road ends at
founded in 1947 and home of various agricultural institutes.
The main road leads
to the village of Zvartnots
(“Place of Angels”).
Marked on the highway (S) by an ornamental gateway and
backward-looking eagle, the massive, centrally planned church of
Zvartnots S. Grigor Lusavorich would have been a marvel in any case,
though scholars disagree on how to
the ruined foundations. The wedding-cake restoration
books, three stories high with gallery, is
unprecedented and probably incorrect.
The church was built by Katholikos Nerses III (641-662)
to house the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator, presumably
where he converted King Trdat/Tiridates in 301 or (more likely)
Beyond the church, which shows signs of North Syrian
influence and which has some interesting sculpted decorations,
are remains of Nerses’ palace and a
winepress, with a tiny
Behind the winepress is a small Chalcolithic
In front of the museum is a 7th c. cuneiform inscription
of Urartian King Rusa II commemorating the construction of a
canal from the Hrazdan (“Ildaruni”) River.