Amberd is the name given to the 7th century Armenian fortress located 2,300 meters (7,546 ft) above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats at the confluence of the Arkashenand Amberd rivers in the province of Aragatsotn, Armenia. The name translates to "fortress in the clouds" in Armenian. It is also the name incorrectly attributed to Vahramashen Church, the 11th century Armenian church near the castle. The village of Byurakan is located 4 miles (6 km) away from the site of Amberd.
The church of Surb Astvatsatsin also known as Vahramashen Church was built for Prince Vahram Pahlavuni. An inscription on the inside lintel of the north portal to the church date its completion to the year 1026. It sits between the fortress and near a wall along the promontory with the Arkashian River in the canyon below.S. Astvatsatsin is a cruciform type structure with four two-story chambers in the corners. A large circular twelve-faceted drum sits on top of the church with thin corner columns supporting the peaked arches of the umbrella dome above. The exterior of the church is simply decorated with some edging around the portal and windows, layers of cornice work just above the thin columns on the drum and dome, and some cross designs carved into the façades.
Mount Aragats is a large andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano in NW Armenia about 40 km NW of the capital city of Yerevan. It is the highest point in Armenia, located in the province of Aragatsotn, northwest from Yerevan. Located on its slopes are the Byurakan Observatory and the medieval Amberd Fortress. The observatory is a historically significant facility responsible for a number of important photographic surveys. Mount Aragats is a popular destination for tourists, especially in summer.The 4095-m-high main edifice of Aragats is dissected by glaciers and is of Pliocene-to-Pleistocene age. However, parasitic cones and fissures are located on all sides of the volcano and were the source of large lava flows that descended its lower flanks
Ohanavan is a town in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. Ohanavan was resettled in 1828 by emigrants from Muş. On a nearby escarpment sits the 13th c. Hovhannavank Monastery. Both the town and the monastery are situated atop a steep gorge carved by the Kasagh river.
The Saghmosavank Monastery is a 13th century Armenian monastic complex located in the village of Saghmosavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. Like the Hovhannavank Monastery which is five kilometers north, Saghmosavank is situated atop the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river. Their silhouettes dominate the adjacent villages and rise sharp against the background of the mountains crowned by Mount Aragats.The main temples of the monasteries erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan - the Church of Zion in Saghmosavank (1215) and the Church of Karapet in Hovhannavank (1216-1221) belong to the same type of cross-winged domed structure with two-floor annexes in all the corners of the building. Subcupola space predominates in the interiors of both churches, which is reflected in the exterior shapes of these structures.