Established: 1961Zvartnots International Airport is the largest in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. It is located not far from Echmiadzin Cathedral. Zvartnots International Airport opened in 1961. Airport offers services for transit passengers, including permission for visiting the city. Services for air traffic organization are provided for 6 largest international air routes, which cross the airspace of the Republic of Armenia: 15000 international flights per year. The establishment operates round-the-clock.
Established: 1992Yerablur («Built on three hills» descriptive transl.) is the national crypt, where bodies of liberators and military officers, murdered during the ceasefire violation and Artsakh battle in Shushi. of 1994 are buried. The height of the hill is 95 m, the territory of the pantheon – 19,22 ha. Commander Andranik, national heroes V. Sargsyan, J. Abrahamyan, M. Melkonyan and 673 other militiamen and military leaders are buried here. On the left side of the entrance a chapel is located; the museum, devoted to the gone heroes is in front. There is a museum, devoted to the 39 soldiers of the Secret Army of Armenia in neighborhood. The monument, devoted to the liberators, missing in action is further. The construction of St. Vardanants church (dynasty of commanders in Armenia) started in 1994 under the auspices of the catholicos of all Armenian Garegin A and Vazgen Sargsyan (hero of Armenia). Construction of the church was sponsored by Hrach and Victoria Voskanyans, living in the USA. By the order of the catholicos of all Armenian every Sunday, religious holidays and merelots (the next day after the religious holidays is devoted to the remembering of the dead relatives and visiting cemeteries) St. Liturgy is held here. 28th of January is the Army Day in Armenia. Every year on that day Armenians come to Yerablur to commemorate the gone heroes.
Architect: J. TorosyanYeghish Charents was a genuine poet of the 20th century. The great Armenian poet was born on 25th of March, 1897 in Kars city, in an Armenian many-children family. After proclaiming Soviet rules in Armenia (2nd of November, 1920) Charents was appointed the head of art department of Commissariat of Education. Here he had huge contribution in the bringing Armenian poets, writers as well cultural figures to Soviet Armenia, being sure that only in their motherland they could create and be useful to their people. Monument of Yeghishe Charents was founded in 1985. It was built of bronze; has height of 18,5 m. This is a many-figure composition; 40 sources from one side symbolize years, lived by Charents. There is an inscription from one of his works on the fire obelisk, symbolizing eternity: «I came through centuries and leave with victory».
Location: Vayots Dzor
Established: XIII-XIV cc.
From Yerevan: 140km/2h 30min.Medieval Jewish Cemetery in Yeghegis Discovering a Lost Community In 1996, Bishop Abraham Mkrtchyan was looking for a clean water source to serve the Siranush camp that was being built in Hermon. He had been told that there was a natural spring down the road and just across the river from Yeghegis village. That day, the river was running low. Bishop Abraham looked down and noticed in the river what appeared to be gravestones. “How strange they should be there,” he thought and decided to investigate. The bishop explored the area and found several more stones, half buried and covered with lichen, which bore unusual inscriptions. At first, the bishop thought they might be in Arabic or Farsi; they were not in Armenian and they were clearly quite old. He decided to ask for advice on the matter from some dentists who were working at the Siranush camp, one of whom happened to be Jewish. Upon inspection, the bishop’s guests informed him that the inscriptions on the tomb stone were indeed Hebrew. The bishop’s first reaction was disbelief. Although there were historical records of Jews in Armenia dating back to ancient times, to date – except for a reference in an obscure Russian academic journal in 1912 – there was no physical proof of such a community and certainly none during medieval times. Bishop Abraham took pictures of the site and sent them to Prof. Michael Stone of Hebrew University of Jerusalem who confirmed that this was indeed an unusual find. Being in Vayots Dzor region you can also visit Yeghegnadzor city.
