The ancient country of Armenia offers a heady mix of the old and the new, and is the oldest Christian country in Europe. With great expanses of greenery giving way to charming towns and villages, there is a lot to attract the visitor to Armenia, and here are just a few of the must see places to add into your itinerary.
It takes a lot of effort to reach the Fortress of Erebuni, as the only way up to the mountainous plateau is in a 4X4 in the summer. It is certainly worth the effort however as once you are up there you will see over 2000 petroglyphs that are relics of ancient times and depict graphic scenes of ancient rituals, culture and the hunt. The view is also amazing and you will find yourself spending longer up there than you intended.
Situated right in the heart of Yerevan is the Matenadaran Institute, which houses an astonishing collection of handwritten books. It is certainly an imposing edifice that silently guarded by the statues of renowned Armenian intellectuals including Anania Shirakatsi, Toros Roslin, Mkhitar Gosh and Mesrp Mashtots.
If you are looking for the perfect example of Armenia’s exemplary architecture, then you need to take a trip to Gaghard Cathedral. This church is famous for the fact that is has literally been hollowed out of rock, and the names translates into ‘spear’, and it is due to this latter fact that has housed the spear that was said to have pierced Christ’s body during the crucifixion.
The Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries, located on the banks of the Debed river, are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They serve not only as reminders to tourists but also to residents, of the rich, cultural history and intellectual achievements that Armenia has enjoyed over the years.