TSAGHKADZOR SKI RESORT AND KECHARIS MONASTERY
Tsaghkadzor is a ski resort of Armenia, located on the picturesque slopes of Mount Tanegiz, at an altitude of 1840 m, which is 10 meters below the highest ski station of French resort Courchevel. The resort is located 50 km far from the international airport Zvartnots in Yerevan. The dominant heights in the vicinity – 2800 m. Since Soviet times Tsakhkadzor is one of the most popular ski resorts of Armenia.
Firstly because of the climate and location. Second, the traditional Caucasian hospitality, combined with the hard work and the well-known hospitality of the Armenian people, create guaranteed comfortable and friendly environment, and a great mood! Winter here is mild. The number of sunny days are around 270 per year. Wherein, snowfalls are significantthat and provide a solid snow cover thickness up to 1.40 m. The ski season lasts from mid-November to mid-April. The average temperature in winter -6 ° C. The most popular form of tourism in Tsaghkadzor is ski tourism. We conduct training of athletes of teams from different countries. Level of tracks is designed mainly for the middle level of riding, but there are tracks for both professionals and beginners. Top skiing point is located at an altitude of 2819 meters, from where opens a spectacular views of Lake Sevan and the Ararat mountain. The 11th-13th cc Kecharis monastery was a major learning center in medieval Armenia, connected to the greatest of Armenia’s nakharar families, the Pahlavunis, Orbelis (Orbelians), Zakarians, and Proshians, led by the greatest Armenian academicians and political statesmen of the time, Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni (nee Bagratuni), Vasak Khaghbakian and Khachatur Kecharetsi (Khachatur of Kecharis).
Some type of church had been on the site from the time of conversion, replacing pagan shrines that glorified the ancient gods of Armenia, favored of the Arshakuni and Parthian rulers that hunted in the area. Nothing is known about the earlier structures except for a 5th c basilica which remains have been found, and references to the site as part of the royal domains, given to the Varazhnunis and Kamsarakans in the 4th-6th cc, who probably enlarged or built churches on the site. In the late 10th c, the Pahlavuni family inherited the region. The monastery was established by Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni in the early 1000s, who commissioned the first church, S. Grigor Lusavorich in 1033, followed by the smaller S. Nshan (Holy Sign) in 1051. Grigor Magistros was a member of a powerful ruling family, able to endow the monastery with gold and silver plate, furnishings and décor, as well as land holdings to support the fledging monastery. Looking at the current monastery, you may be forgiven for wishing some of that gold and silver pate were still around. As majestic an edifice as it is, Kecharis still misses something of the grandeur it once knew, when it rivaled the royal compound in Bjini (also founded by Grigor Magistros), for beauty and prestige.
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