Khor Virap Monastery
Khor Virap Monastery is the most famous pilgrimage site, one of the most worshipped ones in Armenia. This is where Christianity in Armenia all started…The monastery is located on a small hill in the Ararat plain with the closest view of Mount Ararat and at a distance of 44km from the capital Yerevan. The story begins from pre-christian times: during the reign of King Tiridates III the Great, Gregory the Illuminator was trying to spread Christianity in Armenia, which was not approved by the pagan ruler. Gregory refused to worship pagan Gods, thus, the king ordered to throw him into a deep well. He was imprisoned for 13 years in that dark, damp and small place, until the dream seen by Tiridates’ sister, Khosrovidukht, miraculously changed the whole situation. Thus, Gregory was released from that prison and rewarded with the official conversion of Armenia to Christianity, making it the first country to officially adopt the religion in 301 AD. Later in 642, Catholicos Nerses built a chapel on the sacred land over the dungeon. The pit dungeon is still there. In fact, the name Khor Virap means “deep pit”.
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