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From here you can enjoy the view of the majestic Mount Ararat which is not far from the Araks River. In Armenian territory Khor Virap is the closest place to Mount Ararat, the most suitable place to observe or take pictures of the biblical mountain. The monastery is very rich not only in history but also in religion. Khor Virap was built in Artashat during the reign of the Arshakids. At that time the hill served as a prison for convicts. In the 4th century Artashat was ruined by Persian invaders. The importance of the monastery is linked to the founder of Christianity in Armenia - Gregory the Illuminator. Legend has it that the pagan king Tiridates III kept St. Gregory the Illuminator, guilty of professing and spreading Christianity, imprisoned for 12 years in a well (khor virap means "deep well") where some Christian women secretly brought him food. S. Gregory the Illuminator was freed from prison, by order of the sister of King Khosrovidukht, so that he could cure the king of lycanthropy, a disease into which he had fallen as a result of the refusal of the Christian virgin Hripsime to marry him. The king's sister had received a vision that ordered her to free Gregory.