Odzun Travel Guide

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The funerary monument

The funerary monument

qmetawz

Odzun (Օձուն) is a village at a dissected plateau above the Debed gorge, just above Alaverdi. On the contrary with Sanahin and Haghpat it is located at the left "bank" of the gorge.

While tourist masses visiting the two monasteries mainly ignore it, its 8th century (laid on foundations of 6th century church) basilica (one of the finest in Armenia) is well worth a visit.

It was built as a tribute of the Supreme Katholikos Hovhannes Odzunetsi (John of Odzun) who was born in the village.

The southern side has still preserved arcaded cloister and the wesetrn side has a blind wall with an entrance. Just north of the church There is an unusual funerary monument one of only two existing in Armenia; the other one is located in southern Armenian village Aghudi.

To visit the church there is no entry fe as such except buying and lighting some candles. If it's locked the caretaker might just be cutting the grass around the church (not a simple task due to many clergy gravestones) or (if you're unlocky) be absent for a good reason.

If you don't have your own transport, you'll have negotiate with a local to drive you or take a walk (taking shortcuts can be a quite pleasant "mountaineering" trip when it's not too hot). From the bus station go south (the main road towards Vanadzor) soon at the southern part of the town (very close to rail tracks) turn right and go uphill until you reach the village after a couple of curves.

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odzun

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April 22, 2005 change by qmetawz

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