Even if you’re not of the spiritual persuasion, it is impossible to ignore the religious symbolism throughout Armenia. After all, a country that prides itself as being the first to accept Christianity has to have something to show for it. Between the khachkars (literally translated to cross-stones) and breathtaking views from millenia-old churchs, this small country makes you feel like you’re a part of history.
Khachkars at Geghard Monastery in Armenia's Kotayk Province. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the monastery was founded in the 4th century at the site of a sacred spring
Iranian tourists, who are increasingly visiting Armenia from across the border at Geghard Monastery
Khachkars at Noravank Monastery. An architectural feast, Noravank Monastery in the Vayotz Dzor Province of Armenia
13th century khachkar at Sevanavank, overlooking Lake Sevan, one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world
Founded in 874, the iconic Sevanavank is one of the most visited tourist spots in Armenia.
Father Mikayel who presides over Tatev Monastery in the Syunik region of Armenia
A view of Syunik from Tatve. The 9th century monastery was built on a gorge and became an important cultural and education center during the Middle Ages
Discarded candles at Tatev Monastery
Lighting candles when entering places of worship is customary in Armenian culture
The walls of many churches are covered with graffiti of signatures and expressions of love that sometimes date back to the 1930s
All photos by L.Aghajanian/©ianyanmag