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Stonehenge - The Oldest In The World

  Duration: 10 days / 9 nights; Tour Type: Cultural, Historical; Best Period: May - October; Distance to be passed: 1300 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Holy Mount Ararat

Duration: 9 days / 8 nights; Tour Type: Cultural, Historical; Best Period: May - October; Distance: ~1080 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Guaranteed Departures

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour Type: Cultural, Leisure; Best Period: according to set dates; Distance: ~500 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Armenia – Top Destination of the year

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour type: Cultural, Historical, Wine; Best Period: March - November; Distance to be passed: ~1150 km; Coutnry: Armenia See more details

ARMENIA UNESCO

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour Type: Historical, Wine, Cognac, Hiking; Best Period: May - October; Distance to be passed: ~1550 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Following the Great Silk Road

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour Type: Silk Road, Cultural, Historical, Wine; Best Period: May - October; Distance to be passed: ~1050 km Countries: Georgia, Armenia See more details

Feel The Road from Armenia to Karabakh

  Duration: 14 days / 13 nights; Tour Type: Jeeping, Historical, Adventure, Wine Best Period: May - October; Distance: ~1900 km; Countries: Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh See more details

Pearls of Caucasus

Duration: 13 days / 12 nights Tour type: Cultural, Historical, Wine, Gourmand Best Period: March - December Distance: Countries: Armenia, Georgia See more details

 

Not far from Etchmiadzin on the way to Yerevan lie the ruins of the church of Zvartnots (church of the Guardian Angel or Celestial Angel), a colossal and unique masterpiece of Armenian architecture. Zvartnots was built at a time when much of Armenia was under Byzantine control or influence and during the early invasions of Armenia by the Muslim Arabs. Construction of the cathedral began in 642 under the guidance of Catholicos Nerses III. Dedicated to St Gregory, it was located in the place where a meeting between king Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place. From 653 to 659 the construction of the cathedral continued under Anastas Akarratsi. Following the Arab occupation of Dvin and the intensifying wars between the Byzantine and Arab armies on the former's eastern borders, Nerses transferred the patriarchal palace of the Catholicos from Dvin to Zvartnots.

Zvartnots remained standing until the end of the 10th century but historical sources are silent as to the cause of its collapse but most probably it was destroyed by an earthquake. A close copy of the cathedral was erected at Ani out by Trdat the Architect under the reign of Gagik I Bagratuni during the final decade of the 10th century.

Zvartnots is an example of a cult building of a new type which is organically linked up with the general trend of previous development. Like the earlier cruciform domed churches it was built on a central plan. On the outside the church was a polygonal, three-storied dome building. All the interior decorations – geometric and floral ornamental motifs, half length representations of builders holding their tools, cornices, capitals – are supremely perfect showing that the work was performed by an artist of brilliant talent and outstanding skill.

The Cathedral of Catholicos Nerses III of which only the lower parts of the walls have survived was situated next door to the Zvartnots temple. The Cathedral comprised numerous rooms – ceremonial halls, a chapel, a refectory, a bath house and living quarters. At a short distance from the Cathedral complex a 17th century distillery still stands, an interesting example of Armenian workshop and a survival from the early Middle Ages.

Zvartnots is of great value not only for Armenians but also for international society, as it is inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.