Journey to the Caucasus, region of Aragatsotn in Armenia

Aragatsotn is a region of Armenia in the west, sprawled on three downhill of Mount Aragats. Center of the district is the town of Ashtarak, where is the abundance of historic monuments, as well as throughout the region, in addition to magnificent nature and picturesque sceneries. Mount Aragats is an extinguished volcano, and in spring and summer full of a variety of colors of its cover. South side of the mountain is accessible for amateurs of mountaineering expeditions. Kasagh River Canyon reveals an enchanting beauty of the nature. Throughout the region there are approximately 1,000 historical monuments.

The ancient churches of Talin, Mastara, Aruch and Ashtarak are among the masterworks of Armenian architecture. There is also a research center of investigations of cosmic rays and Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, which has a powerful telescope.

The administrative center Ashtarak located in the lower reaches of Mount Aragats, in the high-colored gorge of the river Kasakh. Among the pristine architectural monuments and interesting churches are Tsiranavor of V century, Karmravor of seventh century and others, also the old bridge with three arches thrown over the river Kasakh.

Oshakan is a countryside in Aragatsotn region, an ancient settlement and is well known fact that in old times had a great military significance because of the of river gorge and vicinity of high mountain. In the village you can visit the tomb of Mesrop Mashtots, who was the creator of the Armenian alphabet. This is a very attractive place in terms of tourism, and is also a favorite destination of pilgrims. It often organizes here the seminars and workshops. Due to the large contribution of Mesrop Mashtots Armenians until today use their own alphabet, created in 405.

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Saghmosavanq -is the monastery complex, erected on a hill above the river Kasakh. Consequently to legend it was founded by the will of St. Gregory the Illuminator at fourth century. The complex includes the Church of the Holy Zion, Temple of Our Lady and other buildings. In this area survived numerous khachkars – the crosses carved on stones. Saghmosavanq is also famous for its library of manuscripts and the presence of excellent acoustics.

Another famous place in the region is the Amberd, which is a medieval fortified city. It also extends to the southern slope of Mount Aragats, on a triangular promontory at 2300m above sea level, in the place where is the conflux of the rivers Arqashen and Amberd. The architecture of Amberd has the typical characteristic elements of medieval fortresses. The building and some parts of the fence were completed in the seventh centenary, during the reign of Kamsarakan. In the tenth century it represented an important defensive system of Bagratids.