Armenia has considerable attractions for the traveler on all its many ancient monasteries and churches, but are also significant for the beauty of the landscape of the country.
UNESCO has added three Armenians sites in the world heritage list: The Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin (1996, 2000), the Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots (2000), the Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley (2000).
The Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin (1996, 2000): Two Byzantine monasteries located in the region of Tumanian, in the north of Armenia, they were important centers of learning during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century). These two monasteries represent the highest level reached by Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style is a mixture of elements of Byzantine architecture and traditional architecture of the Caucasian region. Both monasteries were founded in the tenth century, a few km away from each other, in dominant positions on the deep valley formed by the river Dzoraget, on a idyllic and wonderful natural setting.
The Cathedral and the Churches of Echmiatsin (Ejmiatsin) and the archaeological site of Zvartnots (2000): The Cathedral and the Churches of Echmiatsin (Ejmiatsin) and the archaeological site of Zvartnots, represent the evolution and development of the Armenian central-domed cross-hall type of church. The Cathedral of St. Echmiadzin, which was built in the fifth century, is now the seat of Armenian Catholics. Interesting is also the museum housed inside the cathedral, which exposes Armenian art treasures, relics and archaeological remains. Zvartnots, is a very impressive complex of structures, built in mid-seventh century near Echmiatsin (Ejmiatsin), at the time of its construction it was the largest cathedral of Armenia, the complex consists of remains of the St. George Cathedral (Zvartnots) and the palace of Nerses III.
The Monastery of Geghard and Upper Azat Valley (2000): The Geghard Monastery, located a few miles north of Garni, contains numerous tombs and churches, most carved in the rock that represent the culmination of Armenian medieval architecture. The complex of medieval buildings is inserted into a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by cliffs at the entrance to the Azat Valley. The oldest church cut into the rock of the monastery is that of St. Gregory dates back to the seventh century, while the main structure of the complex, the church of the Virgin, a cruciform plan, dating from the thirteenth century.
Other interesting places to visit in the country are Haghartsin Monastery, located near the city of Dilijan, the monastery is formed by a series of monastic buildings including three different churches and chapels. The main church is that of St. Astvatsatsin, built in 1281, while the oldest is that of St. Grigor dating 11th century. Tatev Monastery, founded in the ninth century, is situated on a rocky cliff strategically located to dominate a canyon below. The most important building of the monastery is the church of Pogos and Petros (Peter and Paul) built between the ninth and tenth century. Inside are hardly visible even some frescoes of the tenth century.
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