Amaras Monastery is in the distance of 50 km south from Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic. On the way to Amaras, which is passing nearby Hunot gorge, there is another road leading to Azokh and Togh villages. It was a prominent religious and educational center in medieval Armenia. According to medieval chroniclers, St. Gregory the Illuminator founded the Amaras Monastery at the start of the fourth century. It was the burial place of his grandson, St. Grigoris. A tomb built for his remains still survives under the apse of the nineteenth-century church of St. Grigoris. Amaras' temple of Saint Grigoris At the beginning of the fifth century Mesrop Mashtots, the inventor of the Armenian Alphabet, established in Amaras the first-ever school that used his script.

The monastery was plundered in the thirteenth century by the Mongols, destroyed in 1387 during Tamerlane's invasion, and demolished again in the 16th century. In the first half of the nineteenth century the monastery served as a frontier fortress for Russian imperial troops. The monastery's church appears to have been severely damaged during the period of military occupation, to the extent that a new church had to be constructed on the site of the old one. This new church, dedicated to St. Grigoris, was built in 1858 and paid for by the Armenians of the city of Shushi. It still survives and is a three-nave basilica constructed from bright white stone. The monastery was abandoned during the Soviet period. St. Grigoris was originally buried at the eastern end of the now vanished St. Gregory church.

Skhtorashen village is placed on the way back to Stepanakert, in the very middle of the road. There is the oldest a giant Oriental plane tree, called Tnjri. The age of it is a 2038 years old. The hollow of the tree is 44 sq.m., where more than 40 people can stand. The area covered by the foliage of the tree is 1400 sq.m. The circumference of the tree is 27 m and the height is more than 54 m. The tree is situated on a valley not far from the village and stands near a natural spring water (Tengru spring), which is the main source of irrigation for it. It has served as a local shrine. Tnjri has been visited by many famous people - such as inventor of Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots (5th century AD), first Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi (5th century AD), musician and poet Sayat-Nova (18th century). Every year thousands of pilgrims and tourists who visit Artsakh come to visit also the tree.

The neighboring villages, as well as the ones nearby Tigranakert, are located on the elevation of 150-300 m above sea-level. They are the lowest and the hottest parts of Artsakh (the lowest in Armenia is Debed narrow gorge - 375 m, nearby Haghpat and Sanahin). That's why lots of grape yards and pomegranate gardens, wheat fields and different potagers can be seen here. Most of all, Artsakh is famous by alcoholic beverages, specially mall-berry and cornus vodka. Majority of the population is interested in the agricultural business, bee-keeping, shepherding and cattle breeding since the lands are under their control: they are paying only for irrigation, and the harvest is theirs totally. Also the government assists them: the one who decides to live in Artsakh, he can get a house, cattle, kitchen garden for free for ten years, and later it will become his ownship.

     шаблоны для dle 11.2


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