Ararat is a province (marz) of Armenia. Its capital and largest city is the town of Artashat.
The province is named after the biblical Mount Ararat. It is bordered by Turkey from the west and Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic from the south. It surrounds the Karki exclave of Nakhichevan which has been controlled by Armenia since its capture in May 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Domestically, Ararat is bordered by Armavir Province from the northwest, Kotayk Province from the north, Gegharkunik Province from the east, Vayots Dzor Province from the southeast and the city of Yerevan from the north.
Two former capitals of Armenia are located in the modern-day Ararat Province, Artaxata and Dvin. It is also home to the Khor Virap monastery, significant as the place of Gregory the Illuminator's 13-year imprisonment and the closest point to Mount Ararat within Armenian borders.
Khosrov Forest State Reserve is also known as the Khosrov Forest, the Khosrov Reserve and the Khosrov Forest State Reserve. The Khosrov State Reserve is one of the oldest protected areas in the world.
The reserve is located in the Ararat Province in south-western Armenia, to the south-east of the capital of Armenia, Yerevan covering the branches of the Geghama Ridge. It is a noted area in the Caucasus region for unique European and Asian flora and fauna; is 29,196 hectares which 9,000 hectares are forested and is located at an altitude of 1600-2300m above sea level. The reserve comprises four districts: Garni to the north; Kakavaberd to the north-east; Khosrov is the centre part and Khachadzor to the east and covers the area of 238.78km2.
Khor Virap (meaning "deep dungeon") is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of Artashat, Ararat Province, within the territory of ancient Artaxata. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos.
Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for 14 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation. A chapel was initially built in 642 at the site of Khor Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Now, regular church services are held in this church. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.