Aragatsotn province, literally meaning "the foot of Aragats", is named after the Aragatsotn canton of the historic Ayrarat province of Ancient Armenia.
Aragatsotn Province occupies the northwestern part of Armenia and covers an area of 2,756 km². Mount Aragats (4090 m.) is the highest peak of Aragatsotn and the Republic of Armenia.
Aragatsotn is a major centre for ecotourism and the lovers of extreme tourism. Aragats is the highest mountain of modern-day Armenia. It is a single extinct volcano consisted of 4 peaks: the northern (4090 m.), western (4080 m.), eastern (3916 m.) and southern (3879 m.) peaks. Thus, it frequently attracts hikers and adventure travelers, with its mountain lake of Kari situated at a height of 3250 meters.
The well-preserved ancient monasteries and medieval fortresses are also among the main attractions of the province. The most known sights are the fortress Amberd X—XIII c.and monastery Tegher XIII c., the churches of Spitakavor, Karmravor, Tsiranavor, Saint Mariane and Saint Sarkis in Ashtarak, Saghmosavanq moanstery XIII c., Hovhannavanq V—XIII c etc.
Luxury hotels are found in Byurakan, Aghtsk and Ashtarak.
The Aragats Alpine Wildlife Sanctuary is listed among the protected areas of Armenia.
Hovhannavank is an medieval monastery located in the village of Ohanavan. The monastery stands on the edge of the Kasagh River canyon, and its territory is adjacent to the village of Ohanavan. The deep gorge is carved by the Kasagh River. The oldest part of the monastery is the single nave basilica of St. Karapet that was founded at the beginning of the fourth century by St. Gregory the Enlightener, who baptized Armenia into the world’s first Christian nation. The wooden roof of the early church was replaced in 554 AD with a thatch cover, and the basilica itself underwent profound renovation between 1652 and 1734.
Amberd is a 7th-century fortress located 2,300 meters (7,500 ft) above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats in the province of Aragatsotn. The name translates to "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian. Amberd was invaded in the 1070s by the Seljuq Turks who turned it into a military base. In 1197, a joint-army of Armenians and Georgians led by General Zakareh Zakarian liberated the fortress. The noble Vacheh Vachutian purchased Amberd in 1215, making it a key defensive site in the region. Within a short period of time, the Mongols captured and destroyed the fortress in the year 1236.
Karmravor (karmir- red), formally the Church of Holy Mother of God (Surb Astvatsatsin) is a 7th-century Armenian Apostolic church in the town of Ashtarak built by priests Gregory and Manas. It is the resting place of Armenian well known poet Gevorg Emin. Karmravor was a female monastery. It is a simple building with a small cruciform central-plan and a Byzantine style single red tile dome roof. Its roof with red tiles is the only example in the Armenian architecture that is persisted. Nearby are also the churches Spitakavor and Tsiravavor.
Spitakavor (meaning “Whitish” because of the whitewashed exterior façade) is located at the edge of a gorge in the town of Ashtarak. The church is a triple-aisled basilica built in the 5th-6th centuries, most-likely around the years of 540-557. It may be seen across the gorge from the church of Surp Sarkis, but is easiest reached via the streets of the neighborhood that it sits within. Very close (just down the street 3 houses) and also sitting along the gorge is the church of Tsiranavor (meaning "Apricotish" because of the color of the tufa used as a building material for the walls). It is a small cruciform type church constructed between the 13th to 14th centuries. Presently, only the walls remain since the roof, drum and dome have collapsed.
According to a legend, three sisters lived in Ashtarak, all of whom fell in love with the same man, prince Sargis. The elder two sisters decided to commit suicide in favor of the youngest one. One wearing an apricot-orange dress and the other wearing a red dress, they threw themselves into the gorge. When the youngest sister found out, she put on a white dress and also threw herself into the gorge. Sargis then became a hermit and three small churches appeared at the edge of the gorge, named after the sisters' dress colors.
Armenian Alphabet Monument was built in 2005 on the eastern slope of Aragats mountain. The Park consists of 39 stone carved statues of the Armenian letters. The monument was founded to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the Armenian alphabet creation. The Armenian alphabet was created by Mesrop Mashtots in 405-406 in order to make the Bible available to simple people. Mashtots's alphabet had only 36 letters; another 3 letters were added in the Middle Ages.
Saghmosavank is a 13th-century Armenian monastic complex located in the village of Saghmosavan in the Aragatsotn province. Like the Hovhannavank monastery which is five kilometers south, Saghmosavank is situated on the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river. The silhouettes of monastery dominate the adjacent villages and rise sharp against the background of the mountains crowned by Mount Aragats. The main temple of the monastery erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan - the church of St.Sion (1215) and belongs to the same type of cross-winged domed structure with two-floor side-chapels in all the corners of the building. Saghmosavank vestibule is accentuated by a double archway the arches of which are not semicircular but pointed.
On the territory of the monastery there are many tombstones, some of them in the shape of richly ornamented khachkars. Of interest is a group of khachkars on pedestal. The latter is an original work in the shape of a four-shaft column on a stepped base with an intricately profiled square capital.
On 17 March took place the long-awaited presentation of our company in Moscow.
French-Armenian legendary singer Charles Aznavour’s ilfe and activity will be concluded in one act ballet, Principal Balletmaster of Alexander Spendaryan National Academic State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
This year the day of lovers named after St. Sarkis, the Armenian St. Valentine, will be celebrated on January 23.