in Syunik

Warm reception and hospitality have always been one of the main distinguishing features of Armenians, and hospitality in Sisian is not only material generosity, but the greatness of the human soul. I’m heading to Sisian. A city where the weather is almost always cool, be sure to have warm clothes, but the combination of generosity and respect of the locals will never allow the guest to feel cold.


Sisian tourist center: The first stop is the Sisian tourist center, which is located directly in the square, at 38/1 Sisian. Here I was provided with bilingual maps and brochures, through which I got an idea of ​​the tourism opportunities in the region. By the way, I definitely visit the places where there are tourist centers. Why? Because the locals know much more interesting, unique places, stories that can’t be found on the Internet. In Sisian tourist center you can rent tents, mountain bikes, fishing tackle, as well as get acquainted with the works of local artists (their works are exhibited in the center). If you avoid personal guidance, the tourist center can help guide you as well.

Sisian History Museum: The Sisian History Museum, which represents the history, culture and life of Syunik, is named after historian Nikoghayos Adonts. Here you can see the exhibits excavated from nearby archeological sites. Among the 50 stone monuments on display in the courtyard of the museum is a basalt sarcophagus, one of the narrow sittings of which is an inscription. The sarcophagus was discovered in 1985 in the village of Shake during construction work. According to the interpretation of the lithographer Arsen Harutyunyan, a scientist who studied the inscription monuments in the courtyard of the History Museum, the sarcophagus’s inscription reads: “ZTARA / PEAL GRIGORY KING”.

The researcher, based on the archeological features of the inscriptions of the inscription, finds that it was written in the 11th-12th centuries. According to him, the sarcophagus belonged to the penultimate king of Syunik and Baghk kingdom Grigor II. The presence of a lithograph on the side of the sarcophagus is noteworthy, which suggests that it was not buried in the ground, but after being tightly closed with a lid, was placed in an unmarked mausoleum in Shake. The museum is located in 6a Adonts street building.

It is important:  the minibus leading to Sisian starts from Yerevan bus station. Paying 2000 AMD, I go 217 km away from the capital, for a new dose of positive charges.

“If you have forgotten, let me remind you that the city of Sisian is located on both banks of the Vorotan River. During the city tour you will notice a newly built park, you will pass through it and you will find yourself on the river bank.”

“Vega” cafe Sisian, 32 Sisakan: After the “delicious” visit of the first day, I could not even think that the other days would be spent in this cafe as well. It is impossible to pass by delicious dishes indifferently. If you wish, you can take the squeezed fruit juice or coffee with you and enjoy it during the city tour.

I do not consider it necessary to talk about the price policy of the cafe, because, as in any region, it is very affordable here. By the way, to use the bathroom, contact the waiter, he will hand over the key to the door

Sailing on the Vorotan River. If you have forgotten, let me remind you that the city of Sisian is located on both banks of the Vorotan River. During the city tour you will notice a newly built park, pass through it and you will find yourself on the river bank. “Happy sailing”, by this name can be described a short water trip. Paying 1000 AMD for one hour, you will find yourself on Vorotan, which is the main river of Syunik. I do not share my feelings, you will share your own experience later. An hour of sailing will feel like an instant.

Feel like a potter in “Sisian Ceramics”: My journey continues in Sisian. I find myself at the crossroads of the past and the present. Pottery continues to be widely used in Armenian life today, about which the studio in Sisian will tell you very well. I wrote about Vahag months ago. “Sisian Ceramics” studies the history of Armenian pottery, ancient technologies and transmits them to young people. Here you can make your favorite item with old ornaments with your own hands, and if the fabric work is close to your heart, try the batik scarves.

Other, real Sisian: I will not tell much about artist Ashot Avagyan. I will only say that during your visit to Sisian, be sure to meet the artist, he will introduce you to another, real Sisian.

Based on the heritage of different cultural regions of the area, from petroglyphs to medieval iconography, the artist is constantly looking for new edges of worldview in his works with conceptual thinking, which is expressed in the pictorial-performance expressions of the Neolithic ritual.

The work of the artist is more connected not with the spectator of the exhibition hall, but with nature itself. Avagyan’s “actions” (this is his term for performances) take place in places like Ughtasar and Zorats Karer. The paintings are hung on stones, immersed in water, burned on fire, at the same time the artist presents the philosophical side of the performance through his declarations. Thus, nature is preferred to the work of art, becoming its most vital component, while the artist continues to act as a catalyst.

Basen Hotel, A. Manukyan: The hotel where I was going to spend the night was called Basen. It is not just a hotel, it is a big family, where you are a guest before the visit and a family member after the visit. There is so much love and warmth here that everyone will get a share. Basen Hotel also makes visits to a number of tourist destinations: Ughtasar, Shaki Waterfall, Vorotnavank, Tolors Reservoir, the list is continuous. Months ago I told that I had learned Armenian songs and dances here, I had tasted Kelekyosh for the first time. A dish from the traditional cuisine of the people of Van, which has been known since Urartian times.

“There are many interesting places and buildings in Sisian, which can be talked about incessantly. I presented only a part of my discoveries, for the rest you can visit yourself, you will pay attention to the city fountains, which stand out with their unique, exceptional beauty.”


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