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News / ARMENIAN TREASURES ON UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST

“It is simply in the nature of an Armenian to study, to learn, to question, to speculate, to discover, to invent, to revise, to restore, to preserve, to make, and to give.” William Saroyan

Armenia is the country of rich history and culture. It is the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Armenia is the place you should visit, see and feel!

Armenia has created a number of treasures of universal importance that have been inscribed into UNESCO’s World Heritage list. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was established on November 16. The main purpose of the organization is to build peace through international cooperation in education, science, and cultures. UNESCO preserves 1073 World Heritage sites from many countries from all around the world. Among these countries, Armenia has its own place with its historical sites.

Let’s discover the Armenian Treasures included on UNESCO World Heritage List

Presently there are three world heritage sites listed by UNESCO in Armenia, and each of Armenia's three UNESCO World Heritage sites hold unique religious and historical significance. Two of these sites are inscribed according to cultural criterion, and only one meets both cultural and natural criteria.

Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley

Location: Kotayk region
Distance from Yerevan: 26 km - 52 min
Establishment: 4th century

Geghard Monastery is a magnificent place where Armenian stone-maker and architect Galdzag carved two churches in a cliff. It is located on the slopes of the cliffs descending on the River Azat, cut off on the slopes. According to the tradition preserved in Armenian bibliography, the foundation of the monastery is attributed to Grigor Lusavorich (4th century). According to the church’s tradition, a spear (in armenian ''geghard'') had been preserved here, which had pierced Christ. That's why the monastery was later called Geghardavank.

Public transport to Geghard: Public transport in Armenia
Tours including Geghard monastery: Tours in Armenia

Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

Location: Lori region
Distance from Yerevan: 180 - 186km – 2h 30m
Established: 10th century

Haghpat Monastery is one of the largest and most important monasteries in Armenia. The monastery on the high plateau is bordered by the peaks of the hills Surb Luys and Terunakan on one side, on the other side by the Lori fortress and in the Sagidzor canyon where flowing streams of the rivers Saghik and Kayan.

Founded in 976, the complex of architectural structures consists of religious and secular buildings surrounded by towers and fences.

Sanahin Monastery complex is located on the right bank of the Debed river, in the village of Sanahin. The complex was founded by Ashot III Bagratuni in 966. Since the end of the 10th century it became an administrative center and a burial vault of the Kurikyan dynasty. In X-XI centuries, the monastery was a major cultural center: a university and a rich library were founded. At the end of the 12th century the complex was subordinated to the ruling of the Zakaryan dynasty.

Public transport to Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries: Public transport in Armenia
Tours including Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries: Tours in Armenia

Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral

Location: Armavir region, Vagharshapat city
Distance from Yerevan: 23km – 25m
Establishment: 4th century

You will visit the city of Echmiadzin and the Mother Cathedral of Echmiadzin. One of the world ancient cathedrals, namely mother cathedral of Echmiadzin was built in the area where the advent of Jesus occurred according to the First Armenian Patriarch (All Armenian Catholicos/Holiness) Gregory the Illuminator’s dream. It is also considered to be the first mother cathedral of the antique Armenia. The church was built in 301-303. The Churches of Echmiatsin included: St. Hripsime, St. Gayane, St. Shoghakat churches.

Public transport to Echmiatsin: Public transport in Armenia
Tours including Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin: Tours in Armenia

Zvartnots Temple

Location: Armavir region
Distance from Yerevan: 17 km - 30 min
Establishment: 7th century

Zvartnots temple/cathedral is considered to be as a unique architectural structure and is involved in the world list of UNESCO heritage sites. Here the temple/fane of the pagan god Tir was situated. Then in the 7th century the Zvartnots temple or Saint Gregory Cathedral was built. The floor, somewhere the lower wall constructions, capitals, anchors, the sculptured sun-clock and the remnants of fresco, mosaics, etc. are currently preserved here.

Public transport to Zvartnots: Public transport in Armenia
Tours included Zvartnots: Tours in Armenia

While you are traveling in Armenia, make sure to visit these heritage sites and learn about their rich history!

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