Village of Karnut lies 11 km east of Gyumri. It’s a small farming community in the foothill of the St. Minas peak suitable for short excursions and half day hikes. A partially preserved basilica (4th-5th c.), erected on the foundations of a pagan temple, is located in the NE part of the village next to an ancient graveyard. Its southern chapel has a small recessed apse in its western wall, a unique case in Armenia which orients altars to the East. It is believed that this remote church either participated in or tolerated Pre-Christian rites. Possessing a dense concentration of Early Bronze Age materials, Karnut has been the focus of intensive archaeological excavations. There is a pilgrimage site on the St. Minas peak which was the place of worship from pre-Christian times. Take a hike to the top of the hill to watch the sunset or make longer hikes up into the surrounding hills. A nearby reservoir, which captures the mountain waters flowing to the Jrarat River, is a nice fishing and picnic spot with great photo opportunities of Mt. Aragats. Att ractions: Karnut Reservoir, St. Minas peak, Early Bronze Age ruins (2900-2500 BC), a ruined basilica (4th-5thc. / rebuilt in 10thc.), remains of a dam (8th-7th c. BC) Activities: cultural sightseeing, hiking, fishing, agritourism Useful contacts: Karnut hiking and dining excursion can be booked at “Travel Gyumri” (contact details provided in Travel Agencies & Guides section).