Presentation of the destination
Welcome to the city of Artashat. Located in the Ararat valley, 30 km southeast of Yerevan this city has a total population of 25,300 people (2009). The modern city of Artashat was formed as a city in 1962 within the Armenian SSR, Soviet Union and it was soon given the status of an urban community. It is adjacent to the ancient city founded by King Artashes I in 176 BC serving as the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia from 185 BC until 120 AD - around six centuries. The city of Artashat is celebrated for being a focal point of Hellenistic culture, in which the first Armenian theatre was built. The local currency is the dram. The climate in Artashat is markedly continental. Summers are dry and sunny. Springs are short, while autumns are long. Autumns are known for their vibrant and colorful foliage. Winters are quite cold with plenty of snow. Artashat is on the AMT Time Zone (GMT+4).
Points of interests / things to see
Surb Hovhannes Church is situated between the M-2 and H-8 highways in central region of Artashat. The church has been under construction since 2000. There has been many interruptions that has prolonged its completion. In September 2009 A dome-blessing ceremony, conducted by the supreme Catholics of all Armenians, was held in order to honor the construction of the church in September 2009. Several crosses were placed atop of the dome structures that serve as the roof of this magnificent church. There are two portals where visitors can enter the building. The side of the church, which has a an lintel inscription located above the portal, provides the main entrance. There are a series of Maltese Crosses that have been intricately carved into the exterior of the building. Decorative stones such as Khachkars are present throughout the church. Surb Hovhannes Church is a magnificent, contemporary structure located in an old town that is accostumed to old traditions and customs. It majestically blends into the surrounding enviroment with ease and grace. This is a tourist spot that should not be passed up the next time you are in Artashat. So come be dazzled by the Surb Hovhannes Church.
Khor Virap Monastery, situated in the Ararat Valley, is located near the Turkish border. It is only 45 minutes south of Yerevan. You will arive at the moastery prior to reaching the villages of Vedi and Ararat. Khor Virap Monastery received its name from the "deep pit" in which Grigor Lusavorich, who later became St. Gregory the Illuminator, was imprisoned more than 1,700 years ago. His prison sentence was ordered by King Tiradentes III of Armenia and lasted for thirteen years. This occurred prior to curing the king of a terrible illness and converting his majesty, and the enitre country, to Christianity. Visitors have the opportunity to descend a metal ladder into the deep pit. Khor Virap Monastery is fortified. It has an absolutely incredible view of Mount Ararat. Visitors who wish to get the best view of the mountain are advised to to arrive at the monastery in the morning, before haze and clouds fill the sky. The monastery was also the site of a theological seminary and once served as the refuge for Armenian Catholics. The Khor Virap Monastery is a majestic and traditional historic site of Armenia. Do not miss the opportunity to visit this wonderful monastery when you are in Artashat.
The Ancient Ruins of Artashat are situated along a stretch of land from the Vostan Hayots district (Great Hayk Ararat Province) and the surrounding area. The ancient city was originally founded in 180 B.C. It was constructed upon the site of a former Urartu settlement that was present during the rule of Artashes I. Three rivers surround the old city while an aritificial moat surrounds the fourth. Remnants of ancient walls and buildings have miraculously stood the test of time. Other architectural structures remains. For example, a dazzling mosaic placed in an ancient bathhouse is still present in the region. Many historians and archeaologists have extolled the unique virtue and sheer beauty of the ruins of Artashat. The city benefitted from irrigated lands, arts and crafts, and flourished as a dynamic trading center and storage center for merchandise in transit. The city was remarkeably constructed and had impressive architectural structures that separated its organization and beauty from other cities in Armenia. The ancient city felt the wrath of Roman and Persian incursions. However, the city was reconstructed and recovered from these conquering forces. The Ancient Ruins of Artshat is a marvellous, historic wonder. It will definitely all visitors in awe.
The Dvin Ruins excavations are located between the modern Hnaberd and Verin Dvin. They are not situated in the village that bears its name. The entrance to the ruins has numerous structural bases that were built somewhere between the fourth and seventh century. There are also Khachkars and other remanants of ancient structures that have miraculously stood the test of time. A royal palace and citadel once stood upon a neighboring hill that overlooks the ancient ruins. Large pieces of decomposing mudbrick walls supported by foundations made of stone is the only structures that remain of the palace an citadel. The site is also home to a small museum that contains numerous artifacts that were excavated on the grounds. Remnants of a fifth century market building are also located roughly one kilometer south of the ancient ruins of Dvin. A small museum with artifacts excavated at the site sits between the entrance and the citadel. South of Dvin about one kilometer are the remains of a large 5th c. market building. The Dvin Ruins continues to be an ancient city that has somehow stood the test of time. To get to the Dvin Ruins simply take highway H-9, heading south from Yerevan. Turn left (northeast) as you pass Azatavan and Bagramyan. Then just go straight ahead and you will reach the Dvin ruins.
The Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art is a museum of modern art. It is the most renowned museum of modern art in Armenia. The museum is located in Yerevan, only 33 kilometers away from Artashat. It is home to the exquisite collection of Gerard Cafesjian. Other worldwide renowned artists who are represented at the useum include Arshile Gorky, Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall and others. Glass art is a specialty art genre that is heavily rperesented at the museum. It is home to a number of pieces of Libenský-Brychtová couple, including special-made series titled, "For Armenia". On a different floor you will find a collection devoted to Swarovski Chandelier. The Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art is absolutely splendid art museum to visit. So do not pass her up. When you are going to or returning from Artashat, be sure to check out this jewel of a museum in Armenia. Located near Artashat, the Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art address is 10 Tamanyan Street. To contact the visitor center call +374-10-56-72-62. To contact their office call +374-10-54-19-32. The exhibition halls of the Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art are opened until 17:00 during weekdays. Their weekend hours extend until 20:00.
About 200km from Yerevan, near the Sisian River, stands Carahunge - a seven-hectare astronomical observatory complex consisting of 204 stones. Established in 5,500 BC, it is one of the oldest megalithic sites in the world. Believed to have been constructed in honor of Ari, the sun-god, the stones still display the angled holes that were carved into them by Armenian priests for the purpose of tracking celestial bodies. Also referred to as Zorats Karer, Carahunge is perhaps one of the last places in the world you can visit and literally be surrounded by 7,500 years' worth of human history - an opportunity that travellers to Armenia shouldn't pass up. Located near the Tatev Monastery, Carahunge is truly an enchanting and mysterious site. Website: http://www.carahunge.com/
Situated roughly 32 kilometers from the capital of Yerevan, the Greco-Roman Garni Temple is a popular tourist attraction. This 2,000-year-old building was constructed out of basalt on the banks of the Azat River and was the summer residence of Armenian Kings. It features constructions such as the two-story royal summer palace, a bath complex, a church, a cemetery and a Greco-Roman temple built in Ionic style. While much of the temple was destroyed in the ensuing millennia, it was restored to its former glory in the 1960s. Archaeologists are still working at the site, and many artifacts have been uncovered. There are several other archaeological sites in Garni outside of the temple, including the Saint Sargis Shrine and a shrine dedicated to Queen Katranide Shrine.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Monastery of Geghard is by far Armenia's most memorable tourist attraction. The monastery complex is partially carved out of an adjacent mountain and surrounded by spectacular cliffs lining the Azat river gorge. It was constructed in the 4th Century by Gregory the Illuminator, at the site of a sacred spring deep inside the cave. The main chapel, a hugely impressive structure, full of ornately carved steles, was built in 1215. It is a lasting testament to the devotion and architectural nous of the Armenian people. The monastery complex takes its name from the Armenian for 'Monastery of the Spear,' a reference to the weapon which wounded Jesus Christ, and was supposedly brought to Armenia by Jude the Apostle.
Tsitsernakaberd is a memorial honoring the memory of the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide that took place during the Ottoman Empire. The monument consists of two sections: a 44 meter stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians while the circular construction of 12 slabs represent the 12 lost provinces located in present day Turkey. Every year on 24th of April, hundreds of thousands of people gather at the monument and lay flowers around the eternal flame. The neighboring museum houses several large exhibitions as well as engineering and technical spaces. Website: www.genocide-museum.am. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone: (374 10) 39 09 81. Opening hours are from 11:00 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday. The museum is closed on Monday. Admission is free, however, donations are welcomed.
How to get there ?
Traveling to Artashat is somewhat tricky but not difficult at all is. Time to enhance your adventurous nature. Lets go to Artashat. Zvartnots International Airport is the main airport servicing Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. It offers a number of domestic and international flights. Several major international airlines fly to Yerevan. They include Air France, Alitalia, MEA, Belavia, Transaero Airlines, S7 Airlines, Austrian Airlines, and Ukraine International. Once in Yerevan, roughly 33 kilometers from Artashat, you can hire a marshutni (a van). They depart from Yerevan and travel to Artashat on a regular basis. You may also opt to hire a taxi. It is yet another inexpensive way to travel from Yerevan to Artashat. Some tour companies also offer day tours from Yerevan to Artashat. They include a tour guide and even lunch sometimes. Getting around Artashat is done mainly by foot, riding a bike, or catching a taxi. Public transportation is relatively little to non-existant. But do not let that put you off. Artashat is a magical and enchanting city in Armenia.
Hotels in Artashat (Ararat Province)