[caption id="attachment_1281" align="alignleft" width="300"] Akhtala Monastery[/caption]
Armenia is an ancient country with many architectural and natural wonders, from monasteries to cave dwellings, stunning lakes and waterfalls, and interesting stone structures. This country has left travelers fascinated and in awe of its natural beauty. Why not take a look at some of these sites in Armenia, you may find this to be quite a captivating journey?
Akhtala Monastery, meaning 'white blade," is one of Armenia's famous sites. The building was built during the Armenian Renaissance and stands in the Lori region of Armenia. The monastery with its breathtaking views dates back to the 11th century, yet has a timeless feel about it. Murals of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary, and the apostles can still be seen vaguely on the once beautiful stone walls.
[caption id="attachment_1285" align="alignright" width="300"] Kharahunj site[/caption]
A mysterious site in Armenia is Kharahunj, which is believed to have been built during the Stonehenge. Stars were as intriguing to people of long ago as they are to us today, and this arrangement of stones was used as an observatory. Studies are still being carried out to determine the actual role which it played in astronomy. Some say it could have been a religious site.
The word Kharahunj is derived from "kar," which means stone and "hunj," the Armenian word for sound or voice. It has also been referred to as "Ghoshun Dash," translated from Turkish as "rumbling army." An ancient legend has it that from a long way off, the stones seemed to look like an army.
[caption id="attachment_1286" align="alignleft" width="300"] Cave sites at Goris[/caption]
In the southern region of Armenia, are the caves of Goris and Khndzoresk. Tourists are marveled by these man-made caves, which were built into the rock faces along the mountainous areas. The caves were carved from protruding rocks and served as humble dwellings for people in that time. They were built in such a way that they created small villages, which sightseers find along the mountainside.
[caption id="attachment_1287" align="alignright" width="300"] Lake Sevan[/caption]
Lake Sevan is also known as the "sea of Armenia." With its beautiful, still waters, this freshwater lake, is known to be the largest in the Caucasus region. It is an important ecological site, and is home to the Sevan trout and has been a breeding ground for Armenian Gulls for many years. The view of the lake and surrounding mountains is captivating, and the ancient monastery, Sevanavank, is located on the Western Shore.
[caption id="attachment_1289" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hunot Canyon[/caption]
Hunot Canyon is such a beautiful, natural wonder. When one looks at its basalt formations and rivers and caves, you cannot help but fall in love with these almost surreal sites. The area is located in the hills of Sushi, the cultural capital of Artsakh, with a cave which has water cascading down over it and attracts many locals and tourists. They refer to it as "zontik," meaning umbrella.