Nagorno Karabakh travel and tourism offers a wide range of cultural, religious, archaeological landmarks that will provide an unforgettable and adventurous experience for a lifetime.
The will to see more and explore the world is the instinctual and inseparable part of human nature. If you desire to reveal the original and unique culture of ancient civilizations, you will not find a better place than Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
This land is an open-air museum, an outstanding place on our planet with the most ancient and impressing architectural monuments and landmarks. Now, you will have the opportunity to have a virtual tour to Nagorno Karabakh travel & tourism guide that will introduce you to the numerous historical and architectural landmarks of this country.
Where to Go During Nagorno Karabakh travel?
There are more than 10,000 monuments, monasteries, fortifications and other historical landmarks in Artsakh. It is an important tourist destination not only due to its numerous landmarks, but also due to the hospitality of local people. We assure you, they will make your Nagorno Karabakh travel even more joyful and enjoyable.
If you are already planning your visit, or just made your mind to do so, we have a small and helpful guide for you! We have marked 10 most important landmarks of Artsakh that should be visited.
Landmark #1: We Are Our Mountains
It goes without saying that Nagorno Karabakh travel can’t be fulfilled without a visit to the monument of “We Are Our Mountains”. It is located in the north of the county’s capital Stepanakert. The statue is made from volcanic tufa. The sculptor is Sargis Baghdasaryan, who completed it in 1967.
The monument depicts an Armenian couple, an old man and a woman in traditional dresses, somehow representing the mountain people of Nagorno Karabakh. That’s why it is also wildly known as “tatik-papik”(translated as grandma and grandpa in Armenian).
It is one of the most important landmarks not only because it’s the symbol of Karbakh, but also there is something special and marvelous about it. This iconic monument perfectly fits to the atmosphere of this mountainous region. So, if you admire and value the cultural heritage of the country, this is definitely worth visiting.
Landmark #2: Dadivank Monastery
One of the most important reasons that tourism in Nagorno Karabakh is on a high level is due to its abundant monasteries and cathedrals. Nagorno Karabakh has the most impressive and stunning spiritual sites that will leave you breathless. One of these kind of jewels is Dadivank monastery.
Dadivank, also known as Khutavank is a 9th – 13th century Armenian monastery that is located in the Shahumian Region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. According to the legend, St. Dadi founded this monastery. He was the disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle who was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and spread Christianity in Eastern Armenia.
Interestingly, the grave of St. Dadi was discovered under the holy altar of the main church in 2007. The complex of Dadivank consists of the Cathedral church of St. Astvadzadzin, the chapel and several other buildings. Also, on the east wall you can see some exceptional commemorative cross-stones.
Visiting Dadivank monastery is the inseparable part of the Nagorno Karabakh travel and tourism. And this is not a surprise, as it is one of the most beautiful, amazing, quite and serene landmarks of this territory.
Landmark #3: Ghazanchetsots Cathedral
St. Ghazanchetsots Cathedral is the main cathedral of Shushi. It has a bit difficult name to pronounce but it is also famous as the Cathedral of Christ the Holy Savior. Ghazanchetsots Cathedral was built between 1868 and 1887 from white limestone. The monastery includes the cathedral and a three-story bell tower.
Unfortunately, the two statues of angels that stood at each corner of the ball-tower were destroyed from the bombarding during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. After the program of Shushi population in 1920 realized by Azerbaijan, the cathedral stopped functioning.
However, after the capture of Shushi by Armenian forces the church continues to serve as a main cathedral. In 1998 it was reconstructed and renovated. Now it serves as the residence of the Bishop of the Province of Artsakh.
This “white church” is supposed to be one of the architectural masterpieces ever built in the Armenian Highlands. Moreover, it is the second spiritual center after Gandzasar Monastery. You look forward to see some impressive, mysterious, spiritual site with quite striking design and great energy? Then this will be for you one of the must-see landmarks for the Nagorno Karabakh travel.
