Armenia, Goris: sights, places to go, what to see

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Armenia, Goris: sights, places to go, what to see
Armenia, Goris: sights, places to go, what to see

Goris in Armenia is a city located in the southeast of the country, one of the administrative centers of the Syunik region. This area is known among tourists and travelers due to its picturesque landscapes and interesting historical sights: the Tatev Monastery, the Stone Forest in the mountains and others.

2018 CIS Capital of Culture

In 2017, at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the CIS, the city of Goris (Armenia) was solemnly proclaimed the cultural capital of the CIS. In accordance with the adopted program, it is planned to concentrate creative resources here and hold many cultural and humanitarian events.

The purpose of this decision is the fullest disclosure of the potential of the city, attracting the attention of residents of other regions of Armenia, Russia and other CIS countries to the rich historical and cultural heritage of these places. Therefore, information about the history and the city of Goris (Armenia) itself, where tourists can go in it, will help all travelers orient themselves.

Map of Syunik and Goris

Geographic location andattractions

Goris is located 250 km from the capital of Armenia in the picturesque valley of the river. Vararak, surrounded by unique rocky ridges and green forests. The founding fathers of the city are considered to be Manuchar Bek Melik-Khyusekhnyan and Russian General P. Staritsky, who was the head of the district in the 1870s.

In the 21st century, tourists can visit many interesting sights in Goris (Armenia), which include:

  • monastery on the rock of Tatev;
  • observation deck with a gazebo near the monastery;
  • Stone forest;
  • suspension bridge and funicular, etc.
Monastery in Goris

History of Goris

Trade caravans from Tiflis to Tabriz, connecting Russia and Persia, passed through these places since ancient times. Forage was also brought along the mountain roads, intended to supply the local garrison of Russian troops.

As a result of the end of the Russian-Persian war, which took place in 1826-1828, this territory as part of Eastern Armenia was included in the Russian Empire. Then there was the village of Geryusy, lying in the depths of the gorge. As the historian V. Potto wrote in a book dedicated to the results of the Russian-Persian war, this place was remarkable for the stone pillars of volcanic origin standing around. This created an atmosphere of mystery and uniqueness of the village, located in the mountains of the Caucasus.

Geryusy had its own beautiful sakli (houses) and towers, there was a chapel and a water mill, through which a fast flow of a mountain river thundered. The vegetation was represented by oldspreading plane trees, which were located in a semicircle and descended in terraces into the Geryus Gorge.

According to the surviving records, the name of the city was interpreted by local residents and soldiers of the Russian army in different ways: Goris, Gorus, Gyurisi, Keres, Koris, Kyuris, etc. The modern name Goris was first mentioned in the book of memorable records of the local clerk Movses Ishatakaran" in 1647.

Stones on the mountain

Building a new city

In 1867, by decree of the Russian Emperor Alexander II, in order to improve the administration of the Caucasian and Transcaucasian regions, the Elisavetpol province was formed on the territory of Armenia, which included 5 counties. One of them, located in the southeast in the Syunik region, was called Zangezur. It was one of the largest, stretching from the lake. Sevan to the river. Arax. It was the city of Goris that was appointed the administrative center of this county.

P. Staritsky was appointed head here, who chose a new place for construction on a flatter section of the plateau. So a new city was founded in the midst of pastures, meadows and cattle pastures.

The construction of the administrative center took place in the original architectural style: the streets ran strictly in a straight line, and the quarters were in the form of squares. Therefore, the layout of Goris resembles a chessboard. There are 2 versions about the authors of this style in the city: according to one, they were German or French architects, according to the other, local specialists Dzhanushyan, Kozlov, Kharchenko, and the latter also supervised the construction work.

Houses were built in 1-3floors from local material: bas alt and tuff. Each has a small backyard garden. Cultural, social and industrial facilities were also built in the city.

According to the plan, the builders had to make a bookmark of 36 streets intersecting perpendicularly. A square was placed in the southeastern part, along its perimeter - 2-storey public and commercial buildings. A city garden was laid out nearby and a church was erected.

