Walking through Goris is reminiscent of stepping through time as Soviet relics and medieval remnants still play part in everyday life. The abandoned cave city and the modern city below creates a unique atmosphere.
This ancient outpost also stands as the eastern most point of Christianity. Eastwards, the landscape vastly changes. A visit to Goris spurs your imagination as several eras in history stands before your eyes. Soviet vibes prevail with the vehicles and buildings still in use, medieval memories from the churches and stone houses are still in use, and the period of cave-dwelling is still in evidence and even used for cattle. Goris is a unique blend of styles and history in a region known for its diverse history and unsettling wars.
Goris’ history stretches all the way back to the Iron Age, but it’s first official mention was by the Urartians in the 8th century B.C. when referring to the area as Goristsa, one of their conquered towns. It was the Middle Ages; beginning 1,500 years ago, that saw the land of volcanic rocks become rock-hewn homes, with churches constructed for their Christian faith. At the crossroads of trading routes from larger cities in northern Armenia and into Persia surely helped grow the outpost. It must have been a wonder to experience this area full of cave dwellings and unique geologic formations. Walking around Goris today brings a similar feeling, and one can’t help to explore on foot to uncover what remains from the distant past.
THE SILK ROAD JOURNAL
How We Got Here
Goris is the second largest city in the southern province of Syunik and connected by busses from the capital, Yerevan.
Wandering the streets of old Goris with children following us and simple farm life observed.
Wandering above town and imagining life among the caves. Hundreds dot the landscape, some still in use for cattle.
S N A P S H O T S O N T H E R O A D
W H E R E W I L L Y O U R J O U R N E Y T A K E Y O U N E X T ?
Goris was a welcome change of pace with its unique cave dwellings and hospitable people, but some of the most difficult legs of the ancient routes awaits.
A crucial decision awaits - will you take the direct, yet perhaps most treacherous route through Central Asia and the Pamir Mountains, or will you cross endless deserts to some of the most spectacular cities on the Silk Roads, starting in Bukhara?