UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Armenia
God spoke to the world in Armenian. - Lord Byron
Armenia is often considered an open-air museum with over 4000 historical sites throughout the country from various periods of time. UNESCO world heritage sites in Armenia represent the cultural heritage and Armenian history.
Hidden Treasure of Lori Marz
The hidden treasures of Lori - Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries are situated in Lori Marz. Sanahin complex was constructed at the beginning of 10th century. Back then, it was a key center for culture and education with its own school and large library. Haghpat monastery was built at the end of 10th century. It was a vast cultural center where many manuscripts were written.
The Holy See of Etchmiadzin and ruins of Zvartnots
There is a legend that after adopting Christianity as an official religion in 301, Gregorius the Illuminator was looking for a place to build the first church. He was sitting on a rock and was thinking about the place where the church must be built when suddenly an angel appeared and showed the place where the Son of God wanted to have a church.
Soon, a Cathedral arose in that place and took the name Etchmiadzin, which means “The only-begotten son came down”. The Holy See of Etchmiadzin is one of the oldest Christian Cathedrals in the world. Today it is the official seat of Catholicos, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The legend of Zvartnots is closely connected with the adaptation of Christianity and with king Tiridatus III and Gregorius the Illuminator. It is told that in 652, Catholicos Nerses III Builder ordered to build a magnificent Cathedral in the place where king Tiridatus the 3rd and Gregorius the Illuminator met for the first time. Later he transferred the patriarchal palace from Dvin to Zvartnots.
Monastery of Geghard and the Symphony of Stones
The main part of Geghard Monastery was built by the order of Gregorius the Illuminator in the 4th century. There is a legend that the spring inside the Monastery has a healing habitude and any person who drinks it, washes hands and face while praying will cure.
Geghard alongside with other relics stored the spear by which The only-begotten Son of the God was hurt. Today the spear is in the Etchmiatsin treasury. Not too far from Geghard is situated Garni temple. It is the only standing Greco-Roman structure in the entire Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Near the temple, where beautiful Azat river meets Goght riverm you will see the unique formation of the canyon which is known as “The Symphony of Stones”.
Alongside with sumptuous spiritual and architectural constructions there are also several other objects that are included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. This list includes the Armenian flatbread - lavash, musical instrument made of apricot wood - duduk, Armenian folk dance - kochari, Armenian Epic - “Sasna tsrer”, and last but not the least, the symbolism and mastery of Armenian Khachkars.