CHRISTIAN ARMENIA

The tour includes the highlights of Armenia and also UNESCO highlights, as well as meetings with local church communities.

Description

If you are looking for a Christian destination, Armenia should be your next must-visit place to explore.

In the Book of Genesis (the Bible), Mount Ararat refers to the region where Noah’s Ark was stranded after the great flood. Although now located on Turkish territory Ararat is located in the historic Armenian highlands and belonged to the Armenians until 1921

After the great flood, Noah’s generation lived in the Ararat valley and believed the new civilization. According to tradition, apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus  predicted Christianity in the 1st centuryAfter three centuries, the Kingdom of Armenia was the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as the official religion under the rule of King Trdates III in AD 301. It was 12 years before the Edict of Milan that Christianity became an acceptable religion in the Roman Empire, and later as an official religion.

Even if neighboring Armenian countries follow other religions, Armenia has so far managed to maintain its Christian faith and it looks like a Christian oasis in the region. It’s like a Christian open air museum with a number of monasteries and churches.

Itinerary

  • Day 1:  Departure from home country

  • Day 2: Yerevan / City tour / Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and Genocide Musuem / St.  Gregory the Illuminator church

    Arrival to international airport of Zvartnots. City tour in Yerevan on bus :stop near Mother Armenia Statue or over the Cascade monument for panoramic view to the city. Visit Tsitsernakaberd memorial and Genocide museum dedicated to the victims of Armenians massacres of 1915. The memorial was visited by John Paul II in 2001 when he was in Armenia for 1700 anniversary of adoption of Christianity as a State religion in 301 A.D.  Lunch in a local restaurant. Visit St. Gregory the Illuminator church in Yerevan – the biggest pan-Armenian church opened in 2001. Here you can find the relics of Armenian first Catholicos relics.  Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.

  • Day 3:  Yerevan / Echmiadzin – Armenian Orthodox Apostolic Church center / Treasury Museum / churches of St. Gayane and St. Hripsime / ruins of the Zvartnots Cathedral  UNESCO

    Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Echmiadzin – the center of Armenian Orthodox Apostolic church. Visit Echmiadzin cathedral of 301-303 A.D. which is one of the first Christian churches of the World. Visit the Treasury museums in Echmiadizn to see the relics of Armenian church:

    • The Holy Lance that pierced our Lord’s side by the Roman soldier during His crucifixion. According to the tradition it was brought to Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus when he came to evangelize.
    • The Right Hand of St. Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator).
    • The piece of Noah’s Ark. According to the tradition it was given to St. Hakob (Jakob), Patriarch of Mtsbin, in the 4th centaury form Mt. Ararat.

    Visit St. Gayane and St. Hripsime churches of 7th cen. which are build on the relics of the mother Superior of Hripsime nuns (who were followers of Chrits in the III centaury) and of the virgin Hripsime  on the place of their martyrdom. UNESCO. Return back to Yerevan and visit the ruins of the magnificent Zvartnots cathedral of 7th centaury. UNESCO. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.

  • Day 4: Yerevan / Khor Virap monastery and Mt. Ararat / Noravank monastery / Yerevan

    Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Khor Virap monastery built over the pit in which Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years. The monastery offers the best and the closest view to the Biblical Mt. Ararat. It’s the place named in the Book of Genesis where Noah’s Ark came to rest after the great flood (Genesis 8:4).  Continue to Noravank monastery of 10 – 14 cen. which was an important religious, cultural and educational centre in Syunik state in middle ages. It was built by one of the most famous Armenian architects of all times, by Momik. Return back to Yerevan.

    Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.

  • Day 5: Yerevan / Noraduz cemetery cross stones / Sevan monasteries / Goshavank monastery / Dilijan

    Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. Drive to Noraduz cemetery  which has the largest cluster of khachkars – cross stones in the Republic of Armenia.

    Continue to lake Sevan which is second highest alpine freshwater lake of the world. Visit the medieval monasteries on the peninsula one of which host a very rare Armenian cross stone called Amenaprckich – Holy Saviour of 13th cent.

    Last stop at Goshavank monastery of 13 cen. which was rebuilt over the former church by Mkhitar Gosh, a statesman, scientist and author of numerous fables and parables as well as the first criminal code. Here one can find Armenian most beautiful cross stone type carved by Master Poghos in 13th cen. .

    Dinner and overnight in Dilijan.

  • Day 6: Dilijan / Hagpat and Sanahin monasteries  UENSCO / Sagmosavanak monastery if time permits / Yerevan

    Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Lori region and visit Hagpat and Sanahin monastic complexes of 10-13 cen. which are the highlights of UNESCO. Both of them has been important religious, cultural, educational centers in Middle ages.

    Return back to Yerevan. If time permits visit Sagmosavank monastery – (monastery of psalms) of 13th cen. which is situated over the beautiful gorge of Qasagh river.

    Check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Yerevan.

     

  • Day 7:  Yerevan / Garni pagan temple / Ghegard cave monastery UNESCO / Matenadaran manuscript museum  / Yerevan

    Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Garni pagan templeof 1st cen.A.D – the only one among the Ex Soviet Union countries. Continue to Ghegard monasteryof 12-13th cen. The monastery was  originally named Ayrivank meaning “the Monastery of the Cave”. The name commonly used for the monastery today, Geghard, or more fully Geghardavank meaning “the Monastery of the Spear”, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus, and stored amongst many other relics. Now it is displayed in the Echmiadzin treasury.

    Return back to Yerevan and visit Matenadaran a depository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum which holds one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books which span a broad range of subjects, including history, philosophy, medicine, literature, art history and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages.

    Farewell dinner and overnight in Yerevan.

  • Day 8: Departure

    Transfer to the airport. Departure.

     

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