About ARTSAKH (Nagorno Karabagh)

STEPANAKERT – THE CAPITAL CITY Stepanakert, capital of Nagorno Karabakh Republic is 345 km away from the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. The first mater plan of the city was designed in 1926 by the talented architect Al. Tamanyan, the main architect of the Armenian capital. The monument “We and Our Mountains” welcomes visitors at the entrance to the city. The monument is the symbol of the land of Artsakh. The statue is also known among Armenians as “Grandmother and Grandfather” due to its appearance. There is also a small museum near the main open market, where you can try local specialties like Zhingalov Hats, mulberry raisins, mulberry vodka and other tasty treats. The main square of the town with a Hotel Armenia, Parliament building and a popular park are a good place to see the locals strolling in the evening. The national museum of art in Stepanakert will help to get acquainted with the customs and culture of the Mountainous Karabakh. SHUSHI – AN IMPREGNABLE CASTLE Thanks to its impregnable position, Shushi served as a town and an ancient fortress in the Armenian principality of Varanda. In early 19th century the town received its present name from a nearby Armenian village called Shushi, also known as Shushikent ("village of Shushi") or Shosh. Last several centuries the town passed through a turbulent history under Persian, Turkic, Russian and Soviet powers. Amenaprkich church of Shushi was built in 1868. The altars and other structures in the church have been built out of squared limestone. The church had a three storied bell-tower. The church porch (entrance hall) reminds of Etchmiadzin Cathedral. The crosses like cupolas of this church are especially attractive. GANDZASAR CHURCH Gandzasar is the most exquisite monastery in Karabakh. Located in the north, atop the green hill which climbs above the village of Vank, it has been restored and is a fully functioning monastery. The church of Gandzasar was built in 1216-1238. The church was named Gandzasar for a hill which is rich in many different metal mines. Gandzasar has a rich manuscript repository where various valuable manuscripts have been written and many ecclesiastic leaders got high education. The church was built by the prince of Khachen Hasan Djalal-Dola. Now the porch of Gandzasar also protects his tomb.