Location: Tatev, Syunik region
From Yerevan: 253km/4hWorking days and hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 - 18:00 Holiday on Monday Reversible aerial tramway “Wings of Tatev” is situated in Syunik, 250 km South to Yerevan. It was built by Austrian-Swiss company Dopplemayer/Garaventa within the framework of Tatev Revival Project. The cableway, built in record 9 months, is the longest in the world (5752m) and is listed in Guinness World Record book. Each cabin accommodates 25 passengers and a guide. Bandwidth of the cableway is 200 passengers per hour. A cabin moves 37 km per hour; the traveling lasts 12 minutes. In the deep gorge, over which the cableway passes, the river Vorotan flows. The picturesque canyon holds a lot of treasures: ancient carve villages and hermitages, Neanderthals’ homes and medical springs. The famous “Devil’s Bridge” is also built above it. The road leads to monastic complex Tatev, built in 906. Here you can see the column, dedicated to the Holy Trinity; when the soil shakes, it swings. It was used to predict enemies’ attacks and know about natural disasters. The complex also includes Tatev’s University, built in 1390-1435 - the largest center of philosophical and scientific thought of medieval Armenia. Revival of this medieval monastery is the main aim of Tatev Revival Project, in the framework of which cableway “Wings of Tatev” was built. All the means from ticket selling go to the accomplishment of the program.
Location: Stepanakert, Artsakh
From Yerevan: 330km/6h
Sculptor: S. BaghdasaryanWe are our Mountains monument is located in Artsakh; mostly known as “Grandfather-Grandmother”. It was erected in 1967. The sculptor is Sargis Baghdasaryan and the architect is Yuri Hakobyan. The monument is made of red tufa. It symbolizes the kinship between Artsakh soil and the nation. The government of Soviet Azerbaijan was against the construction and erection of the monument. Nevertheless, it was erected in Stepanakert city.
Architect: R. IsraelyanMonument “Mother Armenia” was built in honor of the victory during the Great Patriotic War. It was founded in 29th of November, 1950 in Victory Park. The author is national architect of the USSR Raphael Israelyan. 17 meter high bronze monument of Joseph Stalin was on the place of today’s statue; the author wasnational artist of the USSR Sergey Merkurov. In 1962 the monument was withdrawn. Instead 22 meter high monument “Mother Armenia” was erected in 1967; the author was national artist of Armenia Ara Harutyunyan. In three years a museum, devoted to the contribution of Armenia during the Great Patriotic War was opened in the complex. We all call Victory Park “The Monument”. People call Monument not only the park, but the district near, which is one of the most favorite places in Yerevan. The construction of the park started in the 1930-ies. It was called “City park of Arabkir”. After the war it was renamed as Victory Park. Before the territory had been abandoned; year by year trees were planted, the park was developing. The first carousel was swinging boat, equipped in 1955-56. In 1959 restaurant “Aragil” (“Stork”) was opened; it became one of the symbols of the city. The author was Raphael Istraelyan. Artificial lake “Arevik” (“The Sun”) was built in 1958; exploited from 1961. The author was honored architect of the USSR Hovhannes Hakobyan. “Arevik” repeats the form of Sevan. The approximate depth is 8,5 meters.
