(22) Go to neighboring Armenia for Mount Ararat, the sacred site of Noah's Ark, and a monastery where time seems to have stopped.

Impressions of the Summer Recounted in Autumn - Trip to Paris and Georgia

Travels in Armenia] (22) To the neighboring country of Armenia for Mount Ararat, the sacred site of Noah's Ark, and a monastery where time seems to have stopped.

In my previous article, I introduced the town of Gori, Stalin's fabric.

And now, before heading to the Caucasus Mountains, the biggest destination of my stay in Georgia, I decided to visit neighboring Armenia.

Mount Ararat, famous for Noah's Ark, and "The Epic of Gilgamesh

From Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, one can see Mount Ararat, famous for Noah's Ark.

Mount Ararat from YerevanWikipedia.

It was precisely because of this Mount Ararat that I became interested in Armenia.

I am visiting Israel in 2019 to tour the Holy Land as preached in the Bible.

I still remember the excitement I felt when the world in the Bible actually appeared before my eyes.

I was learning about Georgia to learn about Tolstoy and the Kafkers, and lo and behold, right next to them!That Mount Ararat.I could not stand the thought of it, and I began to take an interest in Armenia! I couldn't stand still and began to take interest in Armenia.

And while I was researching Armenia, Kazuro Mori, author ofThe Ark That Was Hijacked: The Drama Surrounding Mount Ararat."I came across a book called In this book, I found something surprising.

Mount Ararat is a holy place among holy places, known as the place where "Noah's Ark" drifted ashore in the "Old Testament.

But the story of "Noah's Ark" is actually a Sumerian myth of the Mesopotamian civilization that flourished around 3000 to 2600 BC.The Epic of Gilgamesh.The idea was inspired by the

The story of the Flood of Noah's Ark is well known to non-Christians, but we may think it is just a myth.

However, many Christians, especially Americans, seem to take it as historical fact. Since the Bible is a verbatim account of the words heard from God, it is impossible for a fictitious story to get mixed in there. No, Noah's Ark is still on the small scale, and more than half of Americans believe that the infinite universe itself is the creation of God. In 2003, a computer website that solicited votes from around the world conducted a survey asking whether the world was created by God or the Big Bang, and the percentage of Americans who favored creation by God was outstandingly high, at 58%.

Thus, if one believes that God created the world, it would be natural to assume that he is also capable of destroying it. It would not take much psychological resistance to read the Old Testament account of Noah and his family escaping into the ark and being saved, even though God sent a great flood that wiped out the human race.

Let us now look at how Noah's Ark and the Flood are described in the Bible.

In the sixth chapter of the Book of Genesis, we read: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was in the earth. - "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was in the earth, and that all the thoughts of his heart were evil all the time. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was troubled, and he said, 'Let the man that I have created be wiped from the earth.'"

He quietly told only Noah, an exceptionally good man among human beings, and gave him special advice: "I will soon bring a great flood that will destroy mankind, and you must build an ark and board it now with your family. Noah did as he was told, and the story of how he and his family survived the destruction of mankind is so well known that it is needless to dwell on it.

However, something happened out of the blue that even God could not have predicted. Because human beings ate the fruit of the tree of wisdom, which God had forbidden, they became overly wise, and by the nineteenth century, science had come to walk by itself, leaving God behind.

Various sciences developed in competition with each other.gullible (person),,Archaeology, which belonged to the category of "archaeology," was also added to the list. The techniques of excavating remains buried deep in the earth and revealing the writing on clay tablets and parchment found there were rapidly developing.

And finally, the time to come had arrived.

In 1872, George Smith, who worked at the British Museum in London and could read cuneiform inscriptions on clay tablets quite well, made a startling discovery while examining a clay tablet document from the royal archives of Nineveh, the ancient Assyrian capital. In the eleventh edition of what later became known as the "Epic of Gilgamesh," he found a text that closely resembled the biblical account of Noah's ark in every detail.

When Smith presented his findings to the Society for Biblical Archaeology, he understandably caused a sensation. Christians in the West, who had previously believed that the Bible was the written word of God, would have been astonished to learn that one of the Bible's most famous episodes was found in a seed book.

Torikagesha, Kazuro Mori, "The Ark That Was Taken Over: The Drama Surrounding Mount Ararat," p. 17-19.

The Bible was also written by borrowing various motifs from former religions." This is a very important point in considering what religion is in the first place.

