Hello, friends. I don’t know why exactly, but when we see ancient temples, pyramids, or cave monasteries, we always let our imagination run wild, drawing mental pictures of long-gone events. Many scientists still wonder how our ancestors were able to create these architectural marvels, having neither the special equipment nor the knowledge. Some say that it took tens or even hundreds of years. However, it’s not only in the past that people were able to create wonders.
They still can. And that is what our story today will be about. It will show that even an ordinary villager can create a masterpiece with his own hands. A real underground, antique-style maze, city, and all this in his basement, meet Lavan, an old man who created an amazing underground Kingdom. Guided by his intuition, however, what is most surprising is that he managed to create his masterpiece without any special skills or tools.
He had his desire and his dream a dream to create something beautiful that will become known around the whole world. Well, as it often happens, it all started with something trivial. It was an ordinary day in 1985, and the 44-year-old Levon Arachlin set about digging a small cellar under the house. His wife had long been asking him to do it, but he could never find the time. Levan set to work without much enthusiasm.
He was digging slowly when suddenly he hit a stone. The man didn’t give up and started digging in a different direction. But soon his shovel hit the obstacle again. Levon had to look for a third place, but he wouldn’t stop and was surprised when he had managed to dig an impressive tunnel. Thus, the man decided that he would build a real drink vault instead of a small food seller.
It should be mentioned that creating underground passages turned out to be so fascinating that the longer the man dug, the more enthusiastic he got. From the day my husband started digging the cellar, it was as if he had become a different person. Not a day went by when he didn’t go down into his dungeon. Lavan, like other men, used to love hanging out with his friends. But he began to spend more and more time at work.
And even when the underground room was already big enough to store drinks, my husband didn’t stop at that either, Tasia Levine’s wife said. Soon the man managed to create an impressive underground maze. A year went by, and then another one and another one. But the man continued his underground work. He carved tough basalt using just a hammer and a chisel.
It was especially difficult to work with basalt, the first layer of the rock. Even working 17 hours a day, Levon couldn’t move more than 7 CM deep. However, when it came to tough, his work went much faster. Gradually, more and more rooms were added to the underground maze. I could have never thought that my simple request for a veggie seller would grow into the project of Levon’s life, the spouse recalled.
Several years into the project, Levon’s wife asked him to give up this venture as she started to worry about his health. He got so engrossed in digging tunnels that he slept for only about 4 hours and sometimes ate once every two days. But she gave up over time, having understood that Levin was very determined and wouldn’t stop. When Levine’s wife tried to treat his passion with understanding. His neighbors and friends, unfortunately, never managed to do that.
They started comparing the man to Noah because just like Noah, Levon spent many years doing what seemed meaningless to people around him. However, our hero didn’t care that people were making fun of him. He just kept ongoing. Even when Armenia was having a tough time and there were frequent electricity cuts, the man didn’t stop his project. He would light a candle, go down into the maze and continue working on his masterpiece.
It won’t be much of an exaggeration to say that Levon worked nonstop. It was only many years later that people got to see the beauty of the cave system. If I didn’t know that it was my husband who had created it, I would think it was some ancient master’s work, the wife said proudly. And she was right. Looking at the underground maze, no one could assume that it was an ordinary, elderly villager who created it.
The underground rooms are extraordinarily beautiful and tastefully decorated. Arches, walls, stairs, halls, sculptures, ledges everything is so elaborate and architecturally competent. Many may wonder how an ordinary villager could have created such a masterpiece without special knowledge and tools, Levine said, half-jokingly that it was a higher power that helped him create such a miracle. He claimed that most of the ideas came to him in a dream, and when he woke up, he already knew exactly what his next underground room would look like. It may be hard to believe, but Levon spent 23 years building the underground maze.
All that time, he had a feeling that he was actually creating something great and extremely important. He treated his underground world with respect and utmost care. Devotion and hard work allowed the Levant to create a seven-level underground maze temple that went as deep as 23 meters. To get to the very first hall, you need to go down 80 steps. More than 600 dump trucks of rocks were taken out.
During the whole time he worked on it, Levon spent many months cutting out columns, ornaments, niches for torches, and even whole rooms. But such painstaking work never scared him off. Levon passed away in 2008 at the age of 67, leaving his work unfinished. The builder had planned on having another 30 years of work. However, despite this sad event, rumors about his creation continued to spread throughout the country and even abroad.
More and more tourists knocked on the door of the master’s widow to see the little Armenian miracle with their own eyes. Even despite her advanced age, Tasia never turned anyone away. She proudly led everyone along the mysterious underground corridors created by her husband. The place soon became so popular that the woman started making guided tours for groups of tourists who came to her house from all over the world. It has become Tasia’s business now.
She is so proud of her husband’s work. The woman even made a Memorial corner for Levon in one of the rooms. It is here that you can see the tools Lavon used to create the underground maze. Some photographs of the creative process and other things related to Levine and his work. Little by little, the house where Levon lived and worked turned into a Museum once they even filmed several scenes for an American horror TV show here.
To date, over 3000 tourists from all continents have visited this unusual attraction. And the seller is now called Levan’s Divine Underground. Whatever some may have said about Levon’s unusual hobby today this place is one of the most visited sites in Armenia. When my guests and I go into the dungeon many visitors make wishes in the time believing that they will come true. Maybe I did miss out on something and he did have some kind of a special reason for making it.
Unfortunately, he isn’t with us anymore and so he won’t be able to answer these questions. But at the same time, thousands of people from all over the world come here and agree that this place has a special aura. Who knows? Maybe it is so Tasia says. So, friends, what do you think about this story?
Why did he spend half of his life building an underground city? Be sure to express your opinion in the comments.