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The most beautiful churches in Armenia you should visit

Planning to visit Armenia and explore its most beautiful religious sites? This article serves as a useful tourist guide. From the iconic Etchmiadzin Cathedral to the recently built Quba Mere Diwane Yazidi temple, each site offers a glimpse into Armenia's rich religious history and stunning architectural heritage. Discover these timeless treasures and immerse yourself in Armenia's spiritual and cultural legacy.

Etchmiadzin Cathedral

Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, stands in the city known as both Etchmiadzin and Vagharshapat, Armenia. It is generally considered the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia and is often regarded as the oldest Christian cathedral in the world.



Etchmiadzin Cathedral


Khor Virap monastic complex

Nestled amidst the stunning Armenian landscape with the majestic backdrop of Mount Ararat, Khor Virap Monastery stands as a sacred pilgrimage site. Its significance dates back to Gregory the Illuminator's 13-year imprisonment by King Tiridates III. After his release, Saint Gregory became the king's religious mentor, leading the country's proselytizing activity. In 301 AD, Armenia was declared the world's first Christian nation.

A chapel was initially erected in 642 at the site of Khor Virap (Deep Pit), where Gregory the Illuminator endured 13 years of imprisonment. It was constructed by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over time, the chapel underwent several reconstructions. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the remnants of the old chapel, incorporating the monastery, refectory, and monks' cells.


Khor Virap monastic complex


Noravank

Noravank, a 13th-century Armenian monastic complex, features the iconic Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) Church and Surb Karapet (St. John the Baptist) Church, nestled in a gorge renowned for its stunning red cliffs, making it a favorite destination among tourists.


Khachkars and Surb Astvatsatsin


Haghpat Monastery

Haghpat Monastery, a medieval complex built between the 10th and 13th centuries in Haghpat village, Armenia, is described as a "masterpiece of religious architecture and a major center of learning in the Middle Ages." Alongside Sanahin Monastery, it was listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1996.


Aerial photo of Haghpat monastic complex


Yererouk Basilica

Yererouk, also known as Yereruyk or Ererouk, is a 4th–5th century Armenian church situated near the village of Anipemza in the Shirak Province of Armenia. The name "Yererouk" translates to "quivering" in Armenian. According to popular tradition, the name of the temple originated from its distinctive architectural design, which appears to quiver atop its six columns when viewed from a distance.




Yererouk Basilica as seen by my camera

 

Horomayr Monastery

Horomayr Monastery, located in Lori Province, is divided into upper and lower parts, each offering breathtaking views of the Lori gorge. My personal favorite is the Lower Horomayr, situated beneath towering cliffs, accessible via a rewarding one-hour hike.



Horomayr Monastery as seen by my drone


Sevanavank

Sevanavank is a 9th-century monastic complex situated on a peninsula of Lake Sevan in the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia. The complex comprises two churches: Surp Arakelots, meaning "Holy Apostles," and Surp Astvatsatsin, meaning "Holy Mother of God." Both churches feature cruciform plan structures with octagonal tambours.


Sevanavank in May


The world's largest Yazidi temple

Quba Mere Diwane is recognized as the world's largest Yazidi temple, situated in the Armenian village of Aknalich, within the province of Armavir. This region holds significance as the Yezidi community constitutes the largest minority. The Yazidis, a sizable ethnic minority in Armenia, follow an ancient monotheistic faith with influences from Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sufism, Zoroastrianism, and elements of Iranian paganism.


Quba Mere Diwane in Aknalich village


St. Nicholas in Amrakits village

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Church is a Russian Orthodox church situated in Amrakits village. Initially built in 1848, it underwent reconstruction between 1910 and 1914. Regrettably, it suffered damage during the 1988 Spitak earthquake, like many other architectural masterpieces, and has remained in disrepair since then.



Thanks to its unique design, St. Nicholas attracts thousands of tourists annually

Галерея​

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