The Zarni-Parni complex is located in the vicinity of the Haghpat temple in the Lori Province of Armenia. Locals call this place “Old Fortress”. According to archaeologists and historians, the monuments in the complex date back to the 10th century.
In antiquity, these structures have initially served as a fortress – more precisely, they have served as fortress structures during the Tatar-Mongol invasion and during the Persian and Turkish raids.
Until 2013, there have been numerous legends and myths about this miracle of Armenian history since the location of the complex has been very little studied by archaeologists or historians. There are only a few mentions about them in folk legends and the Armenian annals of different eras.
In 2013, Ruben Mesrobyan (later the organizer of excavations and restoration works at the site), skeptical of mysticism, saw a vision where an old monk insistently demanded that he restore the former glory of these places. Mesrobyan, purely out of curiosity, explored the area together with friends.
Overgrown with thickets, this area was difficult to traverse, and the cave complex itself was filled with centuries-old mud and natural deposits. Incredible willpower, enormous patience, and the hard work of highly qualified specialists were necessary to restore this pearl of Armenian architecture and history.
In the territory of the complex, the domed source “Drop spring” was found whose water after careful analysis turned out to be chemically pure water. A popular rumor says that many diseases were treated with this water.
The mysticism that defies any scientific analysis would not end there.
Thanks to the joint work of Mesrobyan and specialists, it was established that 11th-century scientist-monk Hovhannes Imastaser Sarkavag lived and worked on the territory of Zarni-Parni. He was a major medieval Armenian scientist, a follower of the traditions of Aristotelianism, and an outstanding thinker of his time who left behind many scientific works in various fields of knowledge – history, mathematics, cosmography, calendar theory, philosophy, and fiction.
Hovhannes has also translated the works of ancient and medieval authors such as Philo of Alexandria, Dionysius the Areopagite, Gregory of Nyssa, Aristotle, Porphyry, and Euclid.
13th-century Armenian historian Kirakos Gandzaketsi described Hovhannes Sarkavag as follows: “He was the most educated, surpassing many with his knowledge. He was knowledgeable about everything and endowed with wisdom. Hovhannes from Haghpat, nicknamed Sarkavag, studied and wrote many books and left a good memory of himself. In addition, he compiled a stable and motionless Armenian calendar to replace the moving and unstable one and also coordinated the calendar of all nations with the calendar of Armenians…”
Some will doubt and smile, while others will call this PR. However, it was faith that inspired many highly professional fellows of Mesrobyan with all their heart to support him in his endeavors and achieve fantastic success.
For a complete understanding of this mysticism, you must visit these places, and your doubts will go into oblivion.
Humanity has lost one of the main skills of our ancestors – namely, the ability to listen to the subconscious, the ability to understand the basics of the human gene. In the meantime, the truth is that many residents of the country along with tourists and guests of Armenia who visited this divine complex where Love & Faith, Life & Hope, Courage & Wisdom, Family & Nation had been combined centuries ago felt these indescribable mystical sensations.
This complex has become a place of pilgrimage for many. Many families come here to spend their day, enjoy the gifts of nature in a cozy ecological restaurant, cleanse their soul and body, get a charge of indescribable energy, enjoy fantastic landscapes, and smile… Yes, indeed – smile, for there is no happiness without memory, no future without the past, and no soul without faith!
“A painting created by an artist is not able to reproduce a living creature in motion, for every painting is only approximate – it contains fiction and some perjury.”