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Tours - On the traces of Sayat-Nova - Aghtala-Haghpat-Sanahin-Odzun-Kobayr-H.Tumanyan museum - The Debed river canyon- Dzoraget village (overnight stay)


Akhtala monastery
Akhtala is a 10th-century fortified monastery located in the village of Akhtala in the marz of Lori, 185 kilometers north of Yerevan. The fortress played a major role in protecting the north-western regions of Armenia (Gugark) and is among the most well preserved of all in modern Armenia. The main church at the compound is famous for its highly artistic frescoes, which cover the inside walls, the partitions, and the bearings of the building. The modern name of Akhtala was first recorded in a royal decree of 1438.
The fortress’ territory is surrounded with rocky deep canyons from three sides, and the north side joins the plain. Besides the natural advantages, the fortress was protected by tall pyramid gates mutually connected with the picturesque environs which are preserved to this day. Beyond the territory of the temple in Akhtala village, there are many churches, chapels, and defensive erections standing or destroyed (X-XIII cc). Here belongs the temple of the Holy Trinity, St. George church, the pair of churches in the western part of the temple the chapel of Barsegh, etc.



Haghpat Monastery
Haghpat monastery is a village in the Northern Lori province of Armenia, close to the city of Alaverdi and the state border with Georgia. Haghpat monastery, one of Armenia’s most beautiful monasteries perched atop the rim of the gorge. This fortified monastery was founded by Queen Khosrovanush, the wife of Ashot III Bagratuni, in around 976. It has a S. Nshan church finished in 991 by Smbat Bagratuni and his brother Gurgen, It was built between 976-991, is the principle church of the monastery. The clock-tower was erected in 1210 and is one of the most beautiful examples of its kind from the medieval period in Armenia. The monastery's bell tower, built in 1245, stands apart from the main ensemble of monuments, and is architecturally noteworthy. The complex was once the home to libraries, scriptoriums, schools and refectories. The monastery is the jewel of the wide, deep valley formed by the Dzoraget river and is framed wonderfully by the idyllic surrounding natural setting.
Haghpat Monastery is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage List (1996).



Sanahin monastery: The architectural complexes of Sanahin and Haghpat are among the outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture. The exact date of the foundation of Sanahin and Haghpat is unknown. Documentary evidence and monuments of material culture suggest that these structures date back to the middle of the 10th century. The most ancient structure in Sanahin is the sepulcher of Kyurike and David Kyurikids, one built at the end of the 10th century, and the other in the middle of the 11th century. Sanahin’s bell-tower was built between 1211 and 1235. The book depositories of Haghpat and Sanahin are unique buildings illustrating the high level of development of civil architecture in 11th 13th-century Armenia. In Sanahin humanitarian sciences and medicine were studied, scientific treatises written and paintings, most miniatures, created. Sanahin and Haghpat complexes are especially rich in khachkars (more than 80 of them have survived). Some of them were installed to mark various events. In Sanahin, one was put up on the occasion of building a bridge in 1192, another one, of building an inn in 1205, and others are Tepagir (1011), Tsiranavor (1222), etc.



Monastry of Odzun
Odzun monastery is in Lori region and it’s a Christian sanctuary of I century. The legend says that in the
I century Apostle Thomas came to Odzun and baptized the priests and the bishops in the place of the church. The name Odzun comes from Armenian «????» (to baptize). Odzun church was connected with Tziranavor church by an underground pass, which was built just above the cliff. The underground pass is still there, though its entrance is filled with a layor of soil and stones. Qobayr monastery is an ancient sanctuary located on top of a canyon. Here the water flows as if from under the rocks and the trees and grapevines grow from apertures of the ancient carved walls. A bell tower is preserved in the middle of the complex which was built as a crypt for Mkhargreli and his wife Vaneni.
H. Tumanyan’s house museum
Village of Dsegh is the birth place of the well known Armenian writer Hovhaness Tumanyan (1869-1923) and there the writer’s house museum is situated. Basilca church with its folk museum built by Mamikonyans family in 654, St. Gregor monastery (12-13 cc.), Qarrasun mankots monastery (12 c.) and “Sirun khach crosstone are situated not far from the village.



The canyon of Debet river
It’s in the region of Tavush in Lori. Debet starts in the place where Dzoraget and Pambak rivers are combined and pours into Khram river. The gorge is 350 meters deep and is not far from the city of Tumanyan. It has hydroenergetic resources. In the riverside of Debet there are a lot of historical monuments such as: Haghpat, Sanahin, Akhtala, Qobayr, Mankants monastery, St. Gregory church and other monuments. Debet is characterized by people as a river of fierce temper. H. Tumanyan described the river in his poem “Loretsi Saqo”, where the hero of the poem went mad after spending a night alone in the canyon of Debet. Village of Dzoragetan (overnight stay)



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