Photographs. Areni Wine Festival 2015

Areni Wine Festival 2012
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part II
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part II
Photographs. Areni Wine Festival 2014

Our way to the Areni Wine Festival 2015 we’ve hitchhiked… as always. The driver who gave us a lift was a young guy named Aleksan. He lived in Nagorno-Karabakh and became a father a few days ago. “I hate to be alone on the road, so it’s good that I met you,” he said. We got off at the village of Areni, wishing him a safe journey. While three of us, me, Nane and our friend Edgar, walked to the village centre where the main events were taking place, I couldn’t help but notice that the wine festival was transforming into a barbecue and kebab festival. There were probably more food vendors than wine makers offering to taste their old and new wines. But in four years, the festival for us got more meaning than just driking madness, so we ignored these changes and spent some wonderful hours with our friends before hitchhiking back to Yerevan.
Trinity wines at Areni Wine festival 2015 in Armenia
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Photographs. Areni Wine Festival 2014

Areni Wine Festival 2012
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2012: Part II
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part I
Photography. Areni Wine Festival 2013. Part II

We were six people hitchhiking in three groups to the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia to attend the 2014 Areni Wine Festival. Me and Nane were the last to arrive in Areni. We rode trucks, and our drivers preferred slow driving. By the time we reached the festival, our friends were already soaked in the wine madness. People around us were dancing, smiling, drinking, eating, and enjoying the moment. And the wine was flowing at Areni.

Bottles of wine in a rusty bucket, Areni Wine festival 2014 in Armenia
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Photographs. Ruins of Horomayr Monastery

November Highlands: Hiking to Horomayr Monastery

The architectural complex of Saint Nshan monastery of Horomayr, first mentioned in the 7th century, consists of two parts – the lower one situated on the cliffs of the Debed canyon, and the upper one on the vast plateu above. The monastery derives its name from the main church of the lower part – the Saint Nshan, built in 1187 by princes Zakare and Ivane. Its bell-tower was built later in 1290. Other structures of the lower part of the complex are the ruins of Saint Arakyal chapel (1216), a small chapel built in 1201, to the north is the square-schemed chapel built in 1301. The cemetery of the monastery with cross-stones and tombs dating back to 13th century is spread around the complex.
The ruins of monastery of Horomayr, Lori province, Armenia

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Photographs. Ruins of Bardzrakash Saint Gregory Monastery: Part Two

Photographs. Ruins of Bardzrakash Saint Gregory Monastery: Part One

Built throughout the 10th-13th centuries, this monastic complex was named after the first patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Saint Gregory the Illuminator who baptised Armenia in 301 CE. The remains of the monastery include the Church of St. Gregory – a vaulted hall type of church built in the 10th century, the three-nave basilica of Sourb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) built in 1221 by the son of Prince Sargis Mamikonyan, Marzpan, its narthex with carved reliefs (1247), the Chapel of Sourb Harutyun (Holy Ressurection) built in 1234 by Hovhannes Vardapet (vardaped is a well-educated archimandrite who holds a Doctorate of Theology) and his brother, and the Mamikonians’ (an aristocratic Armenian dynasty) cemetery.
Ruins of Bardzrakash Saint Gregory Monastery, Dsegh village, Lori province, Armenia

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Photographs. Ruins of Bardzrakash Saint Gregory Monastery: Part One

We learn about the Bardzrakash Saint Gregory monastery from our hosts at Patvakan B&B in the village of Dsegh. So, on the second day of our journey we follow the muddy road to the outskirts of the village until we reach a rusty sign indicating the direction to the ruins of the monastery. A narrow path leads us down into the forest. Dry leaves rustle underfoot. Not long after we notice the monastery behind the trees. Built throughout the 10th-13th centuries, this monastic complex was named after the first patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Saint Gregory the Illuminator who baptised Armenia in 301 CE. The remains of the monastery include the Church of St. Gregory – a vaulted hall type of church built in the 10th century, the three-nave basilica of Sourb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) built in 1221 by the son of Prince Sargis Mamikonyan, Marzpan, its narthex with carved reliefs (1247), the Chapel of Sourb Harutyun (Holy Resurrection) built in 1234 by Hovhannes Vardapet (vardaped is a well-educated archimandrite who holds a Doctorate of Theology) and his brother, and the Mamikonians’ (an aristocratic Armenian dynasty) cemetery.
Ruins of Bardzrakash Saint Gregory Monastery, Dsegh village, Lori province, Armenia

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