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“Devil’s Bridge” Tours in Armenia - Noyantour
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Tours - “Devil’s Bridge” - Khor Virap-Qarahunj (Stonehenge)-Tatev monastry


Khor Virap is situated in Ararat marz. In the place of the nowadays monastry-castle once there was a royal prison. Virap was a deep opening with poisonous snakes and insects, where the accused were kept. The legend said that the pagan king Trdat had sent Saint Gregor the Illuminator to prison because he had been propagating Christianity. The cave where St. Gregor was imprisoned later was known as Khor Virap. It is a 4th Century complex viewing Biblical Mt. Ararat. The monastry of Khor Virap had served as an educational center. In the XIII century it had a church school with 40 pupils. It is one of the well known tourist sites of Armenia. Zorats Qarer (Armenian Stonehenge) Zorats Qarer is in the spotlight of the tourists conditioned by its high historic-cultural value and easy-to-reach geographical position. It is located near the Yerevan-Iran and Yerevan-Mountainous Kharabakh highway.

Zoratz Qarer, also known as the “Armenian Stonehendge” or Qarahunj is situated 3 km north north of Sisian. Being of unique structure, it has not been fully studied yet. The monument is a complex of hundreds of vertically fixed boulders covering an area of more than three hectares. It is 1770 meters above sea level.
The main disputes in scientific circles about this structure are framed within two viewpoints. The first version states that the vertically fixed boulders are religious monuments/menhirs devoted to the deceased, the central oval structure is a kromlex and the holes found in the boulders have a technical meaning.



The second version states that the Zorats Qarer is an ancient observatory designed for the observation of terrestrial bodies. As a result of the second version the Zorats Qarer has been juxtaposed with the English Stone Hedge, French Karnak, Dutch new Grege which are considered as Sun worshipping centers and observatories. Based on archeological data the archeologists assume the Zorats Qarer had been built during the 3 – 2 millennium BC during the transitional stage from the Early Bronze to the Medium Bronze periods and survived till the middle of the 1st millennium.

The Monastery at Tatev
The famous monument of the Armenian medieval architechture is the Church complex in the village of Tatev situated 35 Km south of Sisian. Since the 8th Century, century it had become the seat of the Diocese of Syunik.
The Peter Paul Cathedral was built in 906. The St. Astvatsatsin church was erected in 1067 and the St. Gregory Church was constructed in 1295. In 1390-1435 the village of Tatev’s medieval university and school of miniatures and manuscript were prosperous.



The monastery had a great matenadaran, where more than 10 thousand manuscripts were kept. Here is found the tombstone of the prominent Armenian philosopher and theologian Grigor Tatevatsi. Tatev is famous also for its khachkar-beard rod, which is considered as one of the interesting Armenian architectural innovations.
In the 17th and 20th Centuries it was an important freedom-fighting arena. Many occurrences are connected with the monastery. At the end of the 20th century some reconstructions have been carried out in the territory of the monastery. Now the monastery is functioning and is the spiritual center of the Diocese of Syunik.



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