Tavush Marz is an Armenian province in the northeastern part of the country. Tavush Marz once used to be part of Utik and Gougark historical provinces of the ancient Armenia. It is a must-visit place if you are a lover of mountains, rivers, thick forests and historical monuments!
Tavush Marz (province) of Armenia borders with Georgia (from the northern part) and Azerbaijan (from the eastern part). Domestically, the province is bordered by the provinces of Gegharkunik (from the south), Lori (from the west) and Kotayk (from the southwest).
This province is known for being one of the major water sources in Armenia. Tavush Marz is also famous for its mineral waters, mountain springs and such picturesque lakes, as Parz Lich (or Lake Parz), Gosh Lich (Lake Gosh) and a few more you’ll see if you visit the province.
The capital city, as well as the largest town of Tavush Marz is Ijevan city, one of the most outstanding resort towns in the country!
Basic Information on Tavush Marz (Province)
Tavush territory is mostly rocky and mountainous, covered with thick green carpets of forests and of Alpine meadows. That’s why, sometimes, this province of Armenia is associated with Switzerland and called “Armenian little Switzerland”!
Tavush Marz Location and Area
Tavush Marz, as mentioned earlier, is located in the northeastern part of the Republic of Armenia, bordering with Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as Lori, Kotayk and Gegharkunik provinces of Armenia.
The province is entirely located among the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, at the average height of 900 meters above sea level. Tavush Marz is also surrounded with the mountains of Miapor, Somkheti, Gougark and Kenats.
Besides lakes and mountains, Tavush Marz is also rich of rivers. The most famous ones are Aghstev, Tavush, Akhum, Khndzorut rivers and their tributaries.
The province of Tavush in Armenia has numerous forests, including protected ones. Forests such as the National Park of Dilijan, the sanctuaries of Ijevan, Ardjatkhelni Hazel, Gandzaqar and Zikatar.
The total area of Tavush Marz is 2704 sq. km or 1044 sq. mi.
Tavush Marz Population
According to the census, conducted in 2011, the population of Tavush Marz is around 128000 people. It is the second least-populated marz (province) of the Republic of Armenia.
The city with the largest population is Ijevan, the province capital (about 21 000 people). Other large cities of Tavush province are Dilijan, Noyemberyan and Berd.
Armenians, followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church, are the majority of the Tavush Marz population.
However, there are some national and ethnic minorities, living in Tavush, as well. For example, Berd town houses about 200 Udis, also followers of the Apostolic Church of Armenia, and the town of Dilijan is home to a small Yazidis’ community.
Climate in Tavush Marz
Tavush Marz is known for its geographical variety and its mild and unique climate is mostly conditioned by the high mountains of the province, as well as lakes, rivers and other water resources.
Depending on the season you visit the province, it may welcome you with mild weather, dry and cool winds, or soft Alpine climate conditions!
On the average, the winter temperature in Tavush Marz ranges from 0 to 8o C. The average summer temperature of this Armenian province is around 12-22o C.
3 Most Famous Cities of Tavush Marz, Armenia
Although the most famous resort town of the Tavush Marz is Dilijan, which is also the province’s financial center, there are several other large cities in Tavush, worth visiting and admiring. Find some basic information about them below!
Tavush Province City #1: Ijevan
Ijevan (until 1919, known as Qaravansara) is the administrative center of the Tavush Marz. It is located in the central part of the province, near the Mountains of Gougark and Aghstev River and around 140 km from Yerevan.
The highway of Yerevan-Tbilisi regularly operates, passing through Ijevan city. The town is connected with Yerevan and other Armenian territories through the highway M-4, extending through the border with Azerbaijan.
The town of Ijevan is known for being one of the major centers of traditional Armenian carpets (or “gorg”-s, in Armenian).
Ijevan has various sights, monasteries and museums to offer you, such as Makaravank Monastery, Samsonavank Monastery, The Museum of History and Geology, several historical fortresses and castles. So, definitely check out this town of the Tavush Marz!
Tavush Province City #2: Berd
Berd (literally, “Fortress”) is the largest and central settlement in the sub-region of Berd. Surrounded with low mountains, this town of Tavush Marz is situated on the bank of Tavush River, around 210 km from the capital of Armenia, Yerevan.
The town is not populated much: according to the 2011 census, there are around 7900 people, living in the town of Berd.
If you are fond of history, coming to Berd is surely a must. Here, you will find many historical sights: the ruins of the Tavush castle (the 10th century), the monasteries of Khoranashat, Nor Varagavank, Kaptavank and many more!
