In this article we will tell you about one of the most interesting sights in the vicinity of Yerevan – the Zvartnots Temple. We will tell you what to see in the Zvartnots temple, how to get there from Yerevan and whether it’s worth visiting this architectural monument at all.

Zvartnots is located about 20 km from Yerevan and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List for its uniqueness and beauty. So it is worth going there. Car rental in Armenia will help you to get there.

We must say right away that the temple itself is not visible from the road, but the main entrance with the ticket office is very clearly visible. You will recognize it by the large gate with an eagle figurine at the top. When you buy a ticket and go inside through the gate, it remains to go another 400-500 meters and you will finally see the Zvartnots temple in all its glory.

By the way, tourist buses stop right outside the gate. You had to go on foot, because the taxi driver was waiting for us outside at the entrance. 

What to see in Zvartnots temple.

The Temple of Zvartnots in Armenia, or as it is also called the “Temple of the Vigilant Angels”, first of all attracts attention with its unusual facade. When you look at the temple, it seems as if you are not in Armenia now, but, for example, somewhere in ancient Greece or in Pompeii. The temple is very ancient, it began to be built around 643, and then it was a whole complex of structures.

In its original grand form. Zvartnots existed for only 300 years, and then was destroyed due to earthquakes. Therefore, the Zvartnots temple has survived to this day not in its original form, but in a reconstructed one. Archeologists discovered the ruins of this temple during excavations only at the beginning of the 20th century. And the temple at that time was completely underground, they dug it up and tried to ennoble it.

Now you can only imagine the former greatness of Zvartnots, if you wish, you can look into the Archeological Museum and see how the temple was decorated before. But even today, Zvartnots is very attractive and photogenic. Come here in the morning or at sunset to take beautiful photos against the backdrop of graceful columns and ancient ruins.

Today, the Zvartnots temple is a small platform with columns inside and walls, there are no windows or doors, the design of the temple is through. There are a lot of reconstructed elements in the interior of the temple now, but you can also find really original old parts of the temple (several slabs, several columns). Fragments of the altar and the pulpit have also been preserved.

In the center of the Zvartnots temple there is a descent down, once upon a time the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator were kept there, but today it is empty, and the descent is closed with bars.

In addition to the temple itself, on the territory of the complex are the ruins of the palace of Nerses III, the remains of the Roman bath and the basilica. It is also interesting to look at the ruins of an ancient wine storage or winery, you can even see special stone gutters for draining wine. To the west of the baths there are several halls, they are usually referred to as the “Throne” and “Column” halls.