Khor Virap monastery-fortress

Ararat
XVII c.

The 17th century monastery-fort of Khor Virap is located in the Ararat district, in the surroundings of the Pokr Vedi village, on top of a hill. It was known as the pilgrimage place for Grigor the Еnlightener. In ancient times this is the place where the historical Artashat city was located. Up unil the monastery-fort was built, this section was used as a royal prison. Khor Virap (The Deep Pit) was where the prisoners were tossed, and which was full of poisonous snakes and insects. According to Aghatangelos and other historians, Grigor the Еnlightener was tortured in Khor Virap. In or about 642 the Catholicos Nerses III ascended to a chapel in there. The chapel with its composition and construcion principles reminds us of Zvartnots. A new chapel was built in 1662 on its ruins, which is still preserved today.

The St.Astvatzatzin church was built in the 17th century and has an attached bell-tower. The Khor Virap monastery was an educational center. In the 13th century it had close to forty students.


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