In 5th century Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi mentioned the Khosrov Reserve which was founded by King Khosrov III of the Kingdom of Armenia, whom the reserve is named after. Nature of the reserve has remained untouched for 17 centuries.
The reserve has an area of 29196 hectares of which 9000 hectares are forested. The flora consists of 1849 species, which are the majority of Armenia’s vegetation. Vertebrate fauna numbers 283 species. Invertebrate fauna found at the reserve are over 1500 species including 1427 species of insect, 62 species of mollusks and 3 species of scorpions.
The representation of insects at the reserve are from the orders of the: Odonata, Mantoptera, Phasmoptera, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera. 70 % of reserve’s wildlife is included in IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.
The landscape of the reserve is very diverse. It has deserts and semi-deserts, mountain steppes, woodlands, and alpine to subalpine meadows. Slope exposure, declivity and climate play an important role in determining the structure of habitats.
True and sparse forests occupy 16 % of the reserve, open grasslands 20 % of the reserve, and rock-dwelling xerophylous communities cover 64 % of the reserve.
Ruins of Aghjots Vank, a 13th century monastery situated along a tributary of the Azat River Valley and located 7 km south of medieval monastery Geghard, can be found in the reserve.
Monastery’s architecture bears traces of rich carving and is notable for its khachkars. Almost every structure, every stone of the monastery is covered with reliefs. The architecture of the monastery is the precursor of 13th-14th centuries’ Armenian architectural style.
The chapel Poghos-Petros (names of Apostles Paul and Peter in Armenian respectively) adjoins the northern wall of the church. It was built in 1270 under Vasak Khaghbakyan.
The monastery is the only place in the world which has reliefs portraying Apostles Paul and Peter in full height, which can be seen on both sides of the chapel’s portal. Images of Apostles are put slightly above the ground as if levitating. Unconstrained postures of Apostles attach peculiar majesty to the images, amazing by its simplicity and harmony.
Armenia Khosrov Reserve
Armenia, Khosrov Forest 1
Armenia, Khosrov Forest 2