Haghartsin monastery situated in the woodlands of Tavush region represents an indescribable example of blend of nature with architecture. It was founded in the 10-11th centuries, though new buildings were added in the 12-13th centuries. Now it consists of St. Grigor, St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), St. Stepanos churches and some other buildings.The refectory due to its skillful architectural composition is of great interest. The huge oak tree, which is almost at the age of the monastery, completes the whole scene.
Situated not far from Sanahin Haghpat monastery has its significant place in the historical and cultural life of Armenia. It was built during the reign of king Ashot Bagratuni. Numerous valuable manuscripts and miniature paintings have been produced in the scriptorium of Haghpat for many centuries. In the 18th century the famous Armenian bard Sayat-Nova used to live and create in this monastery. The belfry with its unique architectural composition is of stunning interest.
The monastery complex of Harichavank is situated on the western slope of Mount Aragats, on a roky cape. According to the architects' studies the complex was founded in the 7th century. In the 13th century the main church was built. In the 19th century the complex became the summer residence of Catholicoses. Not far from the main buildings there is a small chapel which is of great interest. The chapel is built on a piece of rock, which as a result of an earthquake split from the cape and the chapel is now towering over the canyon.
The church of Hayravank is built on a high rock on the shore of Lake Sevan. There is no written testimony concerning the date of its foundation, but according to the constructional solutions it has gained its place among the 9th century architectural pillars. This cozy church is built of roughly hewn stone and looks rather modest.
Hovhanavank monastery bears the name of John the Baptist. The oldest church here is the one-naved basilica built in the 5th century. In the 13th century under the patronage of Vachutian dukes new buildings were added. The portal of the main church, which is embellished with evangelical motifs, is of great interest.
The famous health resort Jermuk is in the north-eastern part of Vayots Dzor. Jermuk mineral waters have been famous for their medicinal properties since early medieval. A special drinking gallery has been constructed for visitors, along which pump rooms with mineral water are lined up.The water temperature varies from 30 to 50 degrees C.
The scientific expeditions proved Karahunj to be one of the oldest observatories in the world. It is said to be about 7500 years old. Some of the precisingly arranged huge stones have holes bored into them, which were used for astrological observations. The petroglyphs found nearby Karahunj reveal that the early inhabitants in Armenia were well aware of astrology.
This exquisite church is considered to be the jewel of Ashtarak. It resembles a monolith pillar due to its small sizes and architectural solutions. It was built in the 7th century and has come to our days almost intact. It has a cross-shaped ground plan from inside and outside.
Kecharis monastery is in the north-western part of Tsakhkadzor. It was built in 11-13th centuries. The monastery consists of four churches and a half-destroyed mausoleum of Grigorius Pahlavuni, who financed building the monastery.
Khor Virap is the most famous pilgrimage site in Armenia, as it is directly connected with the adoption of Christianity. As a state religion Christianity in Armenia was adopted in 301 due to endeavors of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, who before converting king Trdat the 3rd to Christianity, was imprisoned in the dungeon over which a church of Khor Virap monastery was built in the 17th century. From the monastery one can admire the stunning view of the Biblical Mount Ararat.
The fascination and the pearl of mountainous Armenia is Sevan Lake, which is one of the world's greatest high altitude fresh-water lakes. It is about 1900 m above sea level. The lake is of volcanic origin and is surrounded with mountains of 3000 m and higer. The beautiful landscape and the crystal water serve nice preconditions for excellent rest.The lake is also famous for its peninsula and medieval church complex built in 874.
Makaravank is situated in Tavush region (close to Ijevan) high on the top of a mountain. The complex consists of three churches. Here along with complicated architectural solutions the subtle bas-relieves and ornaments are of great artistic interest.
On the picturesque bank of Akhuryan river there is the magnificent monastery Marmashen built by Duke Vahram Pahlavuni. It is a huge complex, the construction of which started in 986 and finished in 1029. The main church is a domed hall. The facades of the church are elaborated with triangular niches, which endow the edifice with special liveliness. The survived eastern and northern walls of the second church, which is adjacent to the main church, prove that both with its composition and architectural details it is the smaller duplication of the main church. This complex built with well-hewn red tufa on the background of the blue sky casts an enigmatic impression.
On the northern part of Mashtots avenue there is Matenadaran (a book depository), one of the world's most ancient libraries. Its collections comprise ancient Armenian books and miniature paintings that have gained world-wide fame. Among its unique treasures are the works of ancient classical authors and rare manuscripts that have come to our days only in the Armenian translation. Several monuments to the outstanding Armenian cultural figures are located in the courtyard of Matenadaran.
The highest peak of the Republic of Armenia is the Mount Aragats (4095 m). This four-peaked giant is the most favourite mountain of climbers. On the way to the southern peak the best stop is at Kari Lich (Stone Lake), which is at the height of 3250m. On the top one opens the most attractive scene: the silhouette of green valleys from one side, the eternal snow and silver lakes from other sides and the Biblical Mount Ararat far in the fog of Ararat Valley.