIX century. During the Nagorno – Karabakh war, when the Azerbaijani forces captured the church, it was badly damaged. After its liberation by the Armenian army the cathedral has been repaired and renovated. The cathedral has become the symbol of the rebirth of independent Artsakh.

Then we’re heading to the Geological Museum, which houses the most unique natural and artificial stones of Armenia and Artsakh.

The next stop is the fortress of Shushi.

One of the sights of the city, the walls of the citadel built in the XVIII century, has preserved to our days almost completely. The walls of the fortress with 2.5 km length are starting from the high rock massif and down to the steep slopes of the gorge. The walls, as well as the towers with 8 meters length, are built from the rock: they seem to grow out of the rocks and merge them. The Gates of Gandzasar are one of the 4 fortress gates, which have survived almost intact.

We’ll have dinner here.

The Hunot Gorge

Then we’re heading to a reserve – the Hunot Gorge. The view of the cave gorge, with the lenght of 3 km and the depth of about 750 meters, is indescribably beautiful. The slopes are covered by dense forests, the mountains and the hills are stretching to the skies.  For the easy transportation, an arched bridge was built here in 1720, which is used by the locals even nowadays. Once in the reserve, looking around, it seems you’re in a green, clean and untouched little world.

We’re summing up our tour visiting the ministry of culture of NKR in Shushi. Previously, the only women’s gymnasium in Caucasus operated in this building.

We’re returning to Yerevan. Transfer to the airport “Zvartnots”.