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Mysteries of Armenia

A Ladder to the Sky

033_4The isolated rocky formation soaring over the Arpa River Gorge has attracted the attention of historians for a rather long time. A small arched footbridge leads to the nearly 100-meter-long monolith with steppe walls and stairs that rise up to the very top. The monument is traditionally called a ladder to the sky. It is believed that the climb used to endow one with oracular abilities. In folklore the stairs of this magnificent structure are identified with the trace left by giant Mher during his voluntary confinement to the gorge. According to the legend, he clove the mountain with his sword and went inside. The technology of laying the stairs on an absolutely steppe wall still poses an unsolved mystery. There even exists a hypothesis claiming that the stairs are not handmade at all, but rather appeared after an earthquake that shook the mountain and split it into two halves. However, the narrow localization of the possible slide, as well as the arched foot-bridge at its foot, the sculptural peculiarities of which fully correspond to those of stairs, speak against this version. The population of adjacent areas, on the other hand, does not cast any doubt upon the fact that the monument was created by a man. It is believed that there is an ancient wall at the top of the mountain, the ruins of which can be viewed even from below.

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