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Alaverdi

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Northern Armenia : Alaverdi
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Alaverdi is a city in Northern Armenia. The largest city in the Debed Canyon of Lori, an area rich with historical monuments and natural beauty, Alaverdi is your best bet for refueling, getting supplies or finding other things you'd expect in a town. The town itself has little to offer of historic value, save for the beautiful old foot bridge, since it was built as a mining town, a fact which you won't be able to miss as you go past the massive mining works. The mine once wreaked massive environmental damage, which stopped for a while with the collapse of the USSR, but now it has restarted, albeit on a much smaller scale. You can drive to the Sarahart suburb, which is on top of the canyon cliffs, or you can walk up the ancient foot path which is past the aforementioned bridge. The funnest, and perhaps most dangerous option though is the funicular, which takes the miners to and from work. Sarahart is adjacent to Sanahin Village, with the famous monastery, and the museum to the Migoyan brothers, with their extraordinary accomplishments of worldwide significance.

Get in

Minibus/vans from Vanadzor depart daily, and almost all transport to and from Tblisi passes through this town. There are taxis and transport to other parts of the country as well.

Get around

Taxi, foot, funicular.

See

  • Sanahin Monastery, Sanahin Village (Above Alaverdi in Sanahin Village). UNESCO world heritage site, and for good reason. This wonderland of incredibly well preserved Armenian architecture has stood for almost a thousand years, with little change. You can almost feel how the place must have been buzzing with activity. Sayat Nova, the famous bard, used to sing here.
  • Haghpat Monastery, Haghpat Village (6km north of Alaverdi). Part of the same UNESCO site as Sanahin, you'll have a hard time choosing a favorite. The labyrinth of passages, chambers, khachkars and views will leave you wondering how this masterpiece was built.
  • Odzun Basilica Church, Odzun Village (8km southwest of Alaverdi). A huge basilica, which has withstood the tests of time for 1,300 years, the church in Odzun is a beauty. There is an interest memorial on the site with carvings telling a story, and a large village surrounds the church.


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