Alaverdi city of is one of the most significant commercial and industrial centers in the northern part of Armenia. Alaverdi is famous for its various natural and historical or human-made monuments and, of course, cathedrals!
Historically, the surrounding area of Alaverdi was known as Manasgomer (medieval Armenia). But, in the 17th century, this settlement was renamed Alaverdi, deriving from the name of a Turkic tribe leader Allahverdi.
Currently, the city of Alaverdi is an important center of commerce and industry in the Republic of Armenia.
Basic Information about Alaverdi
It is interesting to know that Alaverdi was established only in 1899. It was when the copper smelter was opened at the northern part of Sanahin village. So, residential barracks were built in order to accommodate the laborers of the smelter.
The settlement was named Manes after the French engineer who initiated and directed the project at that time.
Alaverdi Location & Area
Alaverdi is located at the bottom of Debed River, in the northeastern part of the Republic of Armenia (Lori Region). It is around 1000 meters above sea level. The river, flowing through the city, divides Alaverdi into two parts.
Presently, the older (northern) part of Alaverdi city is situated in the river canyon. The newer (southern) part of the city is located on the plateau of Sanahin.
Alaverdi city of Armenia is surrounded with splendid green woods and mountain chains (Somkheti and Pambak Mountains). Its location is important in terms of being the only direct rail link between Armenia and Georgia.
There are such settlements around Alaverdi city, as the villages of Sanahin (southeastern part), Haghpat (eastern part), Akori (western part of Alaverdi) and the village of Odzun (southwestern part of this Armenian city).
City’s total area is 18 sq. kilometers or 7 sq. miles.
Alaverdi city of Armenia is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians. According to the most recent census (2011), the population of Alaverdi is around 13 000 people.
During the Soviet times, there used to be a minor Greek community in Alaverdi. It was the largest compared to other national minorities’ communities in Armenia of that period.
The majority of Alaverdi’s ethnic Armenians belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church.
How to Get to Alaverdi?
If you want to travel to Alaverdi, Armenia, then you should consider that Alaverdi is the major Armenian railway station on the line of Yerevan-Gyumri-Tbilisi.
Alaverdi railway has been operating since 1899. Presently it is connecting the city with the country’s western and central parts, as well as its northern neighbor, Georgia. So, you can get on the train say in Yerevan, or in Tbilisi and arrive here successfully!
Also, there is a M-6 Motorway, connecting Yerevan and Tbilisi, and passing through Alaverdi city which is another way to get to Alaverdi.
Since the south and the north of Alaverdi are divided by the river Debed, you can reach the city, using the bridges over that river.
Currently, the Stepanavan Airport, which is the nearest one to Alaverdi city, is under construction. Located some 51 km off the city, this airport will also make your trip to Alaverdi easier and faster!
Climate of Alaverdi, Armenia
The climate of Alaverdi is mostly conditioned by its location in the mountainous region, surrounding forests and Debed River, flowing through the city.
Below, we have collected some facts on Alaverdi weather that will be helpful for understanding what time would be the best for travelling to this city of Armenia!
Things to Do/See in Alaverdi, Armenia
Besides being the industrial and commercial center of the norther Armenia, Alaverdi is also a city with highly developed culture, rich of monasteries and cathedrals.
Here you will get to know the sights or things to see in Alaverdi!
Thing to Do in Alaverdi #1: Odzun Church
Odzun is an Armenian church, a funerary monument, built in around the 5th-7th century. It is located in the Odzun village of Armenia’s Lori Marz.
There are numbers of gravestones of clergies around the monastery, as well as a funerary monuments.
The eastern and western parts of Odzun church are engraved with scenes from the Bible which are mostly related to the introduction of Christian religion in Armenia.
The northern and southern parts of the church are carved with floral shapes and geometrical forms.
The special thing about Odzun Church is that it is one of the two such funerary monuments in Armenia: the second one is located in the southern Syunik Marz of Armenia, Aghudi.
Thing to Do in Alaverdi #2: Sanahin-Haghpat Cathedral Complex
Sanahin-Haghpat Cathedral Complex is a historical Armenian monument, established in the 10th century in what is now Lori Marz of the Republic of Armenia.
The name “Sanahin” literally translates as “this one is older than that one”. It is presumably a claim to be an older cathedral than the neighboring Haghpat Monastery.
The two villages, Sanahin and Haghpat, and their churches are similar in many aspects of architectural design and style.
The two cathedrals are separated from each other with one of the Debed River’s tributaries, flowing through the villages plateau formation.
Both Haghpat and Sanahin Cathedrals are frequently visited by huge numbers of tourists. This Cathedral complex, as well as lots of khachkars (cross-stones) in the territory, belong to the Apostolic Church of Armenia.
This is surely a breathtaking historical site to come and see in Alaverdi, Armenia!
Thing to Do in Alaverdi #3: Mikoyan Museum
Mikoyan Museum is located near Sanahin Cathedral, downhill from the monastery, on the Mikoyan Street of Alaverdi city.
This is a museum of the Soviet period, a shrine to Mikoyan brothers; Anastas and Artyom. Anastas Mikoyan served 60 years in the USSR Politburo, supporting Joseph Stalin and even outlasted him.
Artyom Mikoyan was the designer of the USSR’s first jet fighter in the World War II (known as MiG).
A huge number of uniforms, medals and photos, as well as aircraft plans and drawings are exhibited inside the Mikoyan Brothers’ Museum. Also, there’s an early “MiG-21” jet, located right outside the museum.
As you can see, both brothers deserve to be dedicated a museum, since they were influential and prominent people in the USSR political and military history. That’s why, this monument, sponsored by the state, was established in the home village of Mikoyan brothers and is standing there up to date.