Mountain villages and churches
Standing motionless on the bottom and slopes of the picturesque Vorotan Gorge are the villages abandoned in the middle of the last century.
Old Khot Village
Remaining in Khot is the church Mrgadzori Khach (“Cross of the fruit ravine”), which, according to a folk prayer, was built by a beauty having fled the Sheikh-Abbas harem.
Famous for St. Minas Church (1821), waterfall and basin, which was filled with miracle-working water: it cured children of various illnesses, and women from infertility. In the summer, the church is thickly shrouded in vegetation, its roof and walls covered with bright blue forget-me-nots.
In the early Xth century, the village of Halidzor was gifted to Tatev. The village belonged to the monastery until the XIXth century. The small stone homes of another village – Halidzor – were built with the traditional for Armenian alpine villages cascade, where the roof of the lower home serves as the floor and courtyard of the upper one.
Old Shinuair Village
The village’s exact age is unknown. The Xth century is mentioned in the written documents studied to date. However, the very name of the village – Shinuhair (“Father of settlements”) – evidences that it was among the oldest in Syunik. Evidence exists that a strong earthquake in the XIIth century destroyed the village’s central church, built on the site of the former, built in the IV-Vth centuries. The church was rebuilt after the earthquake, and remains standing in Old Shinuhair in the Vorotan Ravine. Located here as well is a cemetery with numerous ancient gravestones, among which stands out a three-meter-tall cross stone (1261).