Holy Relics and Shrines

This unique pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines of renowned Armenian and Universal saints will give you the whole outline of Armenian Christianity starting from the very first ages AD up to nowadays. You will get acquainted with some beautiful surroundings of the monasteries they lived and worked. Each day of our pilgrimage is entitled with a challenge Armenians had met in the past. We will have two overnights in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh, and the other nights we will spend in Yerevan. So join us in this pilgrimage and get enriched with the deeds and prayers of holy people.

Photos
  • Day 1. Arrive
    Arrival to the Zvartnoc International Airport. Transfer to hotel.
  • Day 2. Conversion and Proclamation
    We will start our pilgrimage with a prayer proceeded by a visit to a magnificent cathedral having the Holy Relics of St. Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) who played decisive role in the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in 301 and later became the Catholicos of the Armenian Church. Here we get the blessing for our pilgrimage. After lunch in the centre of Yerevan we will continue our pilgrimage and visit the spiritual and administrative centre of the Armenian Apostolic Church - the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. A nice and knowledgeable guide will tell you the story of conversion of Armenia into Christianity on route. Upon the entrance to the city of Etchmiadzin we will see a 7th century church where the shrine of a St. Hripsime (3rd c.) and the relics of the other 40 martyred nuns are. The Mother Cathedral will embrace us next, with its museum opening the doors for us to see the Holy Relics of known saints, the unique piece from Noah's Ark, the Holy Lance with which our Lord was pierced and many more. A 10 minutes' drive from Echmiadzin will bring us to the ruins of once glorious Zvartnots Cathedral of 7th century translated as “Place of Angels”.
  • Day 3. Translating and Surviving
    After our morning prayer, we will start for Oshakan, a sacred place for each Armenian as here is the shrine of St. Mesrop Mashtotz, who by God’s grace invented the Armenian Alphabet in 405 AD. Then we will continue our way to St. Gevorg (St. George) church of Mughni (13th c.), with a nice fresco of 19th century. Then we will continue our pilgrimage to Hovhannavank monastery (4th c.) on the relics of St. John. Our lunch will be arranged in the town of Aparan, which is known by its pure springs and hospitality. We have the chance to partake the spirit of the faithful people living in this town up in the mountains. St. Nshan (Holy Sign) basilica is still standing there from the end of the 4th century. Then we will go to see a 5th century martyr's shrine near Aparan Lake. Our dinner will be arranged in Ashtarak rich with churches on the top of the deep gorge of River Kasakh. It is really worth seeing!
  • Day 4. Law and Theology
    The Morning Prayer will open our day to discover the shrines of Armenian medieval saints still as places of pilgrimage in the north-east of the country. First, we will enter Goshavank where the shrine of Mkhitar Gosh is. He was a well-known Armenian scientist and bishop, the author of Datastanagirq – a unique book of law codex first printed in Venice in 1790. We will have a chance to enjoy our lunch in the resort town of Dilijan with its contrasting colours, forests, the pure mountain air and curative mineral water springs. Then a beautiful road will lead us to Odzun Church, situated on the mountaintop and considered one of the finest Armenian basilicas with a cupola of 6th century, and to the nearby St. Hovhannes Odznetsi's shrine (a 7th century Catholicos) who was a very bright Christian face not only in Armenia but also in whole oikomene. Evening prayer will be in the Monastery of Haghpat where the shrine of Deacon Hovhannes Imastaser is. The dinner will be in Alaverdi region.
  • Day 5. Scholasticism and Stones
    After having our morning prayer we will move to Monastic Complex of Noravank (4-13th cc.) that was considered the see of the Siunik bishops. Here we have a chance to admire the work of a well-known monk-architect Momik and among a large number of khachkars (cross-stones); we will find the one dedicated to the genius. The magnificent landscape of mountains and red cliffs surrounding the monastery display a beautiful array of colours from the sun's reflection. After lunch with a special guest, we will continue our way to see another miracle – Tatev Monastic Complex founded in the 4th century, which once was a huge spiritual and cultural centre. Nevertheless, it is a magnificent monastery built on a gorge; it is in nice harmony with the nature and is full of spirituality. Here is the shrine of a 14th century Saint Grigor Tatevatsi, who was a great theologian. Dinner will be arranged in Stepanakert - the lovely capital city of Artsakh.
  • Day 6. Forerunning and Protection
    After the Morning Prayer the town of Shushi will welcome us with its magnificent Ghazanchetsots Cathedral – a cupola’d basilica of the 19th century fully renovated after the 1990s. Right after lunch, we will have a pilgrimage to Gandzasar – a pearl of Armenian architecture, situated on the hill on the left bank of Khachen River. Gandzasar was a spiritual centre of 13th century where many manuscripts were kept. It is more precious especially with the treasure it hides - the head of St. John the Baptist. Now it is considered as one of the five remarkable architectural monuments of Armenia. Afterwards an interesting meeting with a priest will be organised. Our dinner will be at a nice restaurant nearby. Hopefully we will have a starry night in Stepanakert.
  • Day 7. Theology and Art
    The Morning Prayer will complete our stay in wonderful Artsakh and we will move towards Goris – a very lovely town situated on the Valley of Goris River. Here we will have a chance to visit Arakel Siunetsi's shrine. He was a renowned Armenian philosopher of the 14th century, a big church figure, author of a great number of valuable works such as Adams Book, Paradise Book, Theory of Music, etc. Lunch will be in the same charming town of Goris in front of the cave shelters – the old Goris. The vespers will be in the town of Sisian, which will welcome us with its rocky mountains, yellow cliffs and its wild nature. At dinnertime, we will reach Yerevan.
  • Day 8. Past, Present and Future
    Matins in St. Zoravor, a charming church in the centre of Yerevan, will start the day. Here the precious relics of St. Anania, the disciple that opened Saul’s (future apostle St. Paul’s) eyes, are kept. Then we will visit the Matenadaran - the world's largest depository of ancient manuscripts, a museum and scientific institute named after Mesrop Mashtotz (the inventor of Armenian Alphabet). After lunch, we will have free time for shopping and enjoying the last walks along the Yerevan streets or just having rest before our farewell party that will sum up the week’s impressions and we will say good-bye with the hope to meet again.
  • DAY 9 Departure
    So take advantage of being here, join us on the road of pilgrimage and prayer, discovery and rejoicing.
Start Date End Date Status Price Actions
03.01.2016 11.01.2016 Active By Request Dossier