Location: Vayots Dzor region
From Yerevan: 150km/2hVardenyats is one of the many caravanserais in Armenia. Caravanserais served as overnight shelters for loaded caravan, traveling from Europe to the East. It is located on the way, leading from Gegharkunik province of Syunik region to Vayots Dzor region, on the Southern slope of Selim pass, in the territory of Aghjadzor village. The exact date of the foundation is indicated in Armenian and Arabic medieval building records. According to the Armenian sources, the caravanserai was built in 1332, by the order of Duke Chesar Orbelyan. According to the legend, Kurdish leader Suleyma's son was in love with one of the beauties of Gegharkunik region and met with her very often. Once, in winter, when the roads were impassable, hardly had he passed half-road, when it became dark. He lost his road and was gone by the snowstorm. They say, the Kurdish leader, built a hostel near the pass, so that travelers could have some rest and then only continue their road. Since then the pass was called Selim. In that exact place today's caravanserai is built. Grand round trip to Armenia and Artsakh will help you to explore Selim pass and Selim Caravanserai. The length of the caravanserai is 35,5 m. The construction is built of treated basalt. The roof is covered with huge stone slabs, like roof tiles, which speaks about the mastery of the architect. The entrance to the caravanserai was the example of a new architectural style, forming in cities back them. The architects accented the image of the building: it should differ from the nearest buildings and attract attention. That is why facade design with its decorative means was of great importance. Architects used stalactite carving; its hardness expressed peculiar tinge due to the play of light and shadow. In Selim caravanserai such step-like decoration was on the arrow-like hole, on the upper part of the entrance. Two bass-reliefs, located on the facade of the construction, symbolize coat of arm of Orbelyan dynasty. There are animal illustrations on both sides of the entrance of the medieval caravanserai: a bull on the Eastern part, a lion with human face and crown on head on the Western part; a snake attacks the lion. Selim caravanserai was destroyed in the 15-16th cc. It was fundamentally renovated in 1956-1959. The roofing was completely rebuilt, Southern wall, the arches, cracked walls inside the building were restored as well.
Architect: A. TarkhanyanTsitsernakaberd («Fortress of Swallows») is located on the left bank of the Hrazdan River, in the Eastern part of the city. According to the legend, a temple, dedicated to goddess of love and beauty was located here; herald swallows on the very top of the temple sent massages to her beloved Vahagn: god of strength and war. The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th were fatal to Armenian nation. Ottoman Turkey organized and accomplished massive massacre of Armenians on the state level. Turkey reached its final goal in 1915-16. During the massacre, starting from the 12th of April, 1915 we lost 1,5 Armenians... During Soviet rule it became possible to speak out about this only in the 50-ies. In 1965, on the 50th anniversary ofArmenian Genocide, by the project of architects Tarkhanyan and Kalashyanb, a memorial, dedicated to the victims of Genocide, was constructed on Tsitsernakaberd hill. The monument consists of 2 parts. 44 meters high stele means the revival of Armenian nation. According the other version, it symbolizes Western and Eastern parts of Armenia, and even Sis and Masis (two peaks of Ararat). 12 circumferentially arranged stone slabs represent 12 Armenian settlements of Western Armenia, which are in the territory of nowadays Turkey. According to the other version, they symbolize the main 12 provinces, where the massacre took place. The fire of eternity is located in the centre of the structure. 100 meters long wall with the most prominent cities and villages (which faced the Genocide) carved on it is situated along the park of the complex. In 1995 an underground Museum of Genocide was opened in the territory of the complex; it houses information and evidences of foreigners on the fact of the events of 1915. There is a park near the museum, where foreign delegations plant trees in honor of the victims of the Genocide. On the 24th of April, 1965 the beginning of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide was launched. Exactly on that day Soviet Armenia commemorated the victims of the Genocide for the first time.
Location: Tsaghkadzor, Kotayk region
From Yerevan: 56km/50minHours of ropeway operation: 1-st line 10:00-18:00 2-nd line 10:00-17:30 3-rd line 10:00-17:00 4-th line 10:00-17:30
|Rope way tickets prices:|
|Card||1 entry 1800 AMD|
|Pensioners (68 years and older)||free|
|Famliy cards||25% discount|
|Can be used for 1year.|
|Plastic card||costs 2000 AMD|
|Filling||11000 AMD (20 entries), 6000 AMD (15 entries),|
|Can be used for 3 years.|
|2 days||16000 AMD|
|3 days||23000 AMD|
|7 days||49000 AMD|
|1 month||130000 AMD|
Sculptor: Y. Kochar
Architect: S. KyurkchyanThe statue of Vardan Mamikonyan was erected in 1985. The monument is located in the neighborhood of St. Gregory the Enlightener church. Vardan Mamikonyan was a commander of the 5th century, the chief of the Armenian Army, the leader of liberation movement of 450-451. People call him “Brave Vardan” or “Red Vardan”. Vardan Mamikonyan became especially known during Avarayr Battle between Armenians and Persians; the purpose was to turn Armenians from Christianity to Zoroastrianism. The battle took place in the 26th of May, 451 on the edge of the Tghmut River, in Avarayr field. Armenian Army had 66 000 soldiers and the Persian – 300 000 soldiers. The war ended with Persian’s victory. Nevertheless Armenians were able to preserve Christianity as state religion. Vardan Mamikonyan passed during this battle and later was canonized as a saint.
