Armenia’s Ministry of Culture has announced plans to rent out four caves and one group of caves with a view of developing tourism.
The Ministry has announced a competition and is seeking contenders to rent the caves for five years with a possibility of 20-year extention.
The competition is open to all, including foreign legal entities and businessmen. Bidders can apply for renting one or all of the following five caves:
Magelan’s Cave is one of the largest caves in Armenia and is situated in Gnishik community of Vayots Dzor Province, 105 km south of Yerevan. The cave has a unique underground eco-system, rich biodiversity, many layers of paleontological and archeological artifacts. It is a unique shelter for bat species included in the Red Book of Animals of the Republic of Armenia and the Red List of The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Trchuneri (Birds’) Cave is situated in Areni, Vayots Dzor Province, 105 km away from Yerevan. Based on the results of radiocarbon examination, samples taken from these layers are traced back to late 5th- early 4th millennia BC. A more recent excavation uncovered evidence of wine production from the Chalcolithic period, which is one of the earliest known sites for wine fermentation in the world (4th millennium BC). The earliest known footwear (6000 years old) has also been found here.
Archi or Bear’s Cave is located in Arpi, Vayots Dzor Province, 123 km south of Yerevan. It is the biggest cave in Armenia and is the main shelter for Rhinolophus Euryale, which is inscribed in the Red Book of Animals of the Republic of Armenia.
The Cave of Mozrov is located in Vayots Dzor province in Arpi community, 126 km south of Yerevan. Lots of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and crystals come out from top and bottom in its extensive chambers. From time to time the cave becomes a shelter for the Rhinolophus euryale and Myotis mystacinus.
Stone doors cave is located in Aghdzk in Aragatsotn Province, 33 km away from Yerevan. With its unique and stable microclimate the cave was perfect for food storage.
All five caves have been granted the status of immovable monument of history and culture.
Detailed information on the terms of the competition is available on the website of the Ministry of Culture.
The deadline for submitting applications is May 12, 2017.