On the slope of the picturesque mountain Aragats, at an altitude of 2300 meters above sea level, you can see an unprecedented spectacle – a castle of the seventh century and a church built in the eleventh century. Two timid guardians of time look modestly from the height and they do not think for a moment about the importance they represent for all of us and for history itself.
There are so many legends about this unusual place… But none of them can compare to travel to these reserved places. History tells us that it was Bagratuni who made Amberd the foremost state post.
In the eleventh century, the castle was attacked by the Seljuk Turks, and in the thirteenth century it was defeated by the Mongols. The castle had a huge number of underground passages, which very often helped out of trouble. Some of them still exist. A powerful water supply system made Amberd a brilliant creation of architecture of those times. This system of underwater supply is now being explored by scientists, but only a part of it has been investigated, from where this unique water pipe starts it is not possible to understand..․
The scientists discovered in Amberd a piece of lavash, which somehow survived, and even in such a state that it could taste it. This unique find speaks of the greatness and importance of this structure, its importance in the history of the country.
The fortress was built so high for a reason. On the one hand, it was a remarkable defensive position. On the other hand, after the snow masses melted, water flowed into the fortress, and the springs that were located here fed Amberd with their water.
The whole architecture of the castle is subordinated to a single plan: it must protect from enemies. Strong basalt walls are reliable guards. They were able to repel an enemy onslaught and withstand the force of enemy’s projectile․ Iron bars on the windows told the enemy that the fortress was not afraid of uninvited guests, and the holes for shooting in the walls of the fortress foreshadowed a sharp attack of the enemy.
In the eleventh century, the famous military commander Vahram Pahlavuni ordered the building of an unprecedented beauty church. Elegant, conquering with its grace and majestic calm, the church stretches solemnly under the azure sky. Apparently, at the same time was built and a bath, which was preserved next to the castle, in its ruins. The fortress itself for a long time served as the residence of the Pahlavuni family.
At the entrance to the church from the north side there was an interesting inscription, it says that the church was built by Vahram Pahlavuni. It was he who brought changes in the foundation and construction of the fortress walls.
In 1936 academician Hovsep Orbeli began to study archaeological research of the area. Glassware, silver jewellery, bronze candlesticks were found – all this was a vivid proof of the historical past and everything told many facts about which it was not known before.
And already in 1972, work on the restoration of the Church of Wagramshen was begun. At the moment, the eyes of whoever visits this unique place will be presented not only by the Amberd Fortress and the church itself, but also by the bath, which was partially preserved, and also indescribable beauty and magnificence of vishapakars and khachkars. Vishapakars are special stones in which figures of dragons are carved.
This place belongs to the number of disappearing monuments of antiquity. If you happen to be here in late May or early June, you will be pleasantly surprised to see a clearing of flowers of all shades of the rainbow. This phenomenon is worth it to feel and experience… You do not feel anything: the ancient walls enchant your unholy mystery, and the colourful nature fills you with strength and energy.