Sculptor: Y. Kochar
Architect: M. MazmanyanThe statue of David of Sasun is one the most prominent monuments in Yerevan city; the author is Yervand Kochar; the architect is Michael Mazmanyan; the model is national artist of USSR Vanush Khanamiryan. Yervand Kochar (1899-1978) is an artist whose innovative ideas were expressed in three genres: painting, graphics and sculpture, which tells about his high talent. The statue of David of Sasun is one his masterpieces. Armenian nation created lots of eposes during long centuries. Heroic eposes express national spirit of Armenians most characteristically and in detail. Integral image of the nation is best of all reflected in «David of Sasun» epos. The epos was created in the 7-8th cc, when Armenian nation was attacked by the Arab invaders. Vitality, best aspirations, thoughts and feelings of the people are embodied in the main hero of the epic - in David’s character. David is invincible strongman with superhuman strength, a patriot, a humanist, a defender of workers and peasants, selfless brave, peaceful virtue. David is so much beloved within people that he got divine title, under name “David”. The statue was erected in 1959 in David of Sasun Square, in front of the Train Station building; replaced plaster version, erected in 1936. David’s body is in motion, ready for the battle. His fairytale horse Kurkik Jalali perched on the basalt cliff. Under his hoof, in the angle of the cliff, bronze bowl is located: symbol of patience of Armenian nation. The monument is situated in the center of a pool with diameter of 25 meters; overall height with pedestal is 12,5 meters. The statue of David of Sasun is depicted on commemorative five-ruble coin, released in 1991 by Central Bank of the USSR. “David of Sasun” is depicted on subway tokens. For long years David of Sasun was the symbol of film studio“Hayfilm”. “David of Sasun” is the heaviest statue in Yerevan – 3,5 tons.
Location: Tatev, Syunik region
Established: XII c.
From Yerevan: 253km/4hTatev Mets Anapat (The Big Desert of Tatev) is an Armenian medieval monastic complex on the bank of the Vorotan River of Syunik region. The Desert was one of the most important late medieval complexes of Armenia. It had great strategic military significance during the liberation battle lead by David Bek in the 18th century. The founder of this architectural complex was catholicos of all Armenians Hakob D Jughaetsi. The monastery was a large educational, religious and cultural center. According to Arakel Davrizjetsi, there were 700 monks in Tatev Desert. With the help of the cable way you can easily reach Tatev Monastery.
Location: Sardarapat, Armavir region
From Yerevan: 47km/50min
Architect: R. IsraelyanSardarapat Memorial is dedicated to the battle against Turks-invaders in Sardarapat in May of 1918. After October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Russian troops left Eastern Armenia and Caucasian Front. Taking the opportunity, Turkish government planned to conquer not only Western Armenia, but Eastern Armenia andTranscaucasia as well. Sardarapat battle is one of the brightest pages of Armenian liberation struggle. The victory during Sardarapat battle was achieved at the cost of the heroic struggle of army units and militias, under the great leadership of Armenian generals. During Sardarapat battle Armenian martial arts of immemorial times were clearly expressed. Representatives of all the sectors of society participated in the battle: peasants, intelligentsia, spiritual leaders, craftsmen, Armenian officersl, serving in Russian Army, all the political parties; all the conflicts were forgotten. Special role was played by Armenian women, who delivered food and ammunition to the soldiers and served as nurses. Due to the won victory most of Eastern Armenia was saved; it was possible to create Armenian statehood: In 28th of May 1918 The Republic of Armenia was proclaimed. At the exact place of the battle the memorial was constructed. It consists of winged bulls and victory bells. “Belfry” (35 m high) is the dominant of the memorial composition. Its composition is completed by 4 towering pillars, bells, hanging in three rows. Those bloody days, the bells were ringing for six day, calling people for battle. The bells were heard on the whole Ararat Valley. On the left side of the memorial, on a small plateau, the building of Ethnographical Museum of Armenia is built; it was constructed by a well-known Armenian architect R. Israelyan. With its idea and location the museum completes the memorial.