One of the first to be built was a public school for children and a county prison, later a post office, a hospital (for 4 beds) and a pharmacy were added to them. Assessing the prospects of the city under construction, we althy peasants from the nearby villages of the county began to move here. Therefore, the number of shops and shops here numbered several dozen.

Goris city

Development of Goris and population

By 1885, according to the descriptions of the ethnographer S. Zelinsky, 55 residential buildings with a population of 400 people were built in Goris (Armenia). The county was governed by 43 officials, and 62 mounted police officers and 71 military officers ensured order.

In 1898, with the financing of the merchant G. Mirumyan, the first hydroelectric power station was built here, but its capacity (48 kW) was only enough to light the buildings of the authorities and we althy residents.

Goris received its official city status in 1904 at the behest of Emperor Nicholas II, when its population numbered about 2.5 thousand people. By the second half of the 20th century. the number of inhabitants has already reached 17.5 thousand.

Tatev Monastery: name and legends

South of Goristhere is a monument of ancient architecture - the Tatev Monastery, founded in the 9th century. on the site where the sanctuary was built in antiquity. The building rises right on the edge of a huge gorge several hundred meters deep.

Translated from Armenian, “tatev” means “give me wings”. The origin of the name is explained in several legends at once. According to the first, the builder of the monastery, having finished the work and looking down from the height of the mountain, began to ask God to give him wings. After fulfilling the request, he flew away.

According to the second version, after the construction of the temple in Tatev was completed, it was necessary to put a cross on its dome. This was decided to be done by one of the master's students, who made it secretly at night with his own hands. Overwhelmed with pride from his achievement, he climbed onto the dome at night and hoisted the cross, but did not have time to go down.

When the master came out in the morning, his disciple, frightened and fearing punishment for his willfulness, called out to God with the words “Tal tev!” and jumped into the abyss. The third version is similar to the previous one, only the fall was made by the master himself after he decided that he had made the most outstanding creation in his life.

The historical hypothesis of the origin of the name is more likely, it tells that the name of the monastery was given in honor of one of the disciples of the Apostle Fatey, whose name was St. Eustateos, which in Armenian is translated as Tatev. He preached Christianity in Armenia, and then died in torment for the faith.

The temple of the Tatev Monastery was erected over his grave, which was consecrated by St. Gregory the Illuminator. Its ruins can still bediscover near the fortress walls.

Tateevsky Monastery now

History of the construction of the monastery

The foundation of the Tatev Monastery in Armenia took place at the turn of the 9-10th century. and was made by the Armenian ruler of Syunik Ashot, princes G. Supan II and B. Dzagik. According to another version, it was founded in the 4th century, since, according to historical data, a church had already been built here and several monks had lived there in those years. With the advent of the Syunik Metropolis, the monastery began to expand.

In the 14th c. a university began to work here, and the number of monks already reached 1 thousand. During these years, 47 villages already belonged to the monastery, from which tithes were levied. This made it possible to support the growing number of brothers, the library and the university. According to chronicles, almost a thousand relics of saints were kept here. However, during the invasion of Tamerlane in 1387, Tatev was looted and burned. And in the 15th century. Turkmen nomads came here and completed the destruction of the monastery.

The next heyday of Tatev fell on the 17-18th century. – monks, the abbot, servants and clerics lived here. However, in 1931 there was an earthquake that completely destroyed all the buildings.

Restoration and restoration of the church, cells and walls of the monastery were carried out from 1974 until the end of the 1990s.

Temple interiors

Tatev University

The educational institution on the territory of the Tatev monastery in Armenia consisted of 3 faculties:

  • the first one studied the writings of ancient philosophers, arithmetic, astronomy, medicine and anatomy,geography and chemistry, history and literature, and rhetoric and the art of preaching;
  • at the second stage, students studied the history and basics of painting, learned drawing, calligraphy and painting, as well as the art of book census;
  • the third one taught theory and history of music and church singing.

