Amaras Monastery

Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan

Founded by St Gregory the Illuminator and completed by his grandson, Bishop Grigoris, the Amaras Monastery dates from the 5th century. It's a hugely important place for Armenian culture, as at the same time the creator of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots founded a school to spread the written form of the language here. The current structure is a modest church surrounded by monastic cells, and the complex is enclosed by impressive walls you can wander around.