Armenia is a country of tragic history and inexhaustible hospitality, ready to open its invisible doors and reveal its every historical corner.
With Mt Ararat forming a beautiful backdrop, the Khor Virap Monastery is one of such mysterious, magical corners of the country. At first, Khor Virap (meaning “deep pit) was used as a royal prison, however now it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Armenia.
Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned here by King Tiridates III of Armenia for spreading Christianity.
Here in 301, the ruler of the country converted to Christianity, making it the state religion.
Today in Khor Virap, you can visit the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) and go down to the underground prison, where St. Gregory the Illuminator was kept. Grigory spent about 15 years bound in the deep pit of Khor Virap, however survived this terrible ordeal.
Tiridates III was brought to Gregory, and was miraculously cured of his illness in 301 and proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia.
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