Master Levon’s Underground Sanctuary




Present Day Ark

The underground museum-shrine is situated in one of the suburbs of Yerevan which will not leave any visitor indifferent. You must by all means visit village Arinj in the surroundings of Yerevan to see the Master Levon’s underground sanctuary. In Arinj everyone knows Levon Ararkelyan and you can easily find his house from the gate of which starts the tour to the miraculous subterranean cave. The entrance of the house made of colorful stones resembles the gates of a castle inside of which you are to have a unique experience.
The first things you will see in the yard are the two figures painted on the wall of the house. Master Levon portrayed himself on the wall with a hummer and a chisel in hands and his wife with a potato in hand. Then a big iron door leads to the cave full of miracles. Entering the cave you start going downstairs by staircases made of soft clay. Soon you appear in the underground world of 21 meters depth. After descending all 80 stairs you find yourself in a round hall, in a pavilion decorated with candles. It is the oratory. Each person should enter here individually and making a wish they should light a candle. As the master used to say a candle lit here by all means serves to its purpose and the wishes come true.
It took more than two decades to Master Levon to build this cave–shrine. He has been working hard for 20 long and intense years chiseling subterranean halls, rooms and passages. This cave is often compared with the Noah’s Ark and considered to be the second ark which is to save people not from flood but from fire.
All these tremendous works were begun on a very usual day when Levon’s wife asked him to build a cellar to keep potatoes there. And so Levon began to dig near one of the rooms in order to build a small storage. While digging under the room his spade touched a huge piece of stone and the master began chiseling it. He could not stop digging after that because every night he saw a dream in which a voice was continually telling him to dig and to dig…
And here is how this story ends. You see to what led the simple desire to have a small cellar. It seems incredible that this huge subterranean structure is the work of a single man’s hand. He has erected this miraculous cave alone using the simplest tools: the hummer and a chisel. It is interesting that he always used to ask his guests to bring him new tools as the old ones were worn out. This is how the Master Levon’s underground sanctuary was created, the doors of which are always open to welcome guests and visitors.

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