Gegharkunik, Armenia

Lake Sevan

Lake Sevan is the largest lake both in Armenia and the whole Caucasus region. It is one of the largest fresh-water lakes in the world. Lake Sevan is located in the Gegharkunik province of Armenia, in the central part of the country. Along with lakes Urmia and Van, Sevan was considered one of the three great lakes of the historical Armenian Kingdom; they were known as the Seas of Armenia. Besides its absolute beauty, Sevan is also known for the Sevan trout (ishkhan), an endemic species of the lake. You can also visit Sevanavank, a 9th century Armenian monastery located on a peninsula at the northwestern shore of the lake.

Noraduz Cemetery

This beautiful medieval cemetery is located in the village of the same name in Gegharkunik province of Armenia. Noraduz is famous for its large number of khachkars (meaning "cross-stone" in Armenian). The oldest khachkars in the cemetery are dated back to the late 10th century. Many great master carvers from this period carved khachkars in Noraduz. The most notable of them was Kiram Kazmogh and his contemporaries Arakel and Meliset. The khachkars of Noraduz cemetery are so beautiful and so unique, that one of them was even donated to the British Museum in 1978.


Monastic complex of Sevanavank is located on a peninsula at the northwestern shore of Lake Sevan. Funny thing is that initially the monastery was built at the shore of a small island. But then during the artificial draining of Lake Sevan the water level fell for about 20 meters and the island turned into peninsula. The inscription in one of the churches says that Sevanavank was founded by the daughter of King Ashot I Princess Mariam in 874. The monastery was reconstructed in 1956 and 1957.