Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Kotayk region was formed in December, 1995 and comprises the territories of the former
administrative districts of Kotayk, Hrazdan and Nairi. It covers a territory of2072 sq 2 , in-
cludes 67 communities and 62 rural settlements as well as the towns of Hrazdan, Abovyan,
Byureghavan, Eghvard, Tsakhadzor and Nor Hachn. The regional centre is Hrazdan town.
Kotayk region is situated in the central part of our republic, the maximal height above
sea level is 3597 meters. The region comprises the upper and middle basins of the River
Hrazdan as well as the entire basin of the River Marmarik.
By the two sides of Kotayk region flow the Hrazdan and Getar Rivers. The gorge of the
River Hrazdan catches the eye by its changeable climate and picturesque rocks. The north-
ern woody mountains are a perfect spot for building summer rest houses and sanatoria.
Kotayk region is rather rich in historical heritage. Besides the sights of Gami, Geghard
and Tsakhadzor there are also a lot of marvelous historical monuments in the villages of the
region such as Havuts Tar Monastery, St. Stepanos and Meghradzor, the fortresses of Bjni
and Sevaberd and the magnificent Virgin Varvara Monastery.
Garni Temple is a marvelous monument of the pagan era. The elements of pagan and
national cultures merge here which testifies to certain building traditions of the Armenian
nation and the influence of the antiquity.
The exact date of the construction of Gami is unknown, while the chronicles say that in
the I century BC it had already been built and since 289 AD it had served as a summer res-
idence of the Armenian kings. The temple had a bath-house with an underground heating
room which can be seen even now in the ruins of that royal complex. It is the only pagan
temple in the territory of Armenia which wasn't destroyed after the adoption of Christianity
and rises up to this day. The temple is situated in a picturesque mountainous spot.
Geghard is an ancient Armenian monastery partly hewn in the rock. The uniqueness
of this monument emphasizes the beauty of the surrounding nature. Though the monastery
dates back to the 4th century, the main temple was erected in 1215. Ascending the stone
stairs on left side of the church you can see several marvelous carved khachkars. The most
remarkable in the temple are its ornaments. The decorative elements are skillfully combined
with images of animals. The sculpture of the southern facade, a lion attacking a bull, sym-
bolizes the king's power. The diverse decor as well as the pictures of household items, birds
and animals are peerless works of art.
Tsakhadzor has served as a resting place still from early middle ages. Here were the
summer residence and the hunting ground of the dynasty of Arshakuni.
Tsakhadzor is situated 52 kilometers south of Yerevan at the height of 1825 meters above
sea level. The climate is mild and moderate here. In summer Tsakhadzor pleases the eye
with luxuriant vegetation while in winter the height of the snow cover reaches a meter. One
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