Singers In Armenia – An Impromptu Concert

Armenian Choir Singing in Geghard Monastery

Choir in Geghard Monastery Armenia

One of the reasons we love taking a road trip and self driving on vacation is that it gives us so much flexibility. When we drove up to the UNESCO Heritage Listed Geghard Monastery in Armenia we knew we had found someplace special. The monastery buildings and church are nestled up to the edge of a craggy cliff face that climbs out of a beautiful green valley. In fact, parts of the church were carved right out of the rock. As we parked the car and climbed up the path to the front gate, we noticed a few smiling-faced hawkers displaying their wares, mostly wood carvings, fresh baked bread, and homemade jam and fruit snacks. There was only one other car in the lot as well as a small tour bus.

We took our time at the entrance, talking with the friendly staff and admiring the stone carvings and paintings. Then we walked into the courtyard and marveled at the massive rock church. There were flowering trees and shrubs in the green spaces between the cliff face and the monastery grounds and colorful bee hive boxes placed in the garden. We were immediately sidetracked and went up to visit the gardens, but we noticed the one small tour group was clustered together listening to their guide on one side of the courtyard. When we saw a small group of ornately robed women walk across the courtyard we wondered about it but went right back to inspecting the gardens and bee boxes.

Finally we made our way into the lower chamber of the church and started exploring. Just as we stumbled into the inner, candlelit sanctuary we heard the most amazing harmony. It seemed to be emanating right from the rock walls. Even if you are not religious, I think you would have felt the presence of this otherworldly singing. The tour group was hushed now, so we plainly heard the guide exclaim, “right, that ends our time here at Geghard. We need to get back on the bus and move on to our next site.”

There were plenty of backward glances as they shuffled, reluctantly out of the church. It was clear that many of them wanted to stay and find the source of that amazing music. We, on the other hand, decided that finding that choir had to be our new priority. We had seen them go up the stairs and disappear through a small cave entrance so that’s where we went. Sure enough, this small choir group had made their way into a rock-hewn chamber in the heart of the church and was performing an impromptu concert. It was absolutely beautiful. Words can’t really do it justice, so here is the video I put together for your enjoyment.


Practical Information for Visiting Geghard Monastery

  • The site is located at the end of the Geghard road, about 40 kilometers from Yerevan
  • It is an easy drive, with only a few rough areas, however, our small rental car had no problems with it.
  • The monastery can be visited every day between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M.
  • Accommodations are few and far between once you leave Yerevan, it is far better to find a hotel there and take a day trip out to Geghard.
  • Find more information and check opening times before you go, at the official website.
  • Looking for a hotel? Why not check prices and categories right now? Click here…

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Armenia is fascinating and full of surprises, you won't believe what we discovered! Click here to see more.........Geghard | Monastery | Armenia | Choir |

20 Comments

  1. Wow – what hauntingly beautiful music in such a sacred place. Great video! My favorite part of travel is when you happen upon a place or experience like this.

  2. Corinne, this was just so beautifully and thoughtfully made. Words cannot express the feelings I felt watching and listening…truly wondrous.

  3. How lucky you were. The choir chanting is very ethereal. I always like taking my own transportation because you never know what may come up. Flexibility leads to opportunities. I too have come across impromptu concerts, recitals, and performances while travelling. Churches and monasteries seem to be the more popular places for these happenings.

  4. How stunningly beautiful. The minute I saw the headline, I was hoping for an audio or video on the post. I was not disappointed. Eerily beautiful. And aren’t you glad you weren’t one of the bus tourists, having to walk out just as this stunning beauty began!

    1. I did feel very sorry for them, and I really wasn’t exaggerating about that. They did walk out just as the first notes were starting, and they knew it too. It was very sad.

  5. It is these fortunate turn of events that really make travelling wonderful, the parts that make up for all the airport delay and cross-country bus journeys. Certainly, coming across a choir in such a beautiful setting must have been a really humbling experience and you did a fabulous job capturing it. Had genuine chills watching this!

  6. Such beautiful music! Finding things like then when we travel is such a highlight – both the monastery and the choir! And just goes to show how much more you can see when you self-drive!

    1. Vicki, You hit the nail on the head! That’s why we do it the way we do. And, the fact that we could stay the whole time where the tour had to leave, bonus!

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