Of all the most serene settings scattered throughout Armenia, which I have documented on this blog, my favorite one has to be Saghmosavank.
The 13th century monastery is located only 15 or so kilometers north of Yerevan in the region of Aragatsotn, not very far from the town of Ashtarak. The structure, which is surrounded by a flat, grassy area, overlooks a deep gorge, on the far side of which mountain springs can be seen flowing into it. On the left is a pristine view of Mt. Ara, and on a clear day the majestic magnificence of Mt. Ararat will appear in its full glory to the right.
When I am itching to get out of the city but don't have enough time to drive a long ways, I head to Saghmosavank, enjoy the mountain breezes rolling off Aragats and Ara, and smoke a small Dutch Panter cigar, sometimes even two, depending on how much I find the need to relax. After 20-30 minutes I'm ready to head back home, thoroughly content and mellow.
When these photos were taken last Saturday the entrance to the monastery was regrettably closed, probably due to the lack of tourists. It's one of Armenia's often overlooked treasures, and so close to the capital!
Photos taken with my Nokia N86 8MP
Labels: Architecture, Armenian Churches, Personal Experiences, Photography, Travel