Price – 120 USD eq. 60 000 AMD (for minimum 10 person)
”Barbecue” Festival in Akhtala
The aim of the festival is showing and telling about armenian traditional cuisine, and contributing the development of surrounding tourism.
The festival is intended to develop regional tourism, and provide residents’ occupation.
1. Grand opening ceremony
2. Proffesional barbecue makers competition
3. Homemade barbecue makers competition
4. Game competitions
5. National and modern music, dances, games, theatratical performances
6. Excursion programs
You needn’t be a genius to know that if a place bears historical value, that place can never be underrated, even if it’s not visited too often and seems ignored. One such place, which is not a place but rather a village in Lori province, is Akhtala village, where the remarkable and impressive monastery of Akhtala can be found. Akhtala might appear just another monastery from outside. But don’t hurry with conclusions. Simply enter it, and you will appear in a miracle the walls of which feature murals that will long be stuck on your mind.
Akhtala monastery is located 185 kilometers (114,885 miles) north of Yerevan. Being one of the very few orthodox monasteries in Armenia it was erected in the times of the Armenian Renaissance (note that Armenian Renaissance occurred much earlier than the European.) Some historical data claim that the settlement was called Agarak. Some later inscriptions and manuscripts dating back to the 12th-13th centuries mention it as Pghndzavank. It was called so because of the rich copper mines found there. The name Akhtala is thought to be first mentioned in 1438.
Surb Astvatsatsin Church
The monastery’s main church Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God or Holy Virgin) was probably erected in the 11th-13th centuries. No exact data is known.
The church carries religious significance because the cross with which John the Baptist is believed to have baptized Jesus Christ was being preserved there. Ivaneh Zakarian, however, sold it to the monastery of Noravank for a rather large amount of money.
The murals of the church are what momentarily grasp attention. They were made after the church was converted into Chalcedonic. Notably, the colorings are characteristic of Byzantine art, whereas the thematic solutions are Armenian. The frescoes feature scenes from the New and Old Testaments.
In 1975-1978 the the top parts of the walls were repaired. The tin roof was removed. It was replaced by basalt slabs. The main entrance and the pillars were also repaired. There was also a 14th century ramshackle wooden belfry, which was ultimately removed from the yard.
Perhaps one of the utmost impressive monasteries in Armenia, the Monastery of Sanahin is located in Lori province, particularly in Alaverdi. Carrying outstanding universal value to humanity the Monastery of Sanahin was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. The monastery represents an entire complex, which comprises the Church of Saint Astvatsatsin, the Church of All-Savior, the Chapel of Grigor, scriptorium, academy, the gavit of Saint Astvatsatsin Church, the gavit of All-Savior Church, the belfry, the sepulcher of Kyurikyans, the sepulcher of Zakaryans, the sepulcher of Arghutyan-Erkaynabazuks (Long-Armed), the Church of Saint Hakob, the spring and the refectory.
Both the Monastery of Sanahin and the Monastery of Haghpat, located close to each other, are the bearers of the same period spirit, yet each of them had its own role and place as a scientific, educational, cultural and spiritual center.
The present-day building of the monastery is believed to be built in the tenth century, more precisely in the 930s by King Abas Bagratuni.
There are several khatckars (cross-stones) in the territory of Sanahin Monastery out of which there are two khatchkars, which are real masterpieces of khatchkar art. They are the khatchkar-tombstone of Grigor Tutevordi (1184) and the khatchkar of Sargis (1215).
Another notable khatchkar is the one dedicated to King Abas Bagratuni. The khatchkar was carved in 1192 upon the order of Queen Vaneni, the wife of Abas Bagratuni who passed away untimely. She also built a bridge in his memory. The bridge can be found in the center of Alaverdi and is still used by the locals.
So the overall design of Sanahin Monastery is beyond exceptional, and a visit to the monastery will definitely add to your knowledge and enlarge your perception of high value architecture.
Included in UNESCO World Heritage list in 1996 Haghpat Monastery has a very interesting history worth to get acquainted with.
Excavations held at Haghpat brought forth Bronze Age findings, while River Debed proves that those territories were inhabited still in the Old Stone Age. A church was erected in Haghpat in the fourth century. It is thought the monastery of Haghpat was built during the rule of Abas Bagratuni (929-953), though it should be noted that the construction of the monastery’s oldest building was launched in 976 and completed in 991 during the reign of Ashot III the Merciful. It was named Saint Nshan Church.
In the middle of the 13th century Haghpat became one of the largest religious and educational centers in Armenia.
Haghpat Monastery was not only a significant religious center but also a prominent educational center and a repository of manuscripts. Haghpat’s library was widely known.
Haghpat Monastery represents an entire complex, which comprises: Jgrashen Church (Chapel of Saint Astvatsatsin/Holy Mother), Saint Grigor Church, Saint Nshan Church, Saint Atsvatsatsin Church, Hamazasp Chapel, Medieval Fortified Walls, Repository, Belfry.