- Hiking / Trekking
- Place or Religious Monument
- Archaeological Site
- Place or Historical Monument
The Lori region is worth more than its weight in gold. As you're heading from Stepanavan to Alaverdi, you need to take the road in Aygehat that leads up towards the plateau (the region is made up of a canyon and plateau) in order to reach the little village of Ardvi. It feels like the end of the world, lost on a volcanic plateau that overlooks the valley.
Home to 200 people, Ardvi is a typical Armenian market town with houses built from volcanic stones that vary from pink to black. And, it was only a bit further on that I came across a stunning site. Hidden and nestled amongst the hills, at 50m from a aerial view of the Debed Canyon, the Surp Hovhannes Church is a step back in time.
The church is in partial ruin, but presents a sombre yet imposingly elegant sight. Apart from its huge portico, the Surp Hovhannes Church is a twofold construction, with two wooden portals that make it look like two chapels that have been glued together. Its clock tower, with its rickety circular roof, forms a separate building. With its rural air, the church was a cultural centre during the Middle Ages.