The first destination of our trip is Aruch Monastery. It is situated in Aragatsotn province, at the southern foot of Aragats Mountain. Aruch Monastery was built in the late 660s by Grigor Mamikonyan, an Armenian nobleman. Architecturally it is one of the most important Armenian churches of the Middle Ages and also one of the largest. It is a domed hall single-nave basilica type structure. The church had been extensively damaged by earthquakes and now you can see the sky instead of the dome.
Later we will head to the one of the oldest settlements in modern-day Armenia, with ancient foundations dating back to the 2nd millennium BC - Talin, which is notable for its 7th-century Cathedral of Talin. It is a unique monument of Armenian Church architecture and belongs to three-nave vaulted type of basilicas.
To reach your final stop, we will travel to the north-western part of Armenia, to the city of Gyumri - the second largest city of Armenia. By the end of the 19th century, the city was known as Alexandropol, then it was renamed to Leninakan during the Soviet period. Gyumri is known for its 19th-century architecture and urban constructions. Gyumri historic town center is quite walkable and fun to explore. During the tour, you can walk around the center, visit nearby monasteries and churches, museums such as Dzitoxtsonts Tun - museum of National Architecture and Urban Life of Gyumri. The most visited churches here are Church of the Holy Saviour or Surp Amenaprkich, Seven Wounds of the Holy Mother of God, Russian church, Surp Nshan or Holy Sign Church.
On 25 June 2016, Pope Francis delivered a Holy Mass at Gyumri's Vartanants Square. His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II also took part in the ceremony.
Duration: 8-9 hrs
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