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ARCH OF CHARENTS

Leaving aside the city's neighborhoods Nork, Nor-Nork and the village Dzhrvezh, the wide Garni highway gradually climbs to the Vokhjaberd ridge. In the vicinity of the village Voghjaberd, left of the road, a cave complex is visible which served as a shelter in the Middle Ages.

At one of the passes right by the road there is the Arch of Charents (architect R. Israelian, 1957), from which opens a breathtaking view of the Ararat valley with Ararat (aka Masis) soaring on the horizon. The arc of the Arch of Charents bears the following words: "Pass the whole world with its mountains white, to the beauty of Masis equals none!"


From impressions under the arch.

I looked puzzled at my friends: why have you stopped? What is remarkable in this elephantine structure?
- The Arch of Charents – they told me and silently let me lead the way. I felt some sort of conspiracy against me; they were waiting for something, some kind of manifestation from my side. With all the desire not to offend my friends I found absolutely nothing remarkable in this arch. I was pushed in the back, somehow rigidly. Wondering and slightly resisting, I walked under the arch and groaned.
God, what a view opened before my eyes! It flushed. Something rose in me and did not drop. Something flitted out of me and never returned. This was the first drawing of creation. Lines were few – one line, another line and yet another line. Strokes were gone. The line was carried out confidently and permanently. No patches at all. It’s just that there could be no other line. This was the only one, and it was carried out. Everything else, it seems to me, God created with either a tired, or refined, or satiated hand. The curly nature of Russia is the Lord’s Baroque.


Andrei Bitov. Lessons from Armenia


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