Khndzoresk

Khndzoresk is a rural community in the distance of 250 km from Yerevan, not far from Tatev. Khndzoresk is widely famous for its canyon with picturesque rock formations and ancient cave settlement. The artificial caves, some of which are currently used as stables and warehouses, used to be inhabited till the 1950s. In the bottom of the gorge there is St. Hripsime church, dated back to 17th century. On a spur beyond on the right side of the gorge there is Anapat (hermitage) with the tomb of Mkhitar Sparapet. The cave church of St. Tatevos can also be found nearby. New Khndzoresk (the current inhabited area) was built in the 1950s. The village is located at 1580m above sea level and occupies 6772,8ha. The population is 2,260 inhabitants.

The old village In the end of the 19th century Old Khndzoresk was the biggest one in Eastern Armenia. In the beginning of the 20th century the community had 8300 inhabitants (1800 households). In 1913 there were 27 shops, 3 dye-houses, tanneries, 7 schools. The village is famous for taking part in the liberation movement of David Bek. The fortress of Khndzoresk served as a military base for Mkhitar Sparapet in 1728-1730. In 1735 the village was visited by the head of Armenian Apostolic Church, who gave a thorough description of the community in his chronicles. During the 1980s, an additional village sprouted 7km from Khndzoresk due to resizing and political unrest. Until the 1950s people used to live there.


Kndzoresk swinging bridge was opened in 2012. It runs over a deep canyon which is amazingly beautiful with its rock formations and caves. The 160-meter long bridge weight 14 tons and connects the two banks of the village. The amazing thing about the bridge is that it was constructed by the residents of the village, with their own hands and no machinery was used for the construction, and even for the transportation of materials (they used horses). The aim was to preserve the natural and historical heritage of their hometown, as the new bridge can help you see, feel, hear, learn and experience many things about ancient times. The construction of the bridge was initiated by a local entrepreneur. According to the estimations of the local people the bridge can "hold" 700 people at the same time.

Near by St. Hripsime church, the famous "Nine Children" fountain is located. Ancient myth states that when Khndzoresk was once again under attack, the village mothers and daughters stood right beside the males, resisting the attack that had surrounded them. A widow mother of nine children falls victim during the assault. In her memory and for the future welfare of her 9 orphans, her father constructed a beautiful arched fountain at the site of a giant walnut tree where water seeps from the root. One can only drink from the basin by lying prostrate on two hands. Once the fountain's construction was completed, the grandfather reached out to a saint, "Oh, sacred fountain, I beg you, let the fountain's water transform into her breast-milk and protect my orphaned grandchildren."
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