In this book, we will look at the Bible and the "Epic of Gilgamesh" in detail. It is too much for this article, but it is very interesting.

The Epic of Gilgamesh" may seem difficult to read, but it is surprisingly easy to read. Moreover, it is a paperback-sized book that can be read easily. The storyline is dramatic, and one can only be surprised that such an excellent story was created 5,000 years ago.

This is one of the reasons I have become more interested in Mount Ararat.

Armenia, the oldest Christian country and a monastery where time seems to have stopped

And there is another major reason why I wanted to come to Armenia.

Armenia is said to be the oldest Christian country, having adopted Christianity as its state religion in 301 A.D. It adheres to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a unique Christian faith that is neither Catholic, Protestant nor Orthodox.

Furthermore, it is famous for the many monasteries that remain in various parts of the country, where time seems to have stopped.

This is the Mat-Savank Monastery, which is no longer in use, but you will see a strange church in Armenia that will make you feel as if you have entered another world.

Armenia still draws on the former Soviet era

I was particularly interested in these unique church buildings by Shiro ShinonoPilgrimage to Armenia: Twelve Lively Labyrinths.I have read several of Mr. Shiro Shinono's books, but this one was by far the most interesting. I had read several of Mr. Shiro Shinono's books before, but this book was by far the most interesting of them all.

And while reading this book, I was reminded that Armenia was once a communist country.

So far I have seen through various books what kind of hardships the former communist bloc has been going through since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The reality in the communist bloc countries at the end of the Soviet Union was disastrous.

Government organizations are corrupt and industry is in tatters. Not even everyday goods are available.

In such a situation, people thought that they would be free to prosper once they gained independence from the Soviet Union.

But the reality only got more dire...

And when it comes to the former communist bloc, Central and Eastern Europe is often mentioned. Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary are examples. These countries have shown rapid growth, even in the former communist bloc, and are now very prosperous tourist destinations.

Armenia, which is featured in this work, is a former communist country, just like those countries.

But even in the same former communist bloc, Armenia is by far the economic laggard when compared to countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.

The former communist blocs are all very different from each other.

Reading this book, I even thought that this is the country where the atmosphere typical of the former communist bloc remains the most. In this book, you will see the situation in Armenia as if time has stopped.

I would like to share with you here one of the most memorable passages in the work. This passage begins with the words of a local guide, whom the author calls the "writer" in this work.

In this country, more than 90 percent of the population is suffering from poverty, and there is no hope for the country. There is no hope for this country," the writer would always exclaim after the year 2005. The man who made it his daily routine to take a leisurely walk through the deserted streets of Yerevan early in the morning, loved the old, dirty, deserted streets, but loathed the glamorously prosperous redeveloped streets and the successful Armenians and their children who hung out there. Injustice was a matter of economics; corruption was a matter of the heart. The difference was indistinguishable to many successful people and their children.

Sairyusha, Shiro Shinono, "Pilgrimage to Armenia: 12 Lively Labyrinths," p. 199-200.

The "writer," who once had a positive outlook on life, eventually came to despair, saying, "There is no hope in this country. In another passage, the "writer" says, "My country is rotten. The author's life in Armenia and the writer's life in Armenia changed over the course of the author's 20-year relationship with the country.

As noted in the above passage, capital flowed into the capital city of Yerevan, and some people were economically enriched.

However, most of the church buildings studied by the author are located in remote areas that could be described as ruins. Most of Armenia has lost its liveliness and is sinking like a ruin...such an atmosphere is conveyed anyway in this book.

There is another passage that made a strong impression on me. It may be said that this passage is the most symbolic of the current situation in Armenia as perceived by the author. This part of the story takes place in Goris, a town near Nagorno-Karabakh, where the author stayed. It is a bit long, but it gives a good impression of the atmosphere of the book, so I would like to read it carefully.

It was a white RC building with about 10 floors, which was unusual for a local city. The first floor had a store, or perhaps a large single pane of glass filled the space between the pillars, but most of the glass was more than half gone. The upper floors were occupied by Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, and since the building was originally a hotel facility, there were basically no facilities other than sleeping quarters, so the white walls from the fourth floor up were completely covered with soot from preparing meals on the veranda.

The stairs and floors were somehow tilted, and as I walked, my body scraped against the walls, severely disturbing my sense of balance. Of course, each room had no toilet seat and no running water, but the bathrooms were lit by reddish lighting, as often seen in horror movies, and the bathtubs were filled with dirty water with floating debris. It was the kind of water you flush out with a ladle when you use the toilet. Strangely damp beds, as usual, were placed in hooks along the walls of the room.

