in Vayots Dzor

The highway looks like a thin strip of light against the mountains. The rest of the space I am looking at is occupied by huge mountains, slopes and peaks, and at the top there is only the sky.The mountains closer to the road are not sharp peaks, but rounded, like eggs. They are densely forested. From a distance, it may seem that these are the thick backs of huge spotted bears, their fur is green.



My direction is Vayots Dzor again , this time a visit to Yeghegnadzor Geological Museum is expected for the Weekend.

I have told you before that visiting the Yeghegnadzor Geological Museum, you will see remarkable archeological materials of different historical periods discovered in the territory of Vayots Dzor region, as well as a number of unique specimens. The archeological collection of the museum is of great importance not only for the study of the history of the region, but also of Armenia.

By the way, one of the points I have referred to before has been added: “At the crossroads of art and science” Vardpet Momik andThe Art of the Khachkar ”new permanent exhibition.


Tel. +374 98 05 25 52 Karen Azatyan

Facebook: @museum68


We are going to the Old Martiros Guesthouse in the village of Hin Martiros, where Mrs. Gohar and her husband, Hamlet, will openly invite us in, serve tea made from the mountains, and dried fruits prepared by them.

Mrs. Gohar will tell you about the usefulness of different plants. You can go to collect wild plants together, or dig a cheese like me, for which we pick the jar, cheese, spices, pepper and go to work. And the discovery of the day is karshm, a dried wild plant that is typical only in the Vayots Dzor region, the result is a delicious hot soup. Karshm soup is ritual, I definitely recommend you to try it.

Madam Gohar’s goal is to revive the rich culinary traditions of Vayots Dzor.

While we were making burnt cheese, Mrs. Goyar’s husband told us that Martiros was one of the few villages in Vayots Dzor, as well as in all of Armenia, whose exact date of foundation and the names of the founders have been preserved. This important information is recorded near a large spring in the middle of the village on a khachkar sculpture made of pink granite more than three meters high in 1283, with the following inscription:

“I, Mkhitar, the son of Deghik, by the order of Prince Prosh of Ishkhanats, his son Hasan, in 1283. I built the village of Martiros, I erected this khachkar at the door of the holy shrine, as an intercession, my husband Mamjri, my son Gharib Shahin, my daughter Ruzakan, whoever you read, remind us. It was built by the hand of the Congratulator. “

The facts show that Martiros was built by the order of Prince Prosh not in a deserted place, but a village was rebuilt, which had its inhabitants.


Tel. +37494 52 00 69, Hamlet Yeghiazaryan

Facebook: @oldmartiros

What to do?


In the morning a trip to Smbataberd, but this time from the village of Artabuynk, from

the house built by Vardan and Karen’s grandpa: the brothers changed the name of the guest house to Legend. Here I learned that Smbataberd is one of the old, impregnable fortresses of Vayots Dzor, Syunik in general. It is possible that it existed even before the 5th century. Historical information has been preserved about the bloody battle between the Armenians and the Persians near the fortress in the 5th century. The Vasakyan princes of Syunik, making Yeghegis their political center, probably made this fortress a military base.

And during the reign of Orbelyans, Smbataberd became stronger. The exact name of this fortress is not known, the people traditionally call it Smbataberd, probably because in the nearby village of Yeghegis is buried one of the knights of the Orbelian king, King Smbat, who may have rebuilt the fortress, but it is more likely that he was called 10 Named after Prince Smbat of Syunik, who lived in the 15th century.

Well, after the hike, I was expected to make a traditional gata.


Tel. +374 93 66 82 83, Karen Karamyan

Facebook: @Smbatabert

Alluring, isn’t it? So you pack up and go to Vayots Dzor 🙂

This article was created as part of the My Armenia program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Smithsonian Institution. The contents of this article are those of the authors  and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the Smithsonian Institution or the US Government.

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