Weekend Trip to Sevan Lake and Sevanavank Monastery



This weekend, Persian summer school, ASPIRANTUM, arranged a trip to Sevan area in central Armenia, allowing me to get acquainted with this popular touristic destination. First, the program took us to a medieval monastery called Sevanavank near Sevan Lake with an aim to introduce us to the history of the area. The monastery was founded in 874 by Princess Mariam, the daughter of Ashot I from one of the prominent Armenian dynasty, Bagratunids, in Medieval Armenia. Although the monastery has managed to survive until now, the Sevan area was a major area of military conflict between the medieval Armenian kingdoms and various factions such as the Timurids, Seljuks and the Abbasids. After all, despite the end of the Armenian rule in the region in the later periods, relatively peaceful rule of the new state organisations seems to allow the flourishing of the Christian monasteries in the region. Today, save its outer walls, the monastery is still welcoming people from different religious backgrounds.

After visiting the monastery, we start heading to one of the beaches near the lake. The beach that we decided to head had a quite traditional restaurant where I could find an opportunity to deepen my knowledge about the Armenian cuisine. At the restaurant, I ordered a kind of fish called Sevan trout without knowing that it is an endemic fish species of Sevan Lake. Later, out of my curiosity about the seafood, I began investigating it. I am told by the owner of the restaurant that, it is a salmonid fish related to brown trout. Further, I learnt that this endemic fish is one of the most popular seafood in Armenia besides the other species such as goldfish and common whitefish.

Currently, Lake Sevan provides more than eighty per cent of the fish catch of Armenia. Besides the historical and economic significance of the region, it also houses plenty of endemic species such as the Armenian gull.

I am planning to go to a city called Gyumri next week, hoping to write about this second biggest city of Armenia in my fourth blog entry.