The first thing to do was clear. The first thing to do was to block the exit of the rats by putting duct tape over the gaps in the walls, floor, and ceiling where they meet. Again, the light was so bright that I could not even read a book, but I remember being painfully moved to understand my connection to the world by the sticker of Misha the bear, the mascot of the Moscow Olympics, on the bulb's umbrella.

Around 10:30, a small table was gathered around and a dish of onions, potatoes, and bacon was placed on the table, probably in a pot, and each person ate silently with a spoon, without speaking. The writer, too, was indeed rotten from this disaster.

Karabakh is a favorite place. I remember the words of an architect who went to stay at his aunt's house in a flying house, perhaps in anticipation of this devastation, and who said to Ro after going through customs in Karabakh: "I don't like Karabakh. It was a strange war. Karabakh belonged to Armenia, most Armenians told Ro, but I seldom met an Armenian who said he liked Karabakh. Whether Azeri or Armenian, the reporters who covered the Karabakh conflict reported that they felt closer to the nearby different ethnic groups than to their own countrymen in Azerbaijan and Armenia.

In Yerevan, as in Goris, many refugees from Karabakh were living in hotels and abandoned apartments, causing no small amount of animosity among the Armenians living there. These feuds had nothing to do with our research, but when we returned to Armenia from Karabakh, we experienced the bitterness of the Karabakh conflict in Goris, even though we had seen rusted armored vehicles and tanks with blown-up turrets lying on the roadside and had no other impression than the scars of war. I ended up experiencing the grimness of the Karabakh conflict at the hotel. Throughout the meal, no one spoke a word. I poked potatoes from the pot and poured them in water, keeping the sound of the kettle boiling in my ears like noise in a hotel with a tilted floor. I felt the heavy breathing of the refugees living on the floors above me.

The institutional dilapidation and deficiencies were blinding, but nowhere else in the region was there the spirit-cramping heaviness of Gorris's hotel. At the Writers' Guild resort on Lake Severn, where I pitched in after Gorris, I suffered from electric shock and hypothermia, but the pain was limited to the physical body.

The power must be turned off in front of the shower building, and the water heater is leaking. The writer pointed to the water heater next to the shower and advised me to turn it off. I did as he told me, turned off the water heater, and took a shower, but while holding the metal handle of the shower, I felt pain in my hand, and for some reason I could not stop my body from convulsing as I bathed in the hot water.

In 2003, at the same facility, I first properly applied soap all over my body, including shampoo, so that I could take a quick shower no matter what happened, and when I tried to take a shower, the water heater itself was broken, and only water spurted out. The temperature was around 10 degrees Celsius. I crawled into the bed naked, my teeth clicking together, and shivering for an hour or so.

After that, I stayed in hotels in Turkey, Syria, and other countries of considerable level, but compared to that hotel in Goris, I felt that I could cope with the physical pain with my spirit, and I felt somehow forgiven.
*some line breaks.

Sairyusha, Shiro Shinono, Pilgrimage to Armenia: 12 Lively Labyrinths, p. 247-249.

The aging of the hotel and the episodes of the hotel being electrocuted are horrific, but we too will feel the gravity of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the author's words.

This is not a book about an easy-to-understand tourist destination. There is a dark atmosphere in the book that is distinctly different from that of Armenia as a fun and sparkling travel destination. This may be attributed in part to the author himself, but I think it is precisely the reality of the world and the people with whom he has come into contact that gives this impression.

In contrast, by G. PoghosyanTwenty-Five Stories Around Armenia."is the very counterpart of this book.

This book says: "Armenia is a nice place! Please come visit us!" It is a sparkling work of art that says "Armenia is a great place!

I could not help but be puzzled by the gap between Mr. Shiro Shinono's work and this one. To be honest, I am still puzzled. Which is true? No, I am sure that both are true. However, depending on one's point of view and the circumstances in which one is placed, there may be a completely different world out there.

Pilgrimage to Armenia: 12 Bustling Labyrinths" is the best work to understand the former communist bloc left behind after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Infrastructural conditions that would be impossible in Japan keep coming up. It was so otherworldly that I was quite shocked. I quoted the story of the hotel earlier, but there are many other surprises that keep coming up.

Of course, this book is also an excellent reference for learning about church architecture in Armenia. I was interested in the Christian culture of the region, so I really appreciated this book in that aspect as well.

