Hrazdan is a resort and spa city which is also the capital of the Kotayk Marz of Armenia. In this Armenian city, you will find everything you need to organize your holiday, since Hrazdan has numerous hotels, spa centers and resorts, as well as natural sites, historical and modern monuments to offer you!
Hrazdan, the 5th largest city of Armenia, previously was a village. The name of the village used to be Akhta. Only in 1959, Hrazdan acquired a city status. Later, several surrounding rural communities were dissolved and included in Hrazdan city territory (Makravan, Jrarat, Kaqavadzor and other villages).
Basic Information about Hrazdan City of Armenia
Hrazdan town was named after Hrazdan River, due to its location near the river. The city was historically a part of Ancient Armenia’s Ayrarat province (Kotayk Canton).
Hrazdan City Location and Area
Hrazdan city is located in the northeastern part of the Republic of Armenia (the Kotayk Marz), 45 km from Yerevan.
Located more than 1800 m above sea level, the city of Hrazdan is surrounded by the mountain chains of Pambak, Tsaghkunyats and Geghama, as well as Hrazdan River and its tributaries, Aghveran and Marmarik.
The total area of Hrazdan city is 22 sq. km (8 sq. mi) or 2060 ha, 725 ha of which is covered with thick forests.
Hrazdan City Population
According to the official census as of 2011, the population of Hrazdan is around 42000 people. The majority of Hrazdan town’s population is made up by ethnic Armenians. They have mostly arrived here during the repatriation process in the Soviet period.
The Armenians came to Hrazdan from such historical Armenian regions, as Kars, Sasun, Mush (western Armenia), Khoy, Salmast and Maku settlements (modern-day Iran), as well as from the Armenian Diaspora.
Climate of Hrazdan, Armenia
The climate of Hrazdan city is mostly conditioned by its location of around 1800 m above sea level and the surrounding mountains, forests and rivers.
The annual average temperature in Hrazdan is approximately 4.8 °C. The annual precipitation is between 715 and 730 mm.
The weather is not very cold in winter Hrazdan: the average temperature for January is -9 °C. But summers are quite mild and, sometimes, even cool in Hrazdan: the average temperature in August is 16.8 °C.
So, if you prefer escaping from the summer heat of some other Armenian regions or Yerevan, Hrazdan city would be a great option for you!
How to Get to Hrazdan City?
There are many options of getting to Hrazdan city of Armenia, both traditional and non-traditional ones! Taking a taxi from Yerevan city center is always possible and, depending on your location and the taxi service you choose, the cost might range between 1000-2000 AMD (approximately 4 USD).
Minibuses regularly leave for Hrazdan from the Raykom Station of Yerevan (Azatutyan avenue). Their cost is around 500 AMD (about 1 USD). You can find a lot of taxi services in the territory of this station as well.
Hrazdan as an Armenian Industrial Town
Since the moment of acquiring a city status, Hrazdan has developed as an industrial town. It was one of the most industrialized cities in the Soviet era Armenia.
During the 1960-1970s, numerous industry plants were opened and highly developed in Hrazdan city. Even though many factories were partly or totally closed after the USSR collapse, the modern-day Hrazdan is also a significant industrial town of the Republic of Armenia.
Industry Branches, Developed in Hrazdan
Nowadays, there are various both major and minor industrial branches, developed in Hrazdan. The city houses numerous large plants.
- One of them is the hydro power plant of Hrazdan, built during the 1950s and operating up to date. Located in the district of Aghbyurak, the plant is home to a huge water reservoir with a capacity of 5.6 million cubic meters (total area: 1.7 sq. km).
- The second significant plant in Hrazdan is the thermal power plant. It is operating since 1966 and is considered to be among the largest thermal power plants in the territory of Caucasus.
- Hrazdan is also known for its Cement Factory “MIKA”, established in 1970. This is also a large enterprise for the whole Caucasus region, due to its cement production capacity (1.2 million tons annually).
- There are also minor industry branches, developed in the city of Hrazdan, such as manufacturing of carpets, production of electrical facilities and equipment, as well as various building materials.
Things to See/Do in Hrazdan, Armenia
Hrazdan is a city, rich with museums, galleries, ecclesiastical, as well as natural monuments! Below, you can see the list of Hrazdan city sights that make the town an interesting tourist destination.
Thing to See and Do in Hrazdan city #1: Hrazdan Geoscience Museum
The geoscience museum of Hrazdan city, founded in 1980.
The museum exhibits Hrazdan city’s entire history. It is home to 4 departments:
- Modern times
- Temporary exhibitions
If you are in Hrazdan, you shouldn’t miss the chance of visiting this museum.
In order to get more detailed information about the exhibits and prices of the museum, you can contact them directly.
Thing to See and Do in Hrazdan city #2: Saint Karapet Church in Jrarat
Hrazdan city and its surrounding areas are home to numerous churches, monasteries and basilicas.
One of them is the Saint Karapet or Surb Karapet Church. It is a three-nave basilica, located in Jrarat, near Hrazdan. The church dates back to the 16th century.
It stopped church services during the Soviet period, since the basilica was used as a storehouse for food and was even ruined later.
Fortunately, the church stones were well-preserved and St. Karapet Church was reconstructed during 2004-2008.
Thing to See and Do in Hrazdan city #3: Makravan Monastic Complex
The monastic complex of Makravan dates back to the 10th century. It is located in Hrazdan’s Makravan district, on a hill.
Makravan complex consists of 2 churches:
- Surb Amenaprkich (or the Church of All-Savior), dating back to the 10th century
- Surb Astvatsatsin (or St. Mother of God), dating back to the 13th century.
The complex comprises 18 khachkars (cross-tones), a chapel, an entrance (“gavit” in Armenian), a tombstone, as well as an ancient cemetery and other buildings.
This is a historically special sight to visit, since the complex will present you some unique pieces of medieval architecture and culture, in the whole.
Thing to See and Do in Hrazdan city #4: Hrazdan River and its tributaries
If you want to visit some natural sites near Hrazdan city of Armenia, then you should definitely see the river of Hrazdan and its tributaries, and, especially, Marmarik!
Hrazdan River, with length of 141 km, is one of the most important rivers of the country. In its turn, the river is the left tributary of Araxes River (known as “Mayr Araqs”, or “Mother Araqs”, in Armenian).
Marmarik River is the largest tributary of Hrazdan River and has length of 37 km. The views Hrazdan and Marmarik rivers offer, both during summertime and winter, are breathtakingly beautiful and totally worth your time.
Thing to See and Do in Hrazdan city #5: Tsovinar Lake
Tsovinar Lake is another natural site and it is one of those destinations tourists love to visit in Hrazdan. It located near the city, closer to the southern shore of Lake Sevan.
Tsovinar Lake, just like the rivers of Hrazdan and Marmarik, will offer you splendid views of the surrounding areas, mountains and forests.
This site is wonderful to visit with friends or family and it would be really amazing to organize a picnic here and enjoy the magnificent beauty of the place in the same time!