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Armenia tourism project

Longest tramway opens in Armenia

Oct 17, 2010

Armenia on Saturday opened a €13-million aerial tramway that it claims is the world's longest, beating out a rival in New Mexico.

The tramway across the Vorotan River gorge in the country's south spans 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles), Armenian officials said, longer than the 4.5-kilometer (2.7-mile) Sandia Peak Tramway at the eastern edge of Albuquerque, known as the world's longest passenger tramway.

The country's president and other officials attended a ceremony opening the tramway, which links the village of Halidzor to the village of Tatev, where the 9th century Tatev monastic complex is located, a UNESCO World Heritage candidate and one of Armenia's oldest and most prominent monasteries. This link allows people to bypass a 26 km long winding road, which is inaccessible during the harsh months of winter.

The recently launched Tatev Revival Project has a total capacity of $50 million, of which the €13 million aerial tramway is a part. Funding for the construction of the aerial tramway was provided by more than one hundred people of different nationalities and religions, who united around the idea of the rejuvenation of the Tatev monastery, under the leadership of the Ruben Vardanian and Veronika Zonabend’s Tatev Foundation.

Although Armenian authorities said that they will apply to Guinness World Records to officially confirm that the tramway is the world's longest, they say it was primarily built for practical use.

"By building this road we did not mean to take anyone by surprise," said President Serge Sarkisian, who earlier took an 11-minute ride on the tramway. The link has been designed to help local residents and boost the area's tourism potential, he said.

Longest tramway opens in Armenia

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