Landmark #4: Amaras Monastery
Amaras Monastery, located in the region of Martuni of the Nagorno-Karabakh, was founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator at the beginning of the 5th century. This monastery is supposed to be one of the most ancient architectural landmarks of Karabakh.
As it is said, the inventor of the Armenian Alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots, established in Amaras the first ever school of Artsakh that used the Armenian script. Though it was established in the 5th century, it was rebuilt in the 19th century. In different periods, Amaras Monastery was used for various purposes, such as a fortress or even accustom house. As you can see, it is an important tourism destination and will accomplish your Nagorno Karabakh travel list.
Landmark #5: Azokh Cave
The most noteworthy Stone Age cave living site is situated near the village of Azokh in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Azohk cave has many millennia of history, but hasn’t yet opened all its secrets.
However, it is gradually being discovered. This large settlement of primitive man covers an area of about 8000 sq. m. Those who visit Azokh cave, one of the most mysterious and interesting landmarks of Karabakh, are greatly impressed and astonished.
If you are afraid of closed areas, then you can comfort yourself by the fact that the cave has six exits. This will, definitely, be an unforgettable experience for your Nagorno Karabakh travel.
Landmark #6: Hunot Canyon
The list of your Nagrono Karabakh travel guide will continue one of the most unrivaled landmarks of this territory. Hunot canyon is situated near Karkar River. Those travelers who prefer hiking through the canyon, have the opportunity to witness breathtaking waterfalls, dense forests, caves inhabited since the Stone Age, ruins of the Hunot village, ancient bridges, etc.
The marked paths of this State Natural-Historical Reserve can easily lead you to its different landmarks. The stunning and unbelievable beauty of this tourism destination leaves all the visitors in awe. So, don’t miss your chance to enjoy the amazing nature of these wonderful landmarks.
Landmark #7: Tnjri (Platan Tree)
Do you want to know about one of the largest and oldest plane-trees in the world? Near the village of Skhtorashen a huge plane tree, known as Tnjri (sorry for the tough pronunciation), raises high into the air.
Many of the local people consider the tree as sacred. Tnjri has faced an uncertain future, war and peace, countless regimes, but endured all these and still remains unchanged. According to a legend, anyone who burns it down or tries to destroy it will die within seven days.
This sacred tourism destination has been visited by many famous and outstanding people, like Mesrop Mashtots (the inventor of Armenian alphabet), Movses Khorenatsi (the first Armenian historian), Sayat-Nova (18th century musician and poet). Shortly put, your Nagorno Karabakh travel list can’t be realized without this giant mysterious tree.
Landmark #8: Shushi Fortress
Shushi fortress, built in the 18th century, has secret paths that lead to the Karkar River. The walls of the fort town that were built of limestone, served both as support and storage of weapons. It is one of the cultural and religious centers of Caucasus.
Shushi fortress played an important role in the history of Artsakh. So, if you want to feel that atmosphere this is a must-see place for your Nagorno Karabakh travel.
Landmark #9: Artsakh State Museum
The historical museum of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic contains many interesting local artifacts and Christian manuscripts. It also offers the assortment of items, dating back to the 19th century to World War II and from events of the Karabakh Independence War.
It is situated right in the center of Stepanakert, so the location will suit perfectly for Nagrono Karabakh travel guide.
Landmark #10: Mayraberd Fortress
Just 14km away from Stepanakert is situated the impressive ruin of Askeran’s fort, also known as Mayraberd Fortess (Head Fortress). The fortress was built in the middle of 18th century and since then it has strategic importance.
This tourist destination is remarkable for its high towers and thick walls that made it even more secure and powerful. These impressive walls are 9m tall and 2m thick. Unfortunately, wars have left only the ruins of this fortress. Anyway, it is a great place for your Nagorno Karabakh travel to walk around and enjoy the splendid views.
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