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Travel Blog

Ararat: Symbol of Armenia

Ararat – this is the word that all the tourists are definitely familiar with, and a scene that they begin look for when leaving the airport in Yerevan. Foreigners cannot feel what Armenians do when looking at the mountain or talking about it, but each of them has own reason for waiting to that very moment to see Ararat.

Ararat mountain is a polygenic volcano, having 2 peaks – Masis (also known as Greater Ararat - 5165m) and Sis (also known as Lesser Ararat - 3925m). It is believed that the last time the volcano erupted in 1840. The first ascent was in 1829 by Friedrich Parrot, Armenian writer Khachatur Abovyan and some others. Parrot measured Ararat mountain height for 5250 meters. Today also the mountain is of a great interest for mountain climbers. Ararat mountain location currently is in Turkey, once Western Armenia (historical Armenian lands). It’s 32km far from the Armenian border, and can be seen almost from every part in Yerevan and out of it.

Ararat mountain history dates back to Noah’s time. According to Noah legend, his ark lands on the mount Ararat after the Great Flood, and thus, new history of the saved family and humanity begins. There have been many tries to find out remainings of the Ark, but none of them was successful and confirmed for now.

Ararat has an exceptional beauty, especially from Armenian side. This is why many tourists are eager to come and see it. Proudly soaring high in the sky, the mountain is covered with snow, which is not the same look as from Turkey. In Yerevan many people look for houses having a view on the mountain. Unbelievable, right?

The biblical and sacred mount for Armenians is a symbol of the country. You can find it on coat of arms of Armenia, on souvenirs, stamps, various logos, will see sculptures with its form, hear songs, and drink brandy. One of the regions in Armenia and a village are called Ararat. There is even a football club named so, and, of course, male name. For Armenians all over the world Ararat is a “holy mountain” and symbolizes ՞lost lands՞. In the houses in Armenia and especially out of it, people keep paintings with its view. Armenians are so closely connected to it, that becomes strange to admit it is not in Armenia’s territory. Maybe it’s because of seeing the mount every day from their windows and from any corner of the city.

Great is role of Ararat as inspiration for painters and artists, in general. One of the greatest artworks is painting “Descent of Noah from Ararat” by world famous painter Aivazovsky. Many Armenian poets have dedicated poems, musicians have written songs and directors have produced movies. It can be unclear and seem strange to many foreigners how a mountain can inspire and be so adored. But yes, for Armenian people it’s an emblem of hope and revival; and maybe this has played its role.