Shirak, Armenia


Gndevank is small Armenian monastery built in 936. The word "Gndevank" means "round cathedral" in Armenian. It is located the Vayots Dzor province, along the so-called old road to Jermuk. Besides the monastery and its very well preserved gavit, this site is also known for some very beautiful and old (10th-13th centuries) khachkars ("cross-stones" in Armenian).


The second largest city of the country, Gyumri is located on the northwest of Armenia. During its long history the city's name has been changed several times: between 1837 and 1924 it was called Alexandropol, later Leninakan, and then Gyumri in 1990. During the Armenian Soviet period, Gyumri was fast growing and flourishing city. Unfortunately, the ruthless earthquake seriously damaged it in 1988. Many beautiful historical building were ruined and devastated. Nowadays, it is slowly recovering from this tragedy. However, there is a plenty of interesting places to see in Gyumri and its surroundings like Poloz Mukuch beerhouse, Sev Ghul fortress and Surb Amenaprkich church.


Harichavank is a medieval Armenian monastery complex built in 13th century. It is located in Shirak province of Armenia. The oldest building on the monastery's territory is the 7th century Surb Grigor Church. Surb Astvatsatsin Church is the main church of the complex. Brothers Zakharyan built it in 1201. Since 1850 Harichavank became official summer residence of the Catholicos of All Armenian.