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Monastery of Khor Virap is one of the iconic places of Armenia. Located in front of the Mount Ararat the fortress is very picturesque. This is also the place where Armenia became the first ever Christian country in the world – in 301 AD.

However, the History of Khor Virap (Translated “Deep Dungeon”) begins in the 2nd century BC. It was a prison in the city of Artashat – at the time the capital of Armenia. Capitals of Armenia changed many times since, however the prison of Khor Virap remained in Artashat.

The prison had deep underground dungeons where the prisoners had to withstand a true test of life.

Grigor the Illuminator – the monk who converted Armenia to Christianity was imprisoned in this dungeon for 15 years. He had refused the Armenian King – Trdat III who told him to convert to paganism.

You will explore the full monastery and have a chance to climb down in to the same dungeon. Khor Virap offers amazing views of Ararat mountain.

It’s also a local tradition to make a wish in the dungeon – people write their wishes on a small paper and put it in one of the small holes in the dungeon walls.