Bryce, James, Viscount / Transcaucasia and Ararat, being notes of a vaction tour in the autumn of 1876, by James Bryce
Chapter VIII: Etchmiadzin and the Armenian people, pp. -345
CHAPTER VIII ETCHMIADZIN AND THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE A'FTER returning to Erivan from Ararat, we made a hurried expedition to the famous monastery of Etch- miadzin, which claims to be the oldest monastic foundation in the world, and has for many centuries been the seat of the Armenian Patriarch or Katho- likos, the spiritual head of all true Armenians, in what- soever empire, Russian, Turkish, Persian, Austrian, or British, they may dwell. It is distant about thirteen miles, some two hours' driving, from Erivan, and the journey gave us our first experience of that wonderful vehicle the Russian telega. Our faithful tarantass had suffered from the roads to Aralykh, and been obliged to go into hospital, so at the post- house they produced to us this contrivance-a cart, or shallow lidless box, about six feet long by four wide, set upon wheels with no pretence of springs or any- thing in the nature of springs. A little hay was thrown in, among which we were told to squat. We put in a travelling-bag, but soon found it impossible to sit upon that, or on the sides of the box itself, for the jolting knocked one about like a pea on a hot iron.
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