Historical site and anything historical are what Armenia can offer to its visitors. During almost 3000 years of its existence, there have been many cultural and religious transformations in this region. Today, Armenia possess the whole package of history-guru tourist attractions.
Are you tired of seeing all the same modern buildings every day?
Do you want to get rid of “get up-get ready-go to work” scheduled and monotonous lifestyle even for a week or a month?
Are you curious about exploring the ancient culture that developed through thousands of years in the very cradle of humanity?
Are you fond of historical sites?
Then travel to Armenia!
This is where the historical places are scattered all around. Here are the reasons you should visit Armenia for and discover its remarkable historical sites. History gurus are recommended to stay with us!
Armenia as a Historical Site 1: Discover Armenia’s Military-defensive Sites
There have been a lot of turns and twists throughout the history of Armenia. Nomadic tribes used to invade the country, destroy and plunder whatever they saw. Accordingly, the natives of Armenia had to protect themselves. So, they had to build a lot of fortresses that had quite useful defense systems.
Initially it was a summer residence and the possession of the noble house of Kamsarakan. Then, four centuries later the Pahlavounis (another noble house in Armenia) purchased the historical place. In the 1070s Seljuk Turks invaded the fortress and turned it into a military base.
After recapturing it, Armenians started using it as military fortress by structurally reinforcing the walls. In 1215, it was already a key defensive site. However, Mongols soon invaded the fortress and destroyed it.
Even centuries later, Amberd remains one of the most stunning historical sites to visit in Armenia. The view from the fortress is just breathtaking! Besides being a military-defensive site, it was a home to many Armenians. And the most interesting thing about it is that the fortress owned water supply.
Imagine how advanced the architects were that they were able to provide not only cold but also hot water. So, the fortress had bath house as well. Pipes running through the walls and floor of the fortress were heated by a fire built under the floor. This is how metal pipes supplied the hot water to the bath house.
Armenia as a Historical Site 2: Armenia is All about the Mixture of Beliefs and Science
This little mountainous country has a lot to share with anyone interested in history, science or beliefs and religions. Zangezur (another name for Syunik region) is rich in such historical places.
When leaving the town of Sisian, climb up the hill, turn left. The road will actually take you to the famous Karahunj (another name for the site is Zorac qarer). It is this place that stands out among other historical sites.
This is a Bronze Age settlement, around which there are standing stones with holes pierced in them. According to the results of excavations, a temple that consists of 40 stones was built to worship the Armenian God, was situated in the central part of Karahunj. Besides the temple, it is universally assumed that the complex had a large and advanced observatory.
By the way, Armenian scientists believe in the link between Armenian Karahunj and British Stonehenge as the word “stone” is “kar” in Armenian, whereas the word “henge” doesn’t exist in English and is derived from Armenian “hunj” that means “voice, eco”.
Armenia as a Historical Site 3: Armenians Know How to Build Remarkable Cities
The best way to find out the peculiarities and the secrets of Armenian architecture is to visit its ancient cities and churches. So, if it is your rudiment, then visit the Ararat province and ask locals about any historical site and they will obviously mention the ancient city of Dvin.
The latter was one of the twelve capitals of historical Armenia. Though in ruins, but it still a must-see historical place for tourists. Dvin is located on a hill where a settlement was turned into a fortress in the antique epoch.
Dvin is linked to the martyrdom of Smbat I Bagratuni, client king of Syunik, in 909. When attempting to impose his complete control, the Arab governor Yusuf poisoned Smbat’s son and nephew, who had surrendered themselves to him as Smbat’s allies.
Capturing Smbat himself, Yusuf had him tortured to death in an attempt to persuade his wife and relatives to surrender the Ernjak fortress (now in Iran) where they had taken refuge. The body of Smbat was exposed on a cross outside Dvin, where it allegedly worked a number of miracles.
Moreover, according to early Armenian historians, the great general, the “Saracen” Salahaddin, nemesis of the Crusaders, was born near Dvin.
Armenia as a Historical Site 4: Explore UNESCO’s Armenian Heritage
Don’t take it for an exaggeration when somewhere you hear that Armenia is a “museum under the open sky”. Visit Zvarnots cathedral and will be left speechless when taking a glimpse of cathedral’s columns and sculptures. They are subtle and stunning.
Zvartnots was built at a time when much of Armenia was under Byzantine control or influence and during the early by Muslim Arabs. Catholicos Nerses III began the construction of the cathedral in 643. It was dedicated to St. Gregory. Accordingly it was located in the place, where King Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator were supposed to have met.
Zvartnots stood until the end of the 10th century, but historical sources do not mention the cause of its collapse.
However, the excavations revealed that Zvartnots stood on the remnants of structures that dated back to reign of the Urartian king Rusa II.
It is interesting to know, that a drawing of the cathedral was depicted on the first issue of 100 AMD banknotes and its model can be seen in Yerevan History Museum.
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