I thought I’ve seen everything about Armenia on the second day of the tour but I was wrong. This country has more things to offer and places to see and although I had a rough start on this third day (refer on my previous post, Storytime: My Unpleasant Experience in Armenia), I didn’t let this affect me and ruin my vacation.
St. Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral
This Cathedral is the largest Armenian Apostolic Church in the world. Also known as the Church of Yerevan, it is located just minutes away from Republic Square; therefore, you should not miss the chance of visiting this place. The Cathedral is built in a small hill and you have to walk like 100 steps in order to get to the entrance. The church is not too big but its enough to house a community. Here’s some the picture that we took:
Due to the shortage of time, we didn’t spend much in the Cathedral and we headed directly to Cascade Complex. A good 30-minute walk will do in order for you to get to this place from St. Gregory Cathedral; however, Johann suggested that we should experience to use their metro station and we will then start walking once we arrived at the Republic Square station.
While walking towards Cascade, we can’t help but take pictures of the streets and tulip flowers! The 15-minute was extended to 30-minute walk due to our constant stops and me and Ate Maria were the usual culprits!
This is a long stairway made out of limestone. When I said long, I meant lonnngggg as it has like 8 to 10 stairs with 30 to 40 steps each stair but do not worry, there is a working escalator inside the complex that you can those if you don’t like or unable to climb the stairs. In my honest opinion, nothing is much to see in this place except maybe if you go inside the museum of this complex. I find the complex and their facilities old but it is well maintained. What I love about this place are the garden and the interesting sculptures surrounding the area.
After 30 minutes of roaming around Cascade Complex, we decided to now go to our next destination which is Khor Virap. Due to some errands, Johann did not go with us and he bid his goodbyes to everyone. Hayk, his Armenian friend, would be now our tour guide.
Is a monastery located on the Ararat plains and is near the border of Turkey. This is the place where St. Gregory, the patron saint of Armenia, was kept in the dungeon for 13 years. According to history, his father assassinated one of the kings of Armenia (Khrosrov II) and was put to their together with his wife and children. St. Gregory escaped the execution with the help of their helpers and he was raised in Turkey. He was baptized as a Christian and got married in Turkey but went back to Armenia to atone his father’s crime. When the king of Armenia, son of the Khrosrov II heard about his comeback, he ordered for the imprisonment of St. Gregory. He was only released from the dungeon when the king got ill and someone had dreamt about him curing the king.
What I really love this place is not scenery and not the monastery but the history of the place itself. It felt amazing that you landed your feet in one of the most historic places in the world and how much more when you get to experience going down the dungeon where St. Gregory was held captive.
Undeniably, my most favorite monastery in Armenia. It is a 13th-century old monastery that is located in the middle of the red canyons. I could not explain how breathtaking the place is. Good thing the Mongols, when they conquered Armenia, spared the destruction of this monastery for us to see this marvelous architecture.
However, I was kinda drunk due to the fact that we went to a local farmer and had some glasses of wine and shots of vodka (more on this in my next post). As much as I want to take some beautiful pictures, I was kinda sleepy and tipsy at the time.
Part 2 of our day 3 in Armenia where we got to experience how it feels, eats, and drinks like an Armenian!