Ararat – the sacred mountain
According to topschoolsintheusa, the Ararat stands in the far east of Turkey, in the border area with Armenia and Iran. The dormant volcano is a mountain with a high symbolic power and is considered “holy” by the Armenians. From their capital, Yerevan, the summit of the 5,165 m high mountain is clearly visible on a clear day. According to the biblical story, Noah’s ark is said to have stranded on Mount Ararat or in its vicinity after the flood.
As the highest point in Turkey and on the Eastern Anatolian highlands, the volcano is also known as Great Ararat to distinguish it from the neighboring small Ararat (3,896 m).
Study trips and mountain tours to Ararat
Eastern Anatolia is a remote but interesting travel area for individualists and active people. The outer east of Turkey is off the beaten track and offers little comfort to travelers. But the great landscape around the Ararat makes up for all the effort.
Travel specialists offer study trips, hiking and ski mountaineering tours to Ararat. Since the first ascent in 1829, the volcano has been a popular destination for mountaineers. In the short open season, so-called short trekking trips to the mountain or to the region are organized. They are often combined with visits to a bazaar or the famous Ishak Pasha Palace.
For experienced mountaineers and skiers, climbing the Ararat summit with overnight stays in two base camps and a more than 2200 m long descent from the mountain slope is a special experience. Other ski tours lead to the neighboring mountains of the highlands.
Study travelers who visit the historical sights of Eastern Anatolia and Armenia can usually experience the surroundings of Ararat on an excursion as part of the tour’s program. The barren steppe landscape is particularly fascinating
A city trip to Istanbul offers the opportunity to delve deeply into history: Many a visitor, who strolls through the alleys of the old town, thinks that the city was formerly called “Constantinople” and was the capital of the Byzantine Empire. In the European part of Istanbul, more precisely: in the Fatih district, there is one of the most beautiful buildings from the Byzantine period, namely the Chora Church, which is now open to the public as the Kariye Museum (“Kariye Müzesi”). This church is definitely worth a visit!
A look into the history of the Chora Church
The Chora Church was built in the Middle Ages – between 527 and 575. The present church was built on the foundations of this building in the 12th century and was restored in the 14th century and decorated with wonderful mosaics and frescoes. After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottomans turned the Chora church into a mosque. In 1948 this long-forgotten treasure of art history was turned into a museum. The Chora Church is now even recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Tour of the church
As befits an Orthodox church, the Chora church has several domes and side chapels. Ornate mosaics are colorful – in the style of the Byzantine Renaissance – depict biblical figures and stories. Christ as ruler of the world, Mary and the apostles Peter and Paul can be seen. Various episodes of the Christmas story are nicely illustrated, for example the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The domes and walls of the church were beautifully painted, also with biblical motifs: the viewer encounters Christ, John the Baptist, David, Solomon, Adam and Eve, with Christ occupying the most prominent place in the middle of the highest dome.
Museum opening times
The Kariye Museum is open all year round, every day except Wednesdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in summer and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in winter.
The Chora Church is an extremely popular attraction in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul. The former important Byzantine church, which is located on a small hill on the edge of the Edirnekapi district, is now a popular museum. One of the most important Byzantine sacred cycles in the world, which is still well preserved, can be admired here. The elaborately designed mosaic depicts the famous salvation story of Jesus and the life of Mother Mary. The church was built in the 4th century at the behest of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. The four-pillar church was only brought into its current state by the Ottomans as part of an extensive redesign at the beginning of the 14th century. In the spacious interior of the museum, which is visited annually by several thousand tourists from all over the world and countless locals, in addition to the various valuable frescoes, among other things, four elaborately designed graves can be found in the chapel. The church consists of a side chapel and a two-story gallery. The spacious central nave is mainly characterized by a large dome. Numerous old Ottoman wooden houses can be found in the vicinity of the Chora church. Another large grave is located in the cozy garden of the former church. Entrance to the Chora Church costs 6.40 euros.