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Chor Wirap

Khor Virap

(elevation 800m.)

This exciting tour will bring you to the holy place of imprisonment of St. Gregory the Illuminator accused by Armenian king of preaching Christianity. He stayed here in the small dungeon for 13 years without any food, neighboured with scorpions and snakes. However the punishment from on high came down and King Trdat turned into swine. After king repented, he came back to human appearance and freed St. Gregory. In that same period, in 301 A.D. the king was christened with the people near the river Aratsan. Christianity was adopted as a state religion throughout Armenia.

Khor Virap Church became one of the holy places for the Christian world. It was built on the dungeon and now you have a chance to go down into the dark pit yourself. St. Gregory became one of the Saints of the whole Christian world.

Here you can also see the closest and most spectacular view of the gorgeous biblical mountain Ararat shining with its two white peaks. Feels like you want to stretch your hand and touch the peak of the mountain.

The hills adjoining Khor Virap were the site of the early Armenian capital of ancient Artashat built by King Artashes I, founder of the Artashesid dynasty, around 180 B.C. It is one of the few ancient towns, built by special design of famous Carthaginian general Hannibal. After the defeat in a war against Rome he found a shelter in Armenia…

There are extensive excavations of residential and other structures.