Bible Places: Mount Ararat

This mountain, noted for its connection with the Deluge of Scripture, is one of great height in Armenia, rising from the extensive plain watered by the Araxes. Moses says that “the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat”; and in fact the mountain consists of two peaks, their summits distant in a right line about seven miles from each other; their bases joined by a wide level valley, which is generally supposed to have been the resting-place of the ark.

The Great Ararat rises to a height of 17,210 feet from the level of the sea; and the lesser, or Little Ararat, to 13,000. The former is covered with perpetual snow; the lesser mountain is quite free of it for several months of the year, and peculiarly beautiful in appearance.

On the north-east slope of the higher mountain, a deep chasm or cleft is visible from a great distance. During the shocks of a violent earthquake in 1840, an immense quantity of rocks, ice and mud were precipitated from the chasm, which overwhelmed and destroyed the Convent of St. James and village of Arghuri, desolating the plains below. Since then the size of the opening has been greatly enlarged, and the summit apparently lowered.

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