Khor-Virap - Meaning deep pit or deep well. An ancient fortress originally, also used as a royal prison, then built to a Armenian Apostolic Church. It was known as the pilgrimage place for Surp Grigor Lusavorich whom later became known as Saint Gregory the Illuminator. He was initially imprisoned, in isolation here for 13 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Grigor Lisavrich was actually the kings Christian assistant and preached the Christian religion along with baptising the Armenia people. However, Tiridates the III, from a pagan religion, was not pleased and he subjected Gregory to severe torture in Khor Virap. Legends say after curing King Tiridates III of a disease which made him look like a boar or pig, which then caused the conversion of the king and then Armenia as a country into the first official Christian nation in the world in the year 301. He then came on the deep pit with a lit candle “illuminating” the Armenian people.
Location: There is a beautiful view from here with a spectacular sight of the biblical mountain Ararat.The 17th century monastery-fort of Khor Virap is located in the Ararat district, in the surroundings of the Pokr Vedi village, on top of a hill. The village is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the main highway. It is situated about 100 meters (330 ft) away from the Turkish-Armenian border (sealed by barbed wire fencing) and defended by military establishments that guard the troubled border zone. The monastery is surrounded by green pasture lands and vineyards within the Ararat plain and is in view of Mount Ararat. The Arax River flows close-by. In ancient times this is the place where the historical Artashat city was located.
Church: The Nerses chapel, built in the 5th century around the famous pit, was of white limestone. Though plain in appearance, a monastery was built around a large enclosure that surrounds the ruins of the old chapel. This church has a twelve sided tholobate (or drum, it is the upright part of a building on which a dome is raised) and dome and is dedicated to S. Astvatsatsin. Though most Armenian churches have an east-west orientation, placing the altar at the east end, St. Gevorg Chapel is oriented northwest-southeast. In or about 642 the Catholicos Nerses III built a chapel there. The chapel with its composition and construction style reminds us of Zvartnots . A new chapel was built in 1662 on its ruins, which is still preserved today. The St.Astvatzatzin church was built in the 17th century and has an attached bell-tower as it stands today.
Points of Interest
Armenian Genocide Museum Cafesjian Art Museum Children Art Gallery Erebuni Museum History Museum of Armenia House Museum of Aram Khachaturian House Museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan Matenadaran Middle East Museum National Gallery of Armenia Saryan Museum Sergey Parajanov Museum
Events in Yerevan
ARAX Concert In Yerevan Armenian Genocide Commemoration April 24 Bernd Glemser Concert Chinese Concert in Yerevan Dima Bilan In Yerevan Golden Apricot Film Festival Halloween in Yankee Pub Japanese Xylography in Armenia Junior Eurovision La Fete at Kami Club New Year at Facebook Club Panarmenian Games Patriotic Music Evening Pilaqyan Show Part 10 Stevie Wonder in Armenia TEDx in Yerevan for 2012 The National Film Awards Trio Jazz Khoube Unmanned Aircraft Wine and Jazz Music Evening Yerevan 101 Contest