ARARAT REGION– the center of the region is Artashat – 29 km
The region of Ararat is situated in the Western part of Armenia, to the South of Yerevan. The main road stretches out through the territory of the region along the left bank of Araks river, Ararat valley, Mount Ararat and the state boarder on its right and the settlements on the left. According to the Bible Ararat is connected with the name of Noah, whose name symbolizes the new history of humanity. Mount Ararat is spiritual heart of Armenia. The impressive panorama of Mt. Ararat , its inaccessible height and deep abysses has had great influence on Armenians and has become an object of cult and mythology.
ARARAT VALLEY – is the heart of Armenian’s, which is reputed to be the hottest and driest place in the country. The hot weather is great for the watermelons that grow here. Ararat Valley might be called Armenia’s largest orchard. It has a particularly large number of apricot trees, which grows in Armenia from the immemorial. Ararat Valley occupies 265 hectares.
The center of the region – Artashat is situated in the southern part of the historical Armenia. According to the written sources and excavations Artashat was one the biggest centers of Hellenistic civilization and culture, being established in 189-160 B.C. and survived until 370 A.D.
KHOR VIRAP – on the southern slope of the hill near Artashat, once the capital of Armenia, one of the holy-places and sanctuaries of Armenians Khor Virap is situated. Khor Virap is located 50 km South of Yerevan. Its history is closely connected with the adoption of Christianity and with the whole process of the religious , cultural and educational development of Armenia. Because of his faith, Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in one of its pits (,,khor virap,, sigh ,,deep pit,,) for 13 years. In 642-1660, a monastic complex was built here. For centuries it has been one of the holy centers of the Armenian ecclesiastical life. Khor Virap monastery is a shrine of Armenian Christianity and is place of pilgrimage for Armenians all over the world. The monastery is surrounded by tall walls and from here one can enjoy the magic view of Mt.Ararat, not far from the Arax river. Khor Virap is the closest point to Mt.Ararat from the territory of Armenia, the most convenient place for observing and taking pictures of the Biblical mountain, when the orange glow of the sun can make this one of the most spectacular sights in the country, so enjoy the view.
DVIN – on the territory of Ararat one can find another ancient capital of historical Armenia – DVIN – dating back to the 4 th century 332-338 A.D. Since 701 A.D. Dvin has been the center of the whole Armenia – a region which included most of the greatest prosperity of the city,had over 150.000 inhabitants.
KHOSROV FOREST – In presenting the treasures of Khosrov’s reserve, it is impossible to overlook the historic importance of this true embellishment of nature. This marvelous piece of land, singled out by King Khosrov during the 3rd century, in 330-338, served as a hunting ground for the Armenian court.
The notes about this forest found in Movses Khorenats’s work (Armenian history) are not the only indications of the great importance of this land. The crossed stones, tombstones, and especially St. Stephan’s church preserved here, prove that this reserve enjoyed particular attention and glory since times immemorial. Perhaps this is the reason why today, Khosrov’s reserve is not only of natural importance for our country, but also a historic one too. This Caucasian reserve, despite its modest size, can boast unique flora and fauna. This is largely due to the peculiar geological construction of our country.