Berd town is famous for being one of the winemaking, beekeeping centers of Armenia, as well as an agricultural center, growing tobacco and various fruits.
Tavush Province City #3: Noyemberyan
Noyemberyan (until 1937, Barana) is another comparatively large town in the Tavush Marz of the Republic of Armenia. It is around 190 km from Yerevan, situated on the bank of Koghb River and Yerevan-Tbilisi road.
Noyemberyan is surrounded with the mountains of Voskepar and Gougark, and only a few kilometers separate the city from the Azerbaijani border
According to the census, conducted in 2011, Noyemberyan population is around 5300 people.
In this town, you can admire the beauty and amazing architecture of the Monastery of Mshkavank, Baghanis Church, Voskepar’s St. Astvatsatsin Church, the fortress of Ghalinjaqar and many more tourist attractions!
Things to do and see in Tavush Marz
Tavush Marz has rich cultural heritage, offering both natural and human-made monuments. The province is considered to be among the most popular tourist attractions and destinations, providing tourism and other, related services.
Thing to see in Tavush Marz #1: Berdavan Fortress
Berdavan Castle is located on top of a hill, 664 m above sea level. The fortress is situated near Berdavan Village of the Tavush Marz, adjacent to the border with Azerbaijan.
The fortress of Berdavan was built in the 10-11th centuries. Originally, it was a late medieval period structure but, during the 17th century, the fortress underwent a reconstruction.
Currently, the two towers in the northeastern part of this castle of Berdavan are under reconstruction as well.
If you are a lover of archeological findings and surveys, this is the place for you, since during the recent archeological excavations various metallic, ceramic plates, axes and many more items were uncovered in the territory of this sight!
They will give visitors a general insight on how people lived, worked and created in this area of the currently ruin Berdavan castle.
Thing to see in Tavush Marz #2: Ijevan Museum of History and Geology
The museum of History and Geology of Ijevan city was established in 1955. There are around 1500 items of the Tavush Marz history and geology, exhibited in this museum.
The most unique and special exhibit here is the Bronze Age sword, the only one in its kind in Armenia that is completely preserved up to date!
There is also a very interesting historical device and another unique item, displayed in the Ijevan Museum. It’s the telegraph that sent a telegram to Moscow, informing Bolsheviks about the establishment of the Soviets in Armenia.
Ijevan museum is also home to the furniture of Sargis Kasyan’s office who was among the most outstanding Armenian socialist revolutionaries.
Thing to see in Tavush Marz #3: Voskepar St. Astvatsatsin Church
This is a 7th century Armenian Monastery, located in Voskepar settlement of the Tavush Marz of Armenia. The most recent reconstruction of the Holy Mother of God Church building was conducted in the 1970s.
Although the church suffered and was destroyed a lot during the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) War, since it is also near the border with Azerbaijan, the St. Astvatsatsin Monastery is still standing and, even more, attracting lots of local visitors’ and tourists’ interest and attention.
This is a favorite tourist destination and just a nice place to get relaxed and isolated in nature, surrounded with the spirit of this amazing historical monastery.
Thing to see in Tavush Marz #4: Aghjkaqar
Aghjkaqar, also known as Aghjkaberd, is a 10-13th centuries castle, near Aygedzor Village. It is located on top of Aghjkaqar Hill that is rich of green forests, surrounded with rocks and high fences with pyramidal form.
The architecture of Aghjkaberd Fortress consists of the church, its blue-basalt-built fences, water reservoirs, bathing house and various dwelling facilities.
Aghjkaqar Fortress also represents a significant archeological and historical value since its integrity has been mostly preserved, giving visitors the opportunity to get comprehensively introduced to the details of what life was like in the medieval period Tavush Marz.
Thing to see in Tavush Marz #5: Dilijan Geological Museum and Art Gallery
As mentioned above, Tavush Marz of Armenia is rich of museums and institutions with high historical significance. One more local history museum in the province is the Geological Museum and Art Gallery, located in Dilijan city and opened in 1950.
The museum will give you the chance to create a comprehensive image of Dilijan history, its people’s lifestyle. There are different historical and geological items, as well as cultural monuments, shown in this museum.
The Art Gallery, adjacent to the museum, was opened a bit later, in 1958. It exhibits various works of local artists, including archeological items.
The exhibition of the Geological Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan includes some of the original works of such famous Armenian artists, as H. Aivazovsky, G. Bashinjaghian, P. Terlemezyan and V. Sureniants.
Finally, the museum displays also internationally recognized Italian, French, Dutch and American artists’ paintings. Among them, for example, are those of Lev Lagorio, Jean Baptiste Greuzeare, Rockwell Kent and Jean Carzou.