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Mount Aragats - Highest Mountain in Armenia

In this article, I have selected the top 5 popular facts about Armenia’s highest mountain and popular touristic destination, Mount Aragats. The slopes of Aragats are full of not only historical monuments, churches, fortresses but also scientific institutions which once were even secret objects in Soviet times!

Mount Aragats is the highest summit in Armenia and has 4 summits which are named according to their relative geographic position:

Northern—4,090 m (13,420 ft)

Western—3,995 m (13,107 ft)

Eastern—3,908 m (12,822 ft)

Southern—3,888 m (12,756 ft)

Note that Mount Ararat is not in the territory of Armenia, since it came under Turkish control according to the 1921 Treaty of Moscow and Treaty of Kars.


Western Aragats, Northern Aragats, Eastern Aragats, Armenia
Western, Northern and Eastern summits as seen from the Southern summit

 

2. The slopes of Aragats are covered by ancient archaeological sites, including Bronze Age settlements, fortresses, and petroglyphs. Amberd fortress is the most popular destination among them. In the territory of the fortress, the 11th-century Vahramashen Church is located!


Amberd fortress located on the southern slopes of mount Aragats
Medieval Amberd Fortress

3. The slopes of Aragats also host several scientific institutions!

On the shore of Lake Kari, nestled at an elevation of 3200 meters, lies the Cosmic Ray Research Station, established back in 1943 by the esteemed Soviet physicists, brothers Artem and Abraham Alikhanyan. One can step inside the gates of the station to see a massive Dragon-stone on the shore of the lake!

 

Lake Kari and Cosmic Ray Resarch station as seen by me from the slopes of Southern Aragat
Lake Kari and Cosmic Ray Resarch station as seen by me from the slopes of Southern Aragats

Additionally, the Byurakan Observatory, founded in 1946 by Victor Hambartsumian, sits proudly on the southern slopes of Aragats in the village of Byurakan, positioned at an altitude of 1,405 meters (4,610 feet).

In the village of Orgov, urban explorers can marvel at the ROT-54, also known as the Herouni Mirror Radio Telescope, constructed in 1985 by the esteemed radiophysicist Paris Herouni.


ROT 54 telescope, Orgov village, Armenia
The famous Herouni Telescope as seen by me from Tegher Monastery

4. On the slopes of Mount Aragats, there are many high-altitude lakes which are also popular touristic destinations! Among these, Lake Kari (3200 meters), Lake Rapi (3005 meters), and Mtnalich (3465 meters) stand out as popular destinations!

 

Lake Kari (Stone Lake), Mount Aragats, Armenia
Lake Kari (Stone Lake)

5. En route to Lake Kari, travelers encounter a fascinating phenomenon known as Aragats Gravity Hill, a renowned attraction for tourists. Gravity hills, found across the globe, including Armenia, are known for their intriguing optical illusions. The scientific explanation behind Gravity Hill is as follows: "A gravity hill is an area where the terrain's layout creates an optical illusion, causing a slight downhill slope to appear as an uphill slope. Consequently, a car left out of gear may seem to roll uphill against the force of gravity."

Coordinates: 40°25′55″N 44°14′04″E

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For a hiking tour to mount Aragats with me check out this link! Thanks


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