Kotayk is one of the regions of Armenia. The regional center is Hrazdan. The armenian skiing sport center Tsakhkadzor is located in Kotayk region. This region is mountainous and it’s the only region which doesn’t have a state border. Here is located the plant of mineral waters Bjni and the source of mineral water with the same name. In this region are the more important rest places of Armenia –Arzni, Hankavan, Tsakhkadzor and Aghveran. The central part of the region is covered by forests. The second town of the region is Abovyan (former Elar). It is created as a satellite town for Yerevan.
The sites of Kotayk region
The sites of Bjni village
It is situated on the bank of Harazdan river, 13km far from Hrazdan city. The village is known with its mineral water and many historical cultural monuments.
Bjni fortress is a military structure in the Bjni village of Kotayk region. On the platform the kings of Pahlavuni (X-XI) have founded a fortress which has been the main construction of Nig province and has been controlling the village ports. From the south, east and partially from west the fortress is protected by rocks,and from the north and west with a pyramidal wall, which now is dilapidated. Ruins of many buildings are retained in the fortress, such as:
St. Astvatsatsin church dated to 1031.
St. Sargis church is situated on the eastern part of Bjni on a hill. It has been built in the VII century. Because of its small sizes (it is the smallest church in Armenia within the same type of churches) the structures are highly simplified.
Heathen temple of Garni
The fortress of Garni is an ancient place in the village with the same name in Kotayk region, on the right bank of Azatan river. According to a manuscript of the XIV century the temple has been founded in 2116. For the first time it has been mentioned by Tacitus as “Gornea”. According to the legends, Movses Khorenatsi refers the foundation of Garni to the grandson of forefather Hayk Gagham and the temple has been called Garni by the name of Garnik, the grandson of Gegham. The fortress has probably been built in the II century, B.C. In the middle of the I century A.D. the fortress has been destroyed by the roman troops. In 70-s of the I century Garni has been restored by the king Trdat I, who has left a manuscript where he has mentioned Garni as “an impregnable fortress”. At the time of the kings of Artashesian and Arshakunyats dynasty Garni used to be a fortress, a conscript and a country house, and since IV century a bishop residence. The fortress has been destroyed during the arab conquests, but the province preserved its existence and in the second half of the IX century it became a village. In the X century the fortress has also been restored.
It is a famous monastery of the medieval Armenia. According to the legend it has been founded during the years when the Christianity has been proclaimed as the state religion in Armenia (in the beginning of the 4th century). The foundation of the monastery has been referred to Gregory the Illuminator. The main church Katoghike, according to the record of the western entrance, has been built in 1215, at the times of Zakarians.
Getargeli monastery (Dzagavank)
Dzgavank (St. Nshan monastery of Getargel) is situated on a hill, 2km far from the village Arinj of Kotayk region. It has been founded in the early medieval period. The ancient church of the monastery is a triapsidal, small crosswise, domed construction.
St. Zoravar church
Zoravar church (St. Theodour monastery of Yeghvard) is situated in Kotayk region, 3km to the north-west from the town Yeghvard. It has been built by the prince Grigor Mamikonyan in 661-685.
It is a monastical complex in the historical Nig province (now in the north-western part of Bujakan village of Kotayk region) on the slope of Teghenis mountain. The ancient construction of this ancient place had been the small, crosswise St. Astvatsatsin church dated to the 6-7th centuries. The basic parts of this church have been discovered during the excavations. 30m to the east of this construction is situated Katoghike church, built in the 12th century.
In the Geghama mountains and on the slopes of Aragats and Ukhtasar have been found many many petroglyphs, the more ancient of which had been created more than 9000 years ago. It is typical for these petroglyphs to have animal depiction, sometimes – people, hunt, battle, fishing and other scene depictions. Some of them express symbols of a certain period of time.
Master Levon’s cave (Arinj village)
Master Levon has created this cave during more than 2 decades-2005. During 20 long years he has been working-carving underground halls and corridors. This cave is often made similar to the Ark of Noah and they consider that it is the second ark, for being saved not from water but from fire. This large work was started one day when Levon’s wife asked him to dig a larder for potato. And so Levon started to dig nearby one of the rooms for building a small store. During digging he met a big boulder and started to dig it out. The he couldn’t stop digging as he used to see a dream every day. In his dream a voice persuaded him to continue the digging.