Stepanavan is situated in the northern part of Armenia, in the Lori region. Once there were lively caravan routes passed through the city, though it’s now a small resort city.The city is surrounded by dense pine forests, which are famous for their essential oils that have bactericidal properties and are great to help people with respiratory system diseases.That’s why the climate of Stepanavan is considered to be healing for the people with these diseases. While having the rest here, it’s also worth mentioning the sightseeing.
The medieval city of Lori and Loriberd fortress
The ruins of the medieval city of Lori are 4 km away from Stepanavan. Once there was a large settlement – the “heart” of the Lori kingdom. The city was located on a triangular mountain plateau, surrounded by deep gorges of the Miskhan and Dzoraget rivers. The Loriberd fortress, which was an impregnable citadel, protected by a strong defensive wall with a length of 200 meters was built here. Today at this place you can only see some surviving fragments of the once majestic city structures.
The ancient bridge over Urut
Not far from Loriberd fortress you can see the ancient bridge over the river Urut. The bridge has an arched construction and wonderfully fits into the surrounding landscape, in harmony with the beauty of the local nature.
Hnevank Monastery is located on the right bank of the Dzoraget River, about 40 km far from the city of Stepanavan. Hnevank is an architectural and historical monument of the Lori region dating back to the early