So I set out to see Armenia from three points of view: Mount Ararat, church architecture, and its connection with the former Soviet Union.

Now it's time to go to Armenia!

Crossing the border by land is still a tense experience.

The line at immigration did not proceed at all, and I wondered if this was a part of the former Soviet Union. Well, the immigration line is not so smooth in Europe, no matter where you enter. Perhaps it was my preconceived notions that made me do so.

Driver and guide also changed at the Georgia-Armenia border. From here, we will travel through Armenia with another member of the group.

Now, we are entering Armenia. As soon as we started driving, we saw mountains, mountains, mountains. And then, there were ruins.

We passed through a few towns, but clearly the atmosphere was very old Soviet.

Dull brown, gray world. Very different from Georgia.

To the World Heritage Site Hafpad Monastery

Our first stop was a place called Hahpat Monastery.

The monastery stands alone on top of an unbelievable mountain. The monastery stands alone on top of an extraordinary mountain, winding its way up around sharp curves. The scenery reminded me of the pilgrimage in Shikoku.

I am now going to spend four days touring the monasteries, and if this happens, it will be a true pilgrimage. It makes me smile to think about it. After all, I do the same thing wherever I go.

Well, here we are at Hahpat Monastery.

As soon as you walk in, you are immediately surprised. What a feeling of ruin..!

It really seems as if time has stopped only here.

I heard that this monastery is still in use today, but I am sorry to say that I do not feel that kind of atmosphere.

There is an altar, candles standing, and chairs. But for the life of me, I can't feel that prayers are being offered here.

During the Soviet era, all monasteries were closed because religion was banned. But people still came to church, I wonder what the actual situation was like.

It was quite clear that Georgia still has a strong faith. There were many worshippers, and most impressive of all was the way the guide himself wore a scarf around his head when entering the church, and was always crossed out.

I felt a strong air of prayer or spirituality in the Georgian churches.

But what about Armenia? Yes, the massiveness of the columns and the majestic atmosphere of this space are wonderful. But what overwhelmingly prevails is the sense of ruin. Sad traces left behind by history.

It's just as I read in books about Armenia.

Here people used to pray..."

Is there a place where this word fits so well?

Of course, this is my preconceived notion and prejudice. This place still functions as a place of prayer. The problem is that I could not feel it. I have visited many religious sites around the world, but this feeling was new to me. Already at the first church I visited in Armenia, I was puzzled. I don't understand Armenia. This thought would haunt me for the rest of my life.

Once again, I feel that I have come to an extraordinary place. It's like a game.

I feel the emptiness of ruins in the town of Alaverdi, which flourished in the days of the former Soviet Union ...

On the way to the next destination, Sanahin Monastery, we passed through a town called Alaverdi. The town was once famous for its copper mines and prospered during the Soviet era.

But now that the Soviet Union has collapsed, these copper mines and factories are in ruins...

Ruins of the Soviet era. I had heard stories about them, but actually seeing them in person was beyond intense. It looked as if it would collapse at any moment. The whole area is a dull brown color. I felt as if I were looking at a black-and-white photograph. I am reminded, whether I like it or not, that this is the "end of the line. It makes me wonder how the people who live here survive.

Everywhere is Soviet-like. Very different from Georgia.

It was true that the Soviet air still lingered. I felt an irrepressible sense of "doldrums. It was a landscape that made me feel heavy...

Sanahin Monastery, another World Heritage Site in the area.

This monastery is also located in the mountains. It has a stately appearance with a blackish color.

Now, let's go inside it. The atmosphere is already there at the entrance stage.

I gasped the moment I entered this place. What an overwhelming sense of ruin...! It feels even more abandoned than the huffpad. The stones on the floor are crumbled and bumpy. If I didn't walk carefully, I would fall. The pillars, walls, and floors are all reminiscent of the distant past. Time has completely stopped. What in the world is going on in Armenia?

Of course there is an altar here as well. This is also a place of active prayer.

But for the life of me, I just can't get comfortable with the idea of modern people praying in this place where time seems to have stopped. I have never really felt so out of place. Finally, I am beginning to lose track of the country of Armenia.

I would like to conclude this article with a video of the interior of this church and the road trip.

The next article will introduce the Matusavank Monastery, which has an even more ruined appearance than these monasteries. To get there, we had to walk for about an hour through the mountains. It was a difficult journey, even now that I think back on it.

be unbroken

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