It’s the Commemoration of the Precious Cross that appeared in the sky over Jerusalem in 351 A.D.
On this day in the year 351, not long after Cyril had succeeded Maximus as Archbishop of Jerusalem, during the reign of Constantius, the son of Saint Constantine the Great, on the day of Pentecost, the sign of the Cross appeared over Jerusalem. Saint Cyril, in his letter to the Emperor Constantius, says, "At about the third hour of the day, an enormous Cross, formed of light, appeared in the heaven above holy Golgotha and reaching to the holy Mount of Olives, being seen not by one or two only, but manifest with perfect clarity to the whole multitude of the city; not, as one might suppose, rushing swiftly past in fancy, but seen openly above the earth many hours in plain sight, and overcoming the beams of the sun with its dazzling rays" (PG 33:1 16q).
This letter of Saint Cyril was translated into Armenian and is read during the commemoration ceremony of the Precious Cross.
Religious Tour 6 Days from 326 EUR
Duration-6 days, 5 nights|April 23rd–28th April|Excursion, Cultural, Religious| Meal Plan-BB, Farewell Dinner|
Day 1. April 23.Arrival in Yerevan.
Transfer to hotel. Welcome dinner at an Armenian traditional restaurant (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 2. April 24. Yerevan- Etchmiadzin– Mother Cathedral (liturgy, museum)-Zvartnots-Yerevan
After breakfast drive to the holy city of Etchmiadzin, also called Vagharshapat that is an open air museum under the protection of the UNESCO. The city is home to the Mother Cathedral of Etchmiadzin that is considered to be the oldest cathedral in the world. On this day the Armenian Apostolic Church holds the ceremony of the Commemoration of the Precious Cross that appeared in the sky over Jerusalem in 351 A.D. and the Mother Cathedral serves its regular liturgy to its visitors. After liturgy we will visit the Cathedral Museumhouses numerous cool paintings, souvenirs, religious artifacts, and illuminated manuscripts, including the lance ("Geghard") which is said to have pierced Christ's side.
Walk from the Etchmiadzin Cathedral the Church of Saint Gayaneh (7th century) with its design mostly unchanged except partial renovations of the dome and ceiling. The church is built on the place where Saint Gayaneh was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301. Continue the tour to the Saint Ripsimeh Church (7th century)one of the nuns fleeing Rome to find a safe place for Christians in Armenia.
Drive to the Zvartnots Cathedral erected in the 7th century near Etchmiadzin. Zvartnot's architecture impresses with its extraordinary artistic splendor. It has distinctive differences in size, layout and arrangement as compared with the traditional architecture of the Armenian churches. It was built in the place where Trdates the Great and Gregory the Illuminator (first Catholicos of all the Armenians) first met after Gregory was set free after 13 years of imprisonment. Drive back to hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 3. April 25. Yerevan - Geghard-Garni- Sevanavank - Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel and drive to theKotayk Province tovisitthe UNESCO site Geghard Monastery Complex(10th-13th centuries)also called Cave Monastery as it is half carved in the rock. Initially as a pagan site the Monastery had a natural spring rising from rocks over centuries. It was called Geghard (spear) after the spear with which Jesus Christ was wounded by the Roman soldier that was kept in the monastery for a long period of time. The Armenian Religious Choirs will perform spiritual songs in the second floor of the church where the acoustics of the hall make an incredible sounding of the sweet voices and the melody.
Drive to the Garni Villagein Kotayk Region, where the same name, Garni Pagan Temple (77 AD) is located. Dedicated to the God of Sun, Mitra, Garni Temple is a vivid symbol of pre-Christian Armenia, the only surviving one in the territory of CIS. As the summer residence of the royal family, the construction escaped the mass destruction of the pagan temples. The location has one of the oldest Armenian fortresses (3-2 centuries BC) that was reconstructed in the 1st century AD covering other complexes like 3rd century roman baths, royal summer palace, and the seventh century church of Sion.
Continue the tour to the SevanLake ,one of the highest sweet water lakes in the world, where on the former island nowadays peninsula, the monastery of Sevanavank (9th century) is situated. Once as considered only for monks it has still an active seminary living on the peninsula. Drive back to the hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 4. April 26. Yerevan City tour
After Breakfast start the city tour in Yerevan which is situated in the Ararat Valley, with most of the buildings having a view to the majestic Mount Ararat. As one of the oldested inhabited cities in the world and founded in 782 BC (Yerevan is 24 years older than Rome) Yerevan is home to museums covering items of world heritage. VisitSaint Katoghike Church (13th century), the oldest in Yerevan. Later in the 1th century the large basilica of the Holy Mother of God was built, which was demolished by the Soviet rule in 1936. Continue the tour to Yerevan History Museum located next to the Yerevan City Hall. The collection covers local material and spiritual culture from ancient times to the present day that is a vivid story of the past and the present of the capital and its people. Visit Matenadaran - Museum and Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, one of the richest depositories of books and ancient manuscripts in the world. Dinner at a local restaurant and evening walk to the Cascade Cultural Complex and the Freedom Square. Transfer to hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 5. April 27. Yerevan - KhorVirap – Noravank-Areni – Yerevan
Breakfast at the hotel after which we start our tour to the Region of Ararat to visit the KhorVirap (4th-18th centuries),meaning deep dungeon, which is significant for Armenian Pilgrims as a sight were the first Catholicos of the Armenians spent 13 yearsin torture . It's the closest spot from where you can admire the majestic view of the Ararat Mount. Continue the tour to the picturesque province of VayotsDzor where you will visit NoravankMonastery (10th-14th centuries), the pearl of Armenian medieval architecture. To enjoy the spirit of antiquity we will have a stop at the Chalcolithic cave of Areni where a six thousand-year-old winery has been found. On our way back to Yerevan we will visit a local Areni wine factory to get aquatintedwith the wine making techniques of the locals and to taste wine and vodka made with juice of different fruits. Dinner and transfer to hotel (overnight in Yerevan).
Day 6. April 28.Breakfast. Check-out, transfer to the airport, departure.
PRICES PER PERSON IN EURO (NET):
Tour package includes: All transfers by program Tour package does not include: Air ticket
Comfortable mini-bus/bus with climate-control system
Professional friendly driver
High-qualified guide-interpreter in the preferred language
Accommodation in 3* hotel in DBL/TWIN room
5 Breakfasts, Farewell dinner
24-hours tourist support
Visa for entry
Expenses of personal nature
Tour package includes:
All transfers by program
Tour package does not include: