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Mysteries of Armenia

The Crossroad

From time immemorial, Armenia has been attracting pilgrims and travelers from all over the world. Back in the 1st century, the Jewish historian Joseph Flavius compared the mountains of Ararat to a landing place. The foreigners’ visits became particularly frequent in the Middle Ages. Like knight Fromone, they sought atonement and compiled reports for the Fathers of the Roman Church. In 1316, the Franciscan monarch Oderich reported to the Pope on Mt Ararat, “The people who live there told us that nobody had ever climbed up the mountain as the Almighty would probably not like it…” Marco Polo, who visited Armenia in the second half of the 13th century, wrote, ”… you should know that Noah’s Ark rests upon the height of Ararat in Armenia. The mountain is covered with eternal snow and no one can ever reach its summit”. Two Armenias, the Greater and the Lesser (obviously the Cilician Kingdom), are mentioned in Marco Polo’s book. The Renaissance Genius Leonardo da Vinci, is the author of sketches about the Holy Land. The researchers of his Armenian Letters (K.Fuzarro, M Fordi) are inclined to believe that his descriptions are quite documentary. Travelers who visited the country stayed in coaching inns, the ruins of which can still be found in many regions of Armenia. Selim Caravanserai, based at a height of over 2000 m, which connects the Sevan basin with the historical Vayots Dzor region, is also in good condition today. The present shape of the monument was accomplished in the 14th century. The largest lodgment has a rounded roof and occupies an area of nearly 340 sq m. The common corridor was detached by parallel rows of arched ceilings to make 14 rooms, where guests could stay.

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