Urts and Tap Fortress Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,154' 352 m
Descent: -1,157' -353 m
High: 4,651' 1,417 m
Low: 3,820' 1,164 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)
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“A run to two interesting medieval fortresses that stand side by side by the Khosrov River in the region.”— State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia
Another way to get to the run is to take a bus from Yerevan’s Sasuntsi David Bus Station to Vedi town (500 AMD); from there, you'll then need to take a taxi to the starting point of the run (3,000-3,500 AMD). All-in-all the cost will be about 3,500-4,000 AMD. The best time of year to visit is April to November.
The Tap—or Gevorg Marzpetuni—Fortress, was built in the first quarter of the 10th century. It has a classic quadrangular shape, but is of great architectural and fortress-building value. There are dwellings and vaulted constructions (built between the 10th-13th centuries) adjacent to the southern and eastern walls of the fortress.
Inside the fortress, there is a 13th century church - resembling a vaulted hall, built of white felsite. The name, Tap, is mentioned in the epigraph that was carved on the northern wall of the church in 1,256. There are several fragments of khachkars (cross stones) in the territory of the fortress. The monastery-chapel of Tap is recorded in history as a script center, since 1,496, where Barsegh, a writer, scripted the Psalm-book. The Tap fortress and the church were reconstructed between 2,008-2,009.
Once you are done exploring the area, continue along the trail which descends gradually to the east, crossing one dirt road before ending at another. Head south (right) on this second road to reach the trail that climbs up the hillside to a rocky promontory. Here, you'll leave the road and start climbing, gradually at first but then more steeply until you come to the top of the rocky promontory. Enjoy the scenery before heading back down.
The route then follows a wide dirt road to bring you back to your starting point.
Fauna: The province of Ararat is rich in fauna, due to the Khosrov Reserve which is located in the area. Species such as roe deer, Caucasian bears, wild boars, hares, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, jackals, field mice, lynx, martens, dormice, and squirrels are typical to this area. There’s also a great variety of birds, reptiles, and insects in the forests.
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