Put away your smart phone – or iPad – and admire the printed word in the ancient manuscripts housed in the Matenadaran, which means "repository of manuscripts". Located in Yerevan, Armenia, it holds one of the world's richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books, which span a broad range of subjects, including literature, history, medicine, philosophy, art history and even cosmology. Walk up the steps past the huge statue of Mesrop Mashtots – the scholar who compiled the Armenian alphabet – and enter the main temple through massive copper doors to an entrance hall decorated with an impressive mosaic and fresco depicting important events in Armenia history. The collections found within the Matenadaran are all significant, but of special accord is its collection of over 17,000 illuminated manuscripts, the largest collection in the world. Each one painted by hand, it is hard to image how much time went to create these works of art. Leave technology behind and while away a few hours to truly appreciate these treasures left by ancient scribes.
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- Location: Yerevan, Armenia