An Ode to Dilijan, Armenia

A real-life fairy tale (that replaces knights and castles with monks and monasteries).

Nicole Ann
2 min readJan 26, 2022
Haghartsin Monastery (13th century)

Dilijan is a serenely exquisite town in northern Armenia, nestled beneath the stark Caucasus mountains, and admired for its natural wonders and vibrant tapestry of history.

One can explore forests that whisper the rhythmic melodies of nature and conceal the most magnificent of medieval monasteries.

Dilijan is endearingly known as the Switzerland of Armenia. Comparisons aside, Dilijan possesses its own ineffable charm and rustic beauty; the kind that inspires late-night poetry beside the antique fire place, while slowly sipping a bitter brew of Armenian coffee…

My Sweet Dilijan

Dilijan, my sweet Dilijan,
A sojourn of entwined aloneness
A place down a road not seen
Where I fall in love with faces,
I will never know or meet
Whose eyes tell a softly fierce story
As the frost of winter
Eludes their hearts
Warm as Arabian summers.

Dilijan, my sweet Dilijan,
A sanctuary of painful beauty
A place from those fairy tales
Only without knights in armour
Or decadent castles
And the only dragons to slay
Are my own
Just a numinous aura
Monks, meditations, monasteries
Dreams exist not solely in fables,
But in the enchantment of my eyes.

Dilijan, my sweet Dilijan,
A dwelling of deep serenity
A place I hope to meet once more
Where the wind blows away my sorrows
And the mountains echo my silence
And give me the strength I need
To take a bold step,
Along an icy slope —
To the chasm of the unknown.

Haghartsin Monastery (13th century)

“If there were forests, mountains and mineral springs in Paradise, then it would look like Dilijan.” — Y. Kirilova.

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Nicole Ann

BA English/Religious Studies. Currently studying psychology.