Mount Ararat is famous not for its height, but for its mention in the Old Testament as a significant part of the history of ancient humanity. Several thousand years ago it became a haven for Noah’s ark after the Great Flood.
Today, Mount Ararat is of interest to explorers, tourists and climbers around the world. The area around the mountain is not inhabited by people, although the soil there is fertile and the terrain is very picturesque.
The Geography of Ararat
Mount Ararat is located in Turkey, although Armenia, which considers it its state symbol, is convinced that the mountain is on Armenian soil. This is a mistake, but Yerevan does not admit it.
There is a Large and Small Ararat with separate craters, the straight line distance between the craters is about 11 km. The Great Peak of Ararat is 5,165 m high, while the Lesser Peak is 3,896 m high. The mountain stands on a basalt base covered with volcanic lava.
There are three dozen glaciers in the entire mountain range, although Ararat is known for the fact that there are no sources of rivers or lakes on its territory. These glaciers are difficult for climbers to traverse.
History of Mount Ararat eruptions
According to archaeologists, the Greater Ararat Volcano has been active since the Bronze Age (3,000 BC). During the excavations were found human remains, ancient utensils, furniture, etc.
The last great eruption of the Great Ararat on the territory of Armenia took place in the 1940s of the 19th century. It resulted in the destruction of a small Armenian village on the mountainside and a monastery for men.
Ararat and Geopolitics
This mountain is of great cultic value to Jews and Christians, and for centuries has been the subject of claims by various countries in the vicinity. Therefore, the question often arises: in what country is Ararat?
The question has not only a historical or political interest, but also a purely practical one. What country should mountaineers or climbers go to in order to conquer this mountain?
From the 16th to the 18th century, the mountain was the border between Persia and the Ottoman Empire. Most of the wars between these states have been over the desire to possess this religious value. Then Russia entered the war with Turkey and Persia.
In the 19th century, Russia, Ottoman Turkey and Persia signed the famous Treaty of Turkmenchay, according to which the northern part of the Great Ararat became the property of our country. The rest of the mountain was shared by three.
After the revolution, in the 1920s another treaty was concluded by agreement between the parties, under which Soviet Russia gave the northern slopes of Ararat to Turkey. In the early 1930s, the Small Ararat passed into the possession of Turkey.
Mount Ararat on the geopolitical map
Even today Armenia is convinced that the mountain should belong exclusively to it, because it is the sole property of Armenia. is a symbol of the nation and statehood. But today, in order to conquer it, you need permission from the Turkish authorities.
Scripture tells us that Noah’s ark arrived at the land of Ararat. There is no indisputable proof, but believers and Christian theologians are convinced that this mountain is involved. She later acquired her present name.
According to the Old Testament, this patriarch came here on Noah’s ark with his family, as well as the animals, which he took “to every creature a pair,” to wait out the Flood. He later became the ancestor of all mankind.
The Armenians call the mountain Masis, a name also used by some of the peoples who live near the mountain. For them it is a sacred place, about which there are many legends, myths and legends.
The legends of Ararat
There is a legend about St. Jacob, who repeatedly tried to climb to the top of this sacred mountain, but always fell asleep halfway up the mountain, and upon awakening found himself at the foot of Ararat.
One day an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him that it was forbidden by God for a mortal to ascend to the top. But Jacob’s desire to approach the holy place was rewarded: the angel gave him a piece of Noah’s ark.
A number of people living near the mountain believe that if you climb to the top of Ararat, collect the ice and melt it, then the magic bird Tetagush will come and help to destroy hordes of locusts.
But to this day none of the believers never dared to go up to the mountain glaciers near the volcano, because. They are considered sacrilegious and should not be touched by ordinary people in order to avoid God’s punishment.
Armenia is convinced that on top of Ararat live sacred snakes and living stone idols, and inside the mouths of volcanoes walled beings capable of destroying the planet. The mountain holds hell to save humanity. If people do not live a righteous life, Ararat will release these creatures and the end of the world will come.
The image of wild creatures inside the mountain is often found in legends, as well as in various ancient depictions, including. on the slopes of this mountain.
Mount Ararat and its human development
Despite myths and legends, various expeditions began to climb to the summit of the Great Ararat in the 1930s, since its northern slope became part of the Russian Empire.
Russians and Armenians participated in these expeditions. The latter had no idea that a man could climb to the top and God would not punish him for it. Interestingly, on the first ascent it was not possible to reach the top a few meters.
Many were afraid to admit to themselves that they could reach the place where the righteous Noah walked, and the mountain could be overcome by an ordinary man. Therefore, the Armenians kept their expeditions with the Russians secret and broke the tradition of not climbing the sacred mountain.
Later, in the 20th century, such hikes became the norm, and the conquest of Ararat became commonplace. There were climbers who walked up the slopes on their own, alone, without fear of danger or the “wrath” of the mountain.
The first such ascent was made by the famous British statesman James Bryce, especially revered in Armenia. He is famous for being one of the first to recognize the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.
Today the conquest of Ararat has become a tourist business. Amateurs with some training and equipment can do it in a group or with an instructor, the mountain has easy slopes. And only a professional mountaineer can pass the glaciers.