The Khor Virap (‘’deep dungeon’’) is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain near the closed border with Turkey. Here was the capital of the Artashesid dynasty Artashat which was established by the Armenian king Artashes I around 189-188 […]
The Khor Virap (‘’deep dungeon’’) is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain near the closed border with Turkey.
Here was the capital of the Artashesid dynasty Artashat which was established by the Armenian king Artashes I around 189-188 BC.
Until its chapel was built, Khor Virap was used as a royal prison at the time of the Arshakouni dynasty. According to the history , Armenian first patriarch Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned here for 14 years by Armenian king Tiridates III. But in 301 AD, when Christianity was proclaimed as the only state religion of Armenia, Gregory the Illuminator was out of the jail and became the first Bishop of the Armenian Apostolic church. So, in 301 AD Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared as a Christian nation.
In 642 AD a chapel was built at the site of Khor Virap by Nerses III the Builder Catholicos, which is the oldest building in the monastery complex. In the 13th century Khor Virap became a prominent center of education and science. In the 17th century David Vardapet began renovation of the complex and built Saint Gregory Church instead of the chapel built in the 13th century. At the right side of the altar of St. Gregory’s church you can see the St. dungeon, a 6.5 m deep hole the diameter of which is about 4.5 m .
In 1662 a larger chapel of the complex was built named after St. Asvatsatsin (Holy mother of God),the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks.
Now , regular church services are held in this church and it is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.
We are an incoming tour operator in Armenia.
Our company is a fast-growing company which has the best offers of tour programs for groups and also for individuals. Learn more about us!
+374 98420810, +374 94452859
20 Andranik street, Yerevan, Armenia