Tsakhkadzor means Gorge of flowers in Armenian, though it is located 1750 meters above sea level, surrounded with alpine meadows. Tsakhkadzor is known for being a ski resort, with forests and an ancient monastery. It is a training base for high-level sports, a winter sports resort and one of the country important summer destinations.
From the 4th to the 5th centuries its forest used to be the hunting area for the Armenian kings of the Arshakuni dynasty. On the slope of Teghenis Mountain, in the eastern part of the town, near the monastery of Kecharis, stretches out the 5-level ropeway that is 6105m long and is 1969-2819m above the sea level. The rope-way, which was constructed in 1967, was commissioned until 2004, and during 2004-2007 the five stations of the new rope-way were re-built Tsakhkadzor ropeway is considered to be the best in the Caucasus and it opens a beautiful view of Lake Sevan.
You can get to the top of mount Teghenis by ropeway in 40 minutes. When switching lifts, you can enjoy some tea or coffee at the cafes, located by the rope-way. There you can also hire ski equipment and other sports facilities.
The ropeway tickets costs 2000 drams (about 4 $).
Kecharis Monastery was one of the famous religious and cultural centers of medieval Armenia. Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni, a famous Armenian politician, scholar, military commander founded Monastery of Kecharis in the mid-eleventh century. This monastic complex of gray basalt consists of four churches and The main entrance (gavit) of the church of St. Grigor the Illuminator, which was erected by Grigor Pahlavuni in 1003.
A narrow passage is dividing the Katoghike (Cathedral) church, which stands in the south of St. Nshan Church. A khachkar ornamented with highly artistic carving, was put up a little south of the church in memory of its architect Vetsik.
From the fourteenth century, Kecharis fell into oblivion until the time of the Turkish-Persian wars during which cultural life was maintained despite the difficult situation. Abandoned in the eighteenth century the monastery suffered much damage especially the earthquake of 1928, but currently is in perfect condition, restored in 1998 to 2000 thanks to the donation of an Armenian benefactor from Austria.
Tsakhkadzor is not far from Yerevan (about 55 km), getting there takes less than an hour.
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