Location: Alaverdi, Lori region
Established: XII c.
From Yerevan: 180km/2h 40mSanahin Bridge is one of the most significant architectural constructions of medieval Armenia. It is located in Alaverdicity of Lori region, above the Debed River. In 12th century it was built under the auspices of Vaneni, sister of Zakare and Ivane Zakaryan, in honor of her husband king Abas Kyurikyan, who passed early. The bridge is located above narrow and fertile banks of the River Debed flow. The basalt bridge with its bewitching outlines, type of stone and color combines with the picturesque surrounding becoming its inseparable treasure. Not far from the bridge Sanahin and Haghpat monasteries as well as Kobayr are located.
Architect: A. TamanyanRepublic Square is the heart of Yerevan city, projected by architect Alexander Tamanyan in 1924-1936. Tamanyan and his companions completely changed the image of Yerevan; it was turned into a modern city, impressing with its unique new buildings. Tamanyan’s plan was developed later by Astafyan’s plan of 1856. The construction of the four main buildings lasted from 1926 to 1958. Architect of the House of Government was Tamanyan himself, but after his death in 1936, the work was finished by his son Gevorg Tamanyan. The building of Armenia Marriott Hotel and Trades-Union building were projected by Mark Grigoryan and Edward Sarapyan. MFA building and Ministries of Transport and Energy were projected by Samvel Sarafyan and Varazdad Arevshatyan. The building of National Gallery and Museum of History of Armenia was completed in 1975, by Mark Grigoryan’s plan. Due to the singing fountains in front of the National Gallery, Republic Square became one of the most popular leisure places within locals; there are lots of concerts under open sky. The fountains were restored in 2007 and equipped with modern computer laser effects. It seems as if the fountains are “dancing” to the music; the colors change as well; on the screen made up of water jets, holographic images appear, creating, in fact, an amazing view. Republic Square is one of the best creations of Armenian architecture. In 1971 the authors of construction of Republic Square were awarded USSR State Prize.
Established: 1936Pantheon of Komitas Park was founded in 1936, when a year after Komitas’s (Armenian great composer) death his body was brought from France to Yerevan and buried exactly at this park. Komitas (Soghomon Soghomonyan) was born on the 26th of September in 1869 in Turkey. He was a composer, singer, music ethnologist, monastery mentor and teacher. Komitas is considered to be the founder of the modernArmenian classical music. Later the territory was turned into a pantheon of cultural figures and famous Armenians. Here Martiros Saryan, Avetik Isahakyan, Stepan Zoryan and their wives Lusik Saryan (1893-1974), Sophia Isahakyan (1882-1966), Satenik Zoryan (1901-1975) are buried. Shushanik Kurghinyan’s grave is located not far from the park, in a secluded corner.
