Khor Virap

Khor Virap is a monastery and pilgrimage site situated around 30 km south of Yerevan, and only a few hundred meters from the Turkish border. Mount Ararat providing the absolutely stunning backdrop.

The monastery was built on a small hill in the Ararat Valley, and has excellent views of the Ararat valley, as well as the mountains in Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan. In Armenian mythology, Mt. Ararat is considered as the home of the Gods, and has thus become an important symbol in Armenian culture and national identity. The main St. Astvatsatsin church was built in the 17th century, although the other buildings have been repeatedly rebuilt since the 6th century. The adjacent site dates back to approximately 180 BC, and is the ruins of Artashat, the capital of ancient Armenia.

Khor Virap Monastery with Mount Ararat in the background

Khor Virap Monastery with Mount Ararat in the background

Church of the Holy Mother of God (St. Astvatzatzin)

Decorative Celtic stone

Our hostel (Envoy Hostel) arranged for a taxi to take us there, which cost us 15,000 AMD (£20) for a three hour round trip, and it was certainly worth the journey. Unfortunately our time was limited as we were leaving Yerevan later that day, otherwise I would have liked to visit the Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin, and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots, both of which were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000.

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