Travel to Armenia
Dear friends, prepare for a short, entertaining Geography lesson today, as we travel to Armenia.
But first, let’s check what we know (or can find out) about this amazing country. And when we say “amazing”, we don’t mean it in the usual, flattering but vain way: this state is a true wonder. Situated in Southern Caucasus, the Republic of Armenia is a Christian bastion though geographically surrounded by Muslim countries: Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan.
The country has ancient and proud foundations, dating back to the 6th century BC, when the Satrapy of Armenia was established. Along the centuries, Armenia came to be disputed by the Persians, the Ottomans and the Russians. In 1918, it finally gained its independence. Recent history saw Armenia under the rule of communists and subsequently gaining its independence in 1991.
But what is perhaps the most amazing aspect of Armenia is that it is the first Christian nation in the world. Really! Armenia adopted Christianity as its official state religion in 301 AD. The Armenian Apostolic Church, recognized by Armenia, is the oldest Christian Church in the world. Today, the majority of Armenians are Christians and undoubtedly, the fate of the country has been linked to Christianity.
This is visible in the myriad of churches and monasteries that are beautiful pilgrimage sites visited by millions. Among the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia we should mention:
On the Ararat Valley, Khor Virap is one of the most amazing Armenian Apostolic Churches. It is the legendary place where Saint Gregory the Illuminator, the patron saint of the country, was apparently imprisoned for 14 years in the 3rd century. The place saw the miraculous conversion of pagan king Trdat little before Christianity became state religion.
Just a bit over 100 km from Yerevan, Noravank Monastery is a 13th century architectural gem. The dramatic landscape and the building itself explain the popularity of the monastery.
On the wonderful Garni Valley, you will learn about the legend of the siblings who built the magnificent Holy Spear Monastery.
If you wish to travel to Armenia to visit all the monasteries and churches and learn all about the culture of this amazing place, you should visit: http://araratour.com/ !