Spectacular World Historic Sites in Armenia (Most Impressive Historical Places)
Welcome to Armenia, a country on the Babylonian clay tablet that houses the world's oldest winery, first adopted Christianity as a state religion, influenced global art and science for centuries, and was a significant player in international trade. Armenia will impress and linger in your mind for a long time, from its critical Silk Road trading zone with its still-standing caravanserais to sites of significant religious importance. Check out this blog post for the top 5 most impressive world historical sites in Armenia and plan your trip accordingly.
No matter how many vacation days you spend in Armenia, make sure you visit Areni Cave (or, as some call it, Bird’s Cave), one of the world’s most important archaeological sites. Areni Cave, which dates back over 6,100 years, is home to the world's oldest winery. Another notable find in the cave is the world's oldest shoe, which dates back around 5,500 years. The artifacts found in the cave provide valuable insights into the development of human civilization and the cultural practices of our ancestors, thus making it a definite must-see site in Armenia.
Areni is just one and a half hours away from Yerevan, with incredible scenery along the way. Don’t forget to have a sip or a bottle of local wine in Areni to discover new flavors!
Another world historic site in Armenia is Etchmiadzin, the spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Built in the early 4th century, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral is also an outstanding example of early Christian architecture and is considered one of the world’s oldest and most important churches. When you visit Etchmiadzin, you can find several relics in the main museum of the religious site. Also, other historic buildings surround the cathedral, such as the churches of Gayane, Hripsime, Shoghakat, and the Zvartnots Cathedral, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
You will need approximately 30 minutes to get to Etchmiadzin from Yerevan, so don’t miss this significant landmark in Armenia!
Geghard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most unique and impressive monastic complexes. The complex consists of several churches and tombs, some carved into the surrounding cliffs – a monastery in the caves, Ayrivank – the name for the Geghard in early medieval times. Visit Geghard and discover the monastery’s unique architecture and intricate carvings that are a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of medieval Armenian artisans.
There is a natural spring, rich in minerals, inside the cave church. Join the queue of people to taste the “healing water” from Geghard!
Artashat Archaeological Site
Known for its significance in Hellenistic culture, the Artashat (Artaxiata) Archaeological Site is next to Khor Virap Monastery, half an hour’s drive from Yerevan. The site was the Artaxiad Dynasty’s capital and an important center for Hellenism during the 2nd century BCE, and thus played a significant role in the development of art, architecture, and philosophy in the region.
As you visit the site, you can see the ruins of a palace and a theater, the residential areas of artisans, and more. Artashat is worth a visit if you are interested in ancient cities and archeology!
Lastly, for centuries, Armenia was critical in the international trade system. Orbelian's Caravanserai, one of many throughout Armenia, is an excellent example. The structure is a magnificent example of medieval Armenian architecture, with fascinating carvings and ornaments. The caravanserai, which was built in the 14th century, served as a trading post for merchants traveling along the Silk Road. The caravanserai was vital in facilitating trade and cultural exchange between East and West and is considered an essential landmark in global trade and commerce history.
For a moment worth living for, remember to take in the breathtaking views of the multiple layers of mountains as you back up to the caravanserai.
Armenia has a rich and diverse history, evident in its numerous world historical sites. So, add these top 5 most impressive world historical sites in Armenia to your itinerary and discover the fascinating history of #TheHiddenTrack!