Photographs with Commentary by Debra Jan Bibel

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First on the page is an interlude of the sidewalks of Yerevan. In Rio de Janeiro, many sidewalks are dual colored mosaic waves. Here, the sidewalks have many different etched or tile-form patterns. I noticed them immediately.

The Sidewalks of Yerevan
The tour to the area near Mount Ararat and Noravanak monastery.

Our first view of Mr. Ararat, which is actually a compound volcano. Big Ararat is 16,854 ft and Little Ararat is merely 12,782 ft. Both are situated in Turkey.

This is Khor Virap monastery. A pilgrimage site, it is the place where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years by King Tiridates III. Part of the complex.
The church is known as St. Asvatsatsin, Holy Mother of God.
Inside the chapel. Decoration on the arcade. 

Relief illustration on the wall. The dome. Stairs leading to the pit where St. Gregory was held, 20 14 ft. View of Mt. Ararat.  View of the cemetery.

Traveling through mountainous terrain.


Another view.

The valley is agricultural. A village. The limestone often contain caves. Another example, near a gully.
In a narrow valley.
One cave was converted into a restaurant. A creek flows alongside. A bridge across the creek.  A safer bridge to the cave. Time for lunch. Balcony seating.
Even the serving bar is rustic.  The cave is spacious. Outdoor seating, too. The road that takes is soon to..... Noravank monastery, from the 13th century. Surb Astvatsin. Side view of smaller chapel, Surb Karapet, in a large complex.

Difficult steps to the upper tier of the larger chapel, Surb Astvatsin.
Detail of the relief on the upper section. Elaborate khatchkar cross-stone with Solomon's seal as eternity symbol. Detail of the lower relief. Inside the chapel entrance. Another view of arch junction.

Focus on the columns supporting the dome. Lower relief on Surb Karapet. Upper relief on Surb Karapet, God the Father, with head of John the Baptist. Inside Surb Karapet. Ventilation hole in ceiling. Inside the main chapel.

Carved door.
Ceiling and  dome. Etched inscriptions on wall.  Conferring with the priest. Nearby is this colorful mineral formation. Sunset on our return to Yerevan.
Sunset and Mt. Ararat. Another view, a little later, a little more distant on the road. Further in time and distance.   Return to Index