Armenia

Armavir Province

Sardarapat Memorial is a memorial complex to the Battle of Sardarapat located in the village of Araks, in the Armavir Province of Armenia, 11 kilometers southwest of Armavir town. In 1968 during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Sardarapat that took place on May 22–26, 1918 a memorial park was laid out on the spot of the battlefield. The entrance is flanked by huge winged oxen made of red tufa. A flight of steps leads to a square from which a 26-metre-high bell tower rises. The beautiful trellis structure with its twelve bells can be seen from afar. The bells ring every year on the day of the historic victory. The monument is guarded by massive ancient style Armenian-winged lions, and is flanked by a memorial garden for Karabakh (Arstakh) martyrs. Sardarapat Memorial is a symbol of pride and survival, the Sardarapat Memorial marks the place of Armenia's successful last-ditch effort to save the nation from obliteration at the hands of the Turks in the Battle of Sardarapat on May 22–26, 1918. Against tremendous odds, and during the haunting backdrop of genocide during the previous few years, Armenia's makeshift army rebuffed the Turkish troops and safeguarded the small portion of historic Armenia, what became the current republic as it stands today. On the grounds of the historic battle one can today visit the Sardarapat Ethnography and Liberation Movement History Museum adjacent to the outdoor monument.
Zvartnots Cathedral (Armenian: Զուարթնոց (classical); Զվարթնոց (reformed); meaning "celestial angels") is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643-652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) in Armavir Province of Armenia.
Saint Hripsimé Church (Armenian: Սուրբ Հռիփսիմե եկեղեցի) is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.
The Church of Saint Gayane (Armenian: Սուրբ Գայանե եկեղեցի; pronounced Surb Gayane) is a 7th-century Armenian church in Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), the religious center of Armenia. It is located within walking distance from the Etchmiadzin Cathedral of 301. St. Gayane was built by Catholicos Ezra I in the year 630. Its design has remained unchanged despite partial renovations of the dome and some ceilings in 1652. Gayane was the name of an abbess who was martyred with other nuns by Tiridates III of Armenia in the year 301, and subsequently made a saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 2000, Saint Gayane Church was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with historical churches of Vagharshapat.
Etchmiadzin Cathedral (Armenian: Էջմիածնի Մայր Տաճար) is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church,  located in the city of  Vagharshapat, Armenia. According to most scholars, it was the first cathedral (but not the first church) built in ancient Armenia, and is considered the oldest cathedral in the world. The original church was built in the early fourth century between 301 and 303 according to tradition—by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. It replaced a preexisting temple, symbolizing the conversion from paganism to Christianity. The core of the current building was built in 483/4 by Vahan Mamikonian after the cathedral was severely damaged in a Persian invasion. From its foundation until the second half of the fifth century, Etchmiadzin was the seat of the Catholicos, the supreme head of the Armenian Church. Although never losing its significance, the cathedral subsequently suffered centuries of virtual neglect. In 1441 it was restored as catholicosate and remains as such to this day. Etchmiadzin was plundered by Shah Abbas I of Persia in 1604, when relics and stones were taken out of the cathedral in an effort to undermine Armenians' attachment to their land. Since then the cathedral has undergone a number of renovations. Belfries were added in the latter half of the seventeenth century and in 1868 a sacristy was constructed at the cathedral's east end.Today, it incorporates styles of different periods of Armenian architecture. Diminished during the early Soviet period, Etchmiadzin revived again in the second half of the twentieth century, and under independent Armenia. As the main spiritual center of most Armenians worldwide, Etchmiadzin has been an important location in Armenia not only religiously, but also politically, economically and culturally.A major pilgrimage site, it is one of the most visited places in the country. Along with several important early medieval churches located nearby, the cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
Metsamor Castle, is the remains of an old fortress located to the southwest of the Armenian village of Taronik, in the Armavir Province. It has been populated starting from the 5th millennium BC until the 18th century AD. The excavations of the tombs of Metsamor Castle began in 1965. The site is noted for its observatory and temple complexes consisted of seven sanctuaries. Neolithic stone circles dating back to ca. 5000 BC stand within the historical site, interpreted by enthusiasts of archaeoastronomy as an astronomical "observatory".
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