3 COUNTRIES FOR TRAVEL WITHOUT DEPARTURE
It is best to go to Armenia from May to October. Locals are incredibly proud that their capital, Yerevan, is older than Rome by 29 years. After all, the city dates back to Erebuni fortress, built in 782 BC. e. For tourists open renovated part of the palace and outbuildings. At the entrance you can see a copy of the basalt stone with an inscription on the founding of the city. The Blue Mosque is another decoration of the capital of Armenia. It was founded in 1766 by order of the Turkic khan of the Erivan khanate Huseynali-khan Qajar as a sign of the Armenian-Iranian friendship. Today it is the only mosque in the country.
There are so many monasteries, temples and churches in Armenia that there is a separate page for them in Wikipedia. Before the trip, choose the ones that will be located on the route. But it is impossible to ignore the temple of Garni (in the photo) 28 kilometers from Yerevan. The construction of the 1st century in the Hellenic style experienced the adoption of Christianity by Armenia in 301 and remained the only surviving monument of the era of paganism and Hellenism. The temple was built by order of the Armenian king Trdatom in honor of the sun god Mithra. Armenian kings loved this place very much and turned it into their summer residence.
Zvartnots temple, 10 kilometers from Yerevan, was discovered by archeologists at the beginning of the 20th century. The building was hidden from view under a layer of earth and sand. Not far from the temple you can see the ruins of the palace of Nerses III and the ancient winery.
If we talk about the main natural sights of Armenia, this is Mount Ararat. First of all, the natural monument is famous for its biblical tales. According to one version, it was here that Noah’s Ark remained after the waters of the Flood had subsided. Local residents are sure that it was the Armenians who were the first to populate the Earth after the flood.
The largest lake of the Caucasus – Sevan – is located on the territory of the Sevan National Park in eastern Armenia at an altitude of 1900 meters. On the banks of the reservoirs you can see ancient buildings: the remains of the state of Urartu, the ruins of a cyclopean fortress dated to the 3rd century BC, the monastery of Sevanavank of the 9th century.
It is best to go to Abkhazia from June to September. In addition to the famous resorts – Gagra, Pitsunda and Gudauta – this region boasts medieval temples and nature reserves. Not far from Gagra there are the ruins of the medieval Hashup fortress and Hasant abaa, as well as the Bzyb and Kaldahuar fortresses. Nearby is an early Christian Tsandripsh temple and an active temple of St. Hypatia Gagrainsky V-VI century. On the way to the famous Ritsa Lake there is the purest Blue Lake. Its bottom is covered with sediments of lapis lazuli, and the water is always cold. At the foot of the Blue Lake is the Mamdzyshkh ridge, one of the most picturesque mountain ranges of Abkhazia. On the mountain there are two observation platforms overlooking the sea coast.
Rare centuries-old trees grow in the Pitsundo-Musser Reserve: Pitsunda pine, Colchian boxwood, tree heather, strawberry tree. In addition, the region boasts a Pitsunda temple, a model of Byzantine architecture. There are organ concerts in the evenings.
In the Gudauta district there are the ruins of the early medieval Mchishta temple and the Aylag-abyku temple, as well as the Mchishta rock castle. It is worth going to the village of Abgarhuk for the sake of the ancient fortress of Abahuats located on a high rock and surrounded by sheer cliffs. It used to light a fire in it, in order to inform the locals of the impending danger.
New Athos was founded by the Greeks in the III century and served as a seaport. Now they come here to admire the Novy Afon monastery and the complex, the grotto and the temple of Simon the Canaanite, as well as the most beautiful caves – Novoafonskoy and the cave of Voronya – Kruber. New Athos is considered the spiritual capital of Abkhazia.
Even more interesting about Abkhazia can be found in the article by Danila Litvintsev “Shattered shattered pieces” for GEO.
Ancestral castles and manors, ethnic villages, temples and monasteries, and nature reserves – you should go to Belarus not only for the sake of Minsk, Brest or Vitebsk. For example, the city of Grodno is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. Presumably the first mention of it in the annals refers to the year 1005, although the official date of its foundation is 1128. There is a castle of the XI century, which in fact was the first defensive structure.
The Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier is another outstanding monument of the country. It was built in the XVII century on the territory, which at that time belonged to Poland. Inside the church are decorated with paintings and sculptures.
300 kilometers from Minsk is the city of Gomel. It contains the Gomel palace and park ensemble, the Rumyantsev-Paskevich Palace and the Peter and Paul Cathedral.