Mount Ararat is not the highest in the world, but it is considered to be part of the biblical history, so every Christian has heard about this place as the refuge of a man after the great flood. Today almost everyone can climb one of the summits of the volcano, but to conquer the glaciers will require special training and experienced accompanying. The rest of the area is almost uninhabited, although it is fertile and picturesque.
Geographical features of Mount Ararat
Many have heard about the mountain, but not everyone knows where the stratovolcano is located. Due to the fact that in Yerevan they consider it the main symbol of the country, many think that it is located on Armenian territory. In fact, Ararat is part of Turkey, its coordinates are: 39 ° 42′09 ″. w., 44 ° 18′01 ″ c. According to this data, you can look at the view from the satellite, taking photos of the famous volcano.
The shape of the volcano has two spliced cone (Large and Small), slightly differing in their parameters. The distance between the centers of the craters is 11 km. The height above sea level of the greater summit is 5165 m, and the lesser is 3896 m. Basalt is the base of the mountains, although almost the entire surface is covered with frozen volcanic lava and the peaks are chained into glaciers. Despite the fact that the mountain range consists of 30 glaciers, Ararat is one of the few mountain ranges on whose territory no river takes off.
The history of stratovolcano eruptions
According to scientists, the activity of the volcano began to manifest itself in the third millennium BC. The evidence of this is the remains of human bodies found during the excavations, as well as household items dating back to the Bronze Age.
From the moment of the new countdown the strongest eruption happened in July 1840. The explosion was accompanied by an earthquake, which ultimately caused the destruction of the village, located on Mount Ararat, as well as the monastery of St. Jacob.
Geopolitics in the mountain
Due to its religious significance, Mount Ararat has always been an element of the claims of several states located in its vicinity. For this reason, there are often questions about who owns this territory and in which country it is better to take a vacation in order to climb to the top.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the border between Persia and the Ottoman Empire passed right through the famous volcano, and most of the battles were associated with the desire to seize a religious sanctuary. In 1828, the situation changed after the signing of the Turkmanchai Treaty. According to its conditions, Big Ararat from the north side passed into the possession of the Russian Empire, and the rest of the volcano was divided between three countries. For Nicholas I, possession of the apex was of great political importance, since it aroused respect from longtime opponents.
In 1921, a new friendly treaty appeared under which Russian territory was ceded to Turkey. Ten years later, the agreement with Persia came into force. According to him, Small Ararat, along with the eastern slope, became a Turkish possession. For this reason, if you wish to conquer the maximum height, you will have to get permission from the Turkish authorities.
The usual overview of the natural sights can be made from any country, because it doesn’t matter at all from Turkey or from Armenia to take photos of the volcano, because both of them have stunning views. It is not for nothing that in Armenia there is still talk about whose mountain and what Ararat should pass into its possession, because it is the main symbol of the state.
Ararat in the Bible
The mountain has received the big popularity because of a mention in the Bible. In the Christian scripture it is said that the ark of Noah landed on the lands of Ararat. There is no reliable data, of course, but when studying the description of the terrain there was an opinion that it was about this volcano, which the Europeans later called Ararat. When translating the Bible from Armenian, another name appears – Masis. In part, this was the reason for the assignment of a new name, adopted by other nationalities.
In the Christian religion, too, there are legends about St. Jacob, who was thinking about how to reach the top to worship the holy relic, and even made several attempts, but all of them were unsuccessful. When climbing, he constantly fell asleep and woke up at the foot. In one of the dreams, an angel turned to Yakov, who said that the summit was inviolable, so no longer need to climb up, but for the desire of the saint a gift will be presented – a particle of the ark.
Legends of the volcano
Because of its location close to several countries, Mount Ararat is part of the myths and legends of various nations. Some believed that the melted ice, extracted from the top, would help to cause the miracle bird the tetagush, which copes with invasions of locusts. True, no one dared to get to the glaciers, as the volcano was always considered a holy place, the top of which was forbidden.
In Armenia, the volcano is often associated with the habitat of snakes and inspired stone sculptures. In addition, various stories are being told that terrible creatures are sharpened inside the cones, capable of destroying the world if Ararat stops hiding them from humanity. No wonder there are various pictures of the mountain and its inhabitants, often the symbol is found in art and in monetary units and coats of arms.
The mastering of the mountain by man
The rise of Big Ararat began in 1829, when this territory was transferred to the Russian possessions. The expedition was attended by several people, including Armenians, who could not even imagine that it was possible to climb from the foot to the top. No one knows exactly how many meters did not manage to reach the maximum mark during the first ascent, since most people were afraid to admit that the peak is actually attainable for a person. This secret of the mountain was maintained for dozens of years, because almost all the residents of Armenia were sure that only Noah was on the summit.
After the beginning of the conquest of Ararat, such brave ones appeared who decided to challenge the slopes alone. The first unaccompanied rose James Bryce, later his feat was repeated more than once. Now anyone can walk on the slopes of the volcano and even climb to the top.