Thanks to Tatev University, the monastery has become a major center of pan-Armenian spiritual life and teaching of sciences and arts. It is believed that it was he who helped the Armenian Church to avoid Latinization and pressure from Catholicism. Therefore, those tourists who want to make a trip to Armenia should definitely visit the monastery and admire the picturesque gorges in the vicinity of Goris.

Interior of Tatev Monastery

Stone Forest

Among the mountains and rocks, in a green forest basin near Goris (Armenia), original stone pyramids in the form of pillars and columns rise. Intricate figures and fantastic monsters are scattered throughout the valley, surrounded by broad-leaved forest.

They were formed from the constant action of strong winds, hot sun and rainwater. Stone formations resemble mighty trees in their appearance and are formed by rocks of volcanic tuff. In shape, they are similar to cone-shaped towers and obelisks. Their fantastic look is complemented by a multi-colored game of several shades: from brown-brown to gray-black.

Having made a trip to Armenia and arrived in Goris, tourists can see the wonders of nature from a special observation deck with a gazebo, which is made at the entrance tocity.

On the opposite bank of the Vararak River there are ancient cave settlements of Bartsravane, Khndzorsk, Keres and Shinuayre. They were carved by people in the rocks in ancient times. People lived in the caves continuously for several centuries, until the middle of the 20th century.

Stones on Mount Goris

Excursions in Armenia near Goris

Inquisitive travelers can visit some more interesting places near Goris:

  • Karahunj - Armenian Stonehenge, consisting of ancient stones that, according to scientists, performed the functions of an astronomical observatory;
  • the world's longest cable car in Tatev, built in 2010, which in 12 minutes. delivers travelers to the top of the mountain, where the Tatev Monastery is located, and also connects the villages of Halidzor and Tatev;
  • "Devil's Bridge" - the ice bridge of Satani Kamurj, a unique natural monument, formed due to s alt deposits and rising steam in the narrow part of the gorge of the river. Vorotan, where warm thermal springs have existed for many years.

Lovers of nature and excursions in Armenia can visit the Karagelsky reserve, located in the vicinity of Goris, organized in 1987. The purpose of its creation was to protect the lake. Karagel (Sevlich), lying in the crater of an extinct volcano at an altitude of 2.6 km. It offers picturesque mountain views and a unique climate in which various animals live.

cave city

Excursions from Yerevan in Armenia

For travelers whowant to get to know Armenia without traveling far beyond its capital, one-day trips at budget prices are best suited:

  • visit extinct volcanoes and Saghmosavank monastery, located on the cliff of the gorge, an obelisk in memory of the Armenian alphabet and visit the Amberd fortress at an altitude of 2.3 km;
  • the city of Vagharshapat is a beautiful old town in the Armavir region, where you can see the church of St. Hripsime (7th century) and the cathedral of St. Etchmiadzin (2nd century), the ruins of the temple of Vigilant forces (7th century), the from the earthquake of 939;
  • look at the monastery of Geghardavank 40 km from Yerevan, the cave city of Geghard (12-13 centuries), visit the residence of Armenian kings - the fortress of Garni (3-4 centuries BC);
  • go to the alpine lake. Sevan, located at an altitude of 1.9 km, and see the monasteries of Sevanavank (9th century) and Haghartsin, not far from the city of Dilijan, Goshavank monastery and the churches of St. Astvatsatsin and St. Grigor;
  • see the Sanahin monastery complex in the Lori region and Haghpat (10-14th centuries), a monument of architecture of the Middle Ages, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and many other interesting places.
Monastery against the backdrop of Ararat

Armenia is one of the most ancient states, on the territory of which there are many monuments of architecture and art. Here you can see not only the ancient cities and monasteries, the high Mount Ararat, but also try national cuisine, buy beautiful knotted carpets and hear ornate table toasts. Excursions from Yerevan in Armenia will help tourists to explore the country,having a variety of experiences.

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