Location: Noratus, Gegharkuniq region
From Yerevan: 94km/1h 20mNoratus village is located in Gegharkunik region, on the right bank of the Gavaraget River, 5 km to the North-East of Gavar city. It is one of the oldest settlements of Gegharkunik region, were lots of monuments are preserved. Noratus is considered to be a khachkar (“cross-stone”) forest, museum under open sky, unique collection of works of khachkar making art, which reveals one of the many secrets of Armenia. According to the legend, during Mongol-Tatar invasions the khachkars got soldier dresses, and the invaders, seeing the horrifying scene, just surrendered. Near the crypt, there is a small chapel which, according to another legend, saved lives of all the inhabitant of the village. The local priest made an agreement with Mongols and got the right to save lives of as many people as the chapel would suite. As the chapel had a secret exit, everyone could escape death. The Mongol commander was astonished to see only the praying priest in the chapel. The priest said that people turned into pigeons and flied away. St. Astvatsatsin (St. Holy Virgin) church is located in the center of the village, St. Gregory the Enlightener churchand the large crypt – on the South-Eastern edge. St. Astvatsatsin church was built in the end of the 9th century by Gegharkunik duke Sahak. By the architectural composition, this is a “domed hall” style construction; in comparison with constructions of the 6th century it has compressed proportions: emphasized protrusions and relatively small dome. St.Gregory the Enlightener church, built most probably in the 9-10th centuries, had single-naved vaulted structure, which later was turned into domed hall. (9-10th cc, architect – Khachatur) The large noteworthy crypt, rich with khachkars, is located in the South of the village. Centuries-old obelisks, ruins of monuments, khachkars of early period are still preserved. These are mostly khachkars of 13-17th cc; the vast majority of them are grouped, forming ancestral crypts of certain dynasties. Near Noratus, in Shor-Gyol settlement, crypts of Iron and Bronze Ages were found. Individual, double and group burials were among findings. In Noratus crypts bronze belts, arrow heads, bracelets, beads, iron daggers, pottery and so on were found as well.
Location: Arinj, Kotaik region
From Yerevan: 8km/15mMaster Levon’s Cave is situated in Arinj village. The Master created this wonder on his own, using simple tools: hammer and chisel. It is interesting, that he asked his guest to bring new instruments with them. Exactly this way the name of Levon’s sanctuary was created. Today its doors are open to every guest. During more than 20 years Master Levon worked hard by his own on digging a labyrinth under his house. It is not about several meters, but about 21 meter; not soil, but basalt, at first sight, insurmountable obstacle was under the house. Unfortunately, Master Levon is not alive not, though he left am amazing cave, due to which people remember him up today.
Location: Vernashen, Vayots Dzor
From Yerevan: 128km/2hGladzor University is one of the most prominent educational institutions of 13-14 cc, the center of development of religious, social, philosophical, as well as creative thought of the time. It is mentioned in chronicles as a university from 1291. The university was founded in Tanade monastery under the auspices of Prince Prosh Khaghbakyan, with the support of the Syunik princely dynasty Orbelyan and Syunik Metropolitan. Gladzor is a large educational center, where thousands of manuscripts were created. Despite other Armenianmedieval establishments of this kind, Gladzor University had their own set of rules, academic degrees and final defense. It is known, that, speaking in modern terms, graduates of secondary school were admitted to this university. Studying here for 6-7 years, young specialists took exams and prepared for the defense of academic degree.
Location: Garni, Kotayk region
Established: 2166 B.C.
From Yerevan: 28km/40min
Working days and hours:
Tuesday to Saturday - 9:00 - 17:30 (May-November 9:00-22:00)
At Sunday 9:00-15:30
Holiday on MondayGarni pagan temple was built in the second half of the 2nd century AD (77 AD). After the adoption of Christianity the temple became “summer residence” of Trdad G (Tiridate G)’s sister Khostrovdukht. This Hellenistic temple was destroyed during the earthquake of 1679. Near the temple bass-reliefed columns, wall stones, arks were found. That contributed to the restoration of the temple, which took place in 1969-75. The temple was dedicated to the pagan god Mithra: god of light, truth, justice; very often he was illustrated fighting against the bull – darkness. Near the temple a marble bull hoof was found, which was an idol in pre-Christian period; it was destroyed after the adoption of Christianity. This already restored amazing monument continues admiring thousands of people. The temple is a world value, one of the unique monuments of Armenian material culture of pagan period. 24 columns of the temple symbolize 24 hours of a day. To the East of the temple: nearly at the edge of the plateau, royal palace was located. Royal baths, located nearby, consist of four consecutive rooms in one line. Fresco of the dressing room is of great scientific and artistic value – example of monumental art of pre-Christian period. It illustrates different gods, mermaids, tritons: people with horse body and fish tails, fishermen, different fish and other. There is an opinion, that the prototype of Garni temple is Musasir temple of god Khald, which functioned in the 9th century BC. Detailed information came from king Sargon the Second's records. There are lots of constructing and architectural elements, which give reason to think that Greek-Roman architecture had its own prototype.
