Kotayq, Armenia

Arch of Charents

The Arch of Charents was built in 1957 by Ruben Israelian. It is located on the way to the cave monastery of Geghard. Arch is used as a place to view Mount Ararat and the Ararat Valley. On a clear, bright day the view from the arch is simply magnificent. The arch got its name after famous Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents, the author of the words engraved on it "Pass the whole world with its mountains white, to the beauty of Masis equals none!".

Garni Temple

Garni Temple is a 1st century Hellenic temple dedicated to the pagan Armenian god of the sun and justice named Mihr. It is located near the major village of the same name in the Kotayk province of Armenia. The King Tiridates I built the temple, allegedly with money he had received from Emperor Nero during the visit to Rome. Garni is the only temple that survived the Christianization of the country. In 1679, it was damage by a severe earthquake, but luckily in 1969 and 1974 the temple was completely reconstructed and today you can see this ancient temple in all its glory.


This beautiful monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator. Though initially it was named Ayrivank (meaning "the monastery of the cave" in Armenian), today it is called Geghard or Geghardavank (meaning "the monastery of the spear"). The change of the name happened because of the spear, which had wounded Jesus at the crucifixion. It was brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude and stored in Geghard (today it is displayed in the Eschmiadzin treasury). The monastery complex includes The Katoghike Chapel, the gavit, Rock-cut Church with spring, The Zhamatun, Upper Zhamatun, Surb Grigor Chapel. Geghard monastery is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Kecharis is a very beautiful 11th-13th century Armenian monastery located in the Kotayk province of Armenia, only 60 km away from Yerevan. A prince from Armenian noble family Pahlavuni founded the monastery. In the middle of 12th century Kecharis was one of the very important religious and educational centers in Armenia. The monastery complex includes Surb Grigor Church, Surb Nshan Church, Katoghike Church, Surb Harutyun Church and Gavit. In 2000 Kecharis monastery was completely reconstructed.

Symphony of the Stones

Symphony of the Stones is the poetic name of the cliff walls of basalt columns carved out by the Goght River. It is located in Kotayk province and is a part of the Garni Gorge. It is most easily reached via a road that leads left down the gorge just before reaching the temple of Garni. Another road leads to the gorge through the village, down a cobblestone road, and into the valley. Once in the valley, turning right will lead to Garni Gorge, an 11th-century medieval bridge, and the "Symphony of the Stones".


Tsaghkadzor is a town and a very popular health resort located in Kotayk province of Armenia. The population of the town is around 1500 people. During its long history Tsaghkadzor had many different names: Tsaghkunyats Dzor, Kecharyuk or Kecharis and Darachichag. During the Soviet era the town had developed as a major health and spa center and attracted a lot of tourist. Tsaghkadzor is especially popular during the wintertime as it can offer a lot of ski and snowboard activities. Besides, the town is also known for its beautiful Kecharis monastery.