Northern Armenia for 2 days and 1 night
Stepanavan (Dendropark), Lori Fortress, Vanadzor (overnight)
Haghpat, Sanahin, Akhtala, Kobayr
Day 1: The first destination of the trip will be the botanic garden of Stepanavan, established by Polish engineer-forester Edmon Leonovich in 1933. The area of dendropark is about 35 hectares, covered with natural forests with multi species plants. The majority of the plants were brought here from Yerevan Botanical Garden, as well as from different countries all over the world. Nowadays there are more than 500 plants. Next destination of our trip will be the ruins of medieval fortress - Lori Fortress. Here a church and 2 bathrooms of that time are preserved. After we will leave for Vanadzor, which is is an urban municipal community and the third-largest city in Armenia serving as the capital of Lori Province. Here we will stop for the overnight.
Day 2: After the breakfast we will leave for monasteries of Haghpat, Sanahin, Akhtala and Kobayr, dating back to the 10th to 13th centuries.
The monastery of Haghpat, founded by Queen Khosrovanush (wife of the Armenian King Ashot III) in AD 976, consists of one narthex, two corridor-sepulchers, a refectory, a scriptorium, the Chapel of Hamazasp, a belfry, several chapel-tombs and cross-stones (khachkars)․
Sanahin used to be the administrative centre and family burial place of the Kyurikyan Bagratids (10th and 11th centuries), as well as the Episcopal residence for the diocese (until the 11th century). The Sanahin monastery contains 3 churches, narthex, scriptorium, belfry and academy. Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Akhtala is a 10th-century Armenian Apostolic Church monastery, with breathtaking frescoes. 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.
Kobayr is another remarkable architectural complexes of medieval times. It was built in the 12th-century. The main church has some partially restored frescoes and a detached 3th-century bell tower. There are also three chapels, one with a scenic balcony.
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