Khor Virap, means deep pit, is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey, within the territory of ancient Artashat.
Khor Virap’s notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator, Armenia’s patron saint, was initially imprisoned here for about 13 years by King Tiridates the third of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king’s religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. A chapel was initially built in 642 at the site of Khor Virap as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory.
Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the “St. Astvatsatsin” (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Now, regular church services are held in this church. Khorvirap is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.


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