Architect: J. Torosyan“Cascade” complex is located behind great Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan’s monument; the authors are J.Torosyan, S.Gurzadyan and A.Mkhitaryan. This is a complex of step transitions, fountains, flower beds, as well as transport means, linking city center with Victory Park. The construction of the complex started in 1970, and was completed in 2009. The complex consists of five levels, which house works of world famous sculptures Linn Chadwick and Fernando Botero, khachkars (cross-stones) and bass-reliefs. On the very top a wonderful view opens: panorama of Yerevan city; the whole city at a glance. The fifth level is a space, surrounded by 15 columns symbolizing historical past of Armenia. Cafesjyan Center of Arts, founded in 2002, is located on the territory of the complex. The main idea of creating this complex was expressing national revival. For realization of that purpose very different architectural forms and means of artistic expression were used. “Cascade” is popular with concerts under open sky held here, fireworks, unique monuments, small waterfalls, and amazing view of Mount Ararat. The complex is one of the favorite places within children, elders and young couples.
Location: Byurakan, Aragatsotn region
From Yerevan: 36km/39min
Architect: S. SafaryanThe Byurakan Observatory after V. Hambardzoumyan, located at an elevation of 1500 m above sea level, on the slope of Aragats Mount, is among the largest astronomical centres of the world. The most daring and interesting scientific theses on the birth of galaxies are disseminated to many counties around the globe from here. The studies by the Byurakan School established by Hambardzournyao have left a significant impact on the development of contemporary astrophysics. In 1946, the observatory was founded and managed by the world-famous scientist, the RA National Hero, AcademicianVictor Hambardzoumyan (1908-1996). He was the founder of the Soviet school of theoretical astrophysics, the President of the Astronomers Union and starting from 1968 President (the only Soviet scientist) of the International Council of Scientific Societies uniting the academies of the sciences of 60 countries and 15 associations. In 1970, in breach of the organization's charter, he was reelected to this post for the second term of office. He was also a member, honorary academician and doctor of the International Astronomical Academy, national, royal societies and universities of many countries. In Armenia the birthday of the scientist - 18 September - has always been celebrated as the Day of Astronomy. The year 2008 was declared as the Year of Victor Hambadzoumyan's by the UNESCO. As the 'Zeus of Astrophysics,' a 'Copernican Revolutionary' and 'Red super giant' (a star by thousand times exceeding the sun), Hambardzoumyan shines in the heaven of science. He proved that neither stars nor planets are created once and for all but emerge and develop on a. continuous basis. In 1947, he discovered extraordinary and unique groups of stars in our Galaxy, which the scientist named associations. 'Today, no astronomer would deny that the galaxy nucleus is shrouded in mystery, and the first person who comprehended the richness of this treasury was Victor Hambardzoumyan' (A- Sandage, USA). 'I have stopped wondering what makes Hambardzoumyan's hypotheses, made many years ago, be confirmed one after the other' (J. Oort, Holland) and 'I am delighted with the incessant, highly outstanding and brilliant achievements of Professor Hambardzoumyan in astrophysics in the last 50 years' (Chandra-sekhar, USA). 'Only a few are capable of attaining the heights of that science and of giving new truths to the world. Victor Hamazaspovich Hambardzoumyan, the greatest astrophysicist of our country, belongs to their number' (V. Sobolev, USSR). He read over 900 books per year. He knew Toumanyan, Isahakyan, Charents, Poushkin, Blok and Beliy by heart. He loved reciting and had an excellent memory. He knew seven languages and had a special love for Armenian. The son of the people dispersed like stars was the pride of his nation. On 18 July 1988, there was an extended session of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council dedicated to the problem of Karabagh in the background of the bloody genocide in Soumgayit (Azerbaijan, 1988). Hambardzoumyan was also among the participants. Vard-ges Petrosyan tells, *We unanimously decided that if this tough decision was adopted we would put down our delegates' mandates right in the session hall. Academician V. Hambardzoumyan said that it would be better if he made the statement. "By the right of age only," he modestly commented. It was not hard for us to understand what a manifestation of courage this was by a great scientist.' The old academician went on a hunger strike in Moscow for the sake of the protection of the rights of the Armenian people. It is most true that, "had this man lived in the Middle Age, he would have been canonized a saint". In 1950, his house was built in the territory of the observatory (architect; S. Safaryan) where the scientist lived till the end of his life. Today it is a museum with the great astronomer's bronze portrait erected in front of it (sculptor: T. Hakobyan, 2008). The works of the great scientist, his great discoveries brought world renown to Armenia to the scientist himself, to his assistants and to Byurakan. The Complex of the Observatory (architect: S. Safaryan) is a unique ensemble in a rural environment. The observatory built with the local red tufa and the arched roofs of silvery observation towers stand out against the mountainous landscape. Their arrangement in the plateau is directed to Mount Ararat. The flowery highway leading to the depths opens from the entrance of the stone wall ending with the main building of the observatory, which completes the whole of the ensemble. Its significance is emphasized by the double towers that are slightly protruding and the high position of the building. The towers give a meaning to the idea of astronomy by their architectural forms. The whole ensemble" projects an impression of a complex that has been conceived and realized in one breath built with a pro-found understanding of the historic surroundings and merged with the architectural monuments in Amberd, Tegher, Ohanavan and Byurakan. The Tegher Monastic Complex is visible from the observatory.
Established: 1766Blue Mosque is the only Muslim prayer house in Yerevan. The establishment was built in 1766 with the initiative of Khan Hussein. The mosque is called “blue” because of the blue decorations of the dome. One of the largest mosques in the territory of Caucasus has 200-year-old history. During Soviet times, as all the other spiritual establishments, this one was also abandoned. In 1995 the governments of Armenia and Iran signed an agreement on reconstruction and renovation of the mosque. In 1995-97 the prayer house and 24 salons along the whole length of the garden were renovated. As a proof of tolerance and friendship between these two nations,Armenian Church and mosque are situated beside each other in the gallery. The mosque has library, small dentistry, and a museum, dedicated to the friendship of Armenia and Persian people.
Location: Akhtala, Lori region
From Yerevan: 197km/2h 50m.
Architect: Bzoghli M. V.Michael Aramyants was a famous Armenian entrepreneur, oilman, benefactor and social activist of the 20th century. He was born in 1843 in Artsakh, though lived and worked in Tbilisi, having his contribution in the renovation and prosperity of the city. Historian Vahe Antanesyan followed traces of Aramyants and tried to research his live and activity. Aramyants castle was preserved in Akhtala, the only precious memory about him, which Armenian inherited; the territory is 32 ha. While traveling in Switzerland, Aramyants saw a very beautiful castle, which he liked so much that returning to Tbilisi, he send a well-known architect Bzoghlu, so that he could examine it and recreate the plan of the analogue, which was built in Akhtala. The first tennis court in Armenia was just in this castle. Aramyants organized meetings and discussions with many prominent figures in Armenia: Khrimyan Hayrik, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Alexander Shirvanzade and so on.
Location: Aghitu, Syunik region
Established: VI c.
From Yerevan: 214km/4hAghitu is one of the most ancient and significant settlements in Syunik region. It is located 7 km East of Sisian city, on the left bank of the Vorotan River. In the early Middle Ages Aghitu with its political, religious, military and economic influence was one of the leading settlements of Syunik. An important historic-cultural monument of Armenia is situated in Aghitu village: the tombstone of the 5-6th cc. According to the legend, the monument was erected in honor of the three duke brothers of Syunik, who were able to beat the Persian Army, which tried to invade Syunik with a large army. The monument is decorated with the illustrations of pomegranate, grapes, geometrical and plant figures.