Aragats mountain is an isolated four-peaked volcano massif in Armenia, located NW from Yerevan. Its northern summit, at 4,090 m above sea level, is the highest point of Armenia. According to Armenian tradition, Aragats originates from the words Ara+gah, which translates to "Ara's throne". Ara refers to the legendary hero Ara the Handsome. Lake of the Stone (Lake Kari) is located in the slopes of Mount Aragats, on a plateau below the peaks. It is mostly formed by ice and snow. The lake is located 3,190 m above the sea level and has a perimeter of 1,150 m. On the eastern side of the lake there is a meteorological station. The mountain is rich of building materials and stones, such as basalt, granite, tufa and so on. Tufa can have different colours. Majority of the buildings in Armenia are built by pink tufa. Nearby Gyumri city is famous for black tufa buildings.
In 2005, the Armenian alphabet celebrated its 1600th birthday. In commemoration, it was given a gift of 39 giant, carved Armenian letters, strategically placed near the final resting place of the man who created the alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots. Armenian Alphabet Monument is on Aragats mountain, on the way to lake Kari. When Mashtots began working on an Armenian alphabet, it was under great pressure so that it could be used to create a bible for the newly Christian kingdom. Elegantly planned, he laid out the structure of the alphabet around the religion. The letters and a statue of Mashtots pay tribute to the complex and unique language, a national point of pride of Armenia. The grave of Mesrop Mashtots is not far from the monument, in Oshakan village.
Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory is on the southern sloops of Aragats mountain, owned and operated by the Armenian Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1946, it was one of the main astronomy centers of the USSR. It's located 10 km far from Amberd. The observatory has discovered special star clusters - stellar associations (1947), more than 1,000 flare stars, dozens of Supernovae, hundreds of Herbig-Haro objects and cometary nebulae, hundreds of galaxies. Byurakan Observatory's main telescope is a 2.6 m cassegrain reflector, along with a 1 and 0.5 m Schmidt camera as well as other smaller telescopes. They revealed 1500 galaxies with ultraviolet excess known as the Markarian galaxies. These galaxies are designated "Markarian" or "Mrk" followed by a number, for example Mrk 501.
Down from Byurakan, in Aghtsk village, you can see the Arshakid Kings Mausoleum and Basilica. It is a grave monument complex that sits along a gorge overlooking the Amberd River. It is best known for the mausoleum that once contained the remains of both Christian and pagan kings of the Arshakid dynasty (54-428) of Armenia. Approximately one hundred meters north of the basilica and tomb complex is a shrine that sits alongside a path leading down to the gorge below, where there are many caves that date from the 16th-18th centuries. Some of the caves have doors and were used during these periods as refuge from invasions. A late-4th to early-5th-century basilica sits adjoined to the north end of the mausoleum. It was constructed with a central nave with four columns that separated it from the aisles to either side. шаблоны для dle 11.2