Yerevan, Armenia

28-29 September 2018

Mother Armenia

Mother Armenia, all 70‘ of her with admirable superwoman biceps and stern composure, clasps a powerful 10′ broadsword. I suppose there is much symbolism that can be read into her presence: power, country, martyrs of war, victory in peace. I see a monumental female statue of stone warning that when people have lost patience with foolishness, they will find the strength to overcome. She may be  saying, “Hey guys, fail to do what is right, you can be replaced!”

Mother Armenia already replace one guy who failed humanity. A monumental statue of Joseph Stalin, built in 1950, was a victory memorial for World War Two. It has since disappeared from Victory Park, within sight of a kiddie park and its giant ferris wheel. In 1962, 9 years after Stalin’s death, his statue was removed from this high pedestal and replaced by Mother Armenia. You go girl! (more…)

Surprising Sites of Armenia

27 September 2018

Geghard Monastery

Our first excursion is to Geghard (UNESCO), another monastery. Today promises to be different. I hope so as I may be getting a little jaded about climbing to monasteries. So far I have visited about 1-2 a day for two weeks.

It is said Gregory the Illuminator founded the Geghard Monastery at the site of a sacred spring during the 4th century. Nothing remains of this original structure. What church that does exist was built in 1215 by generals of Queen Tamar of Georgia who pushed out the Turks from this region. A series of chapels were hewn from the rock in the mid-13th century and the complex later expanded to include more chapels, vestry, several caves, large chambers and tombs. It indeed is a special and impressive site carved into and out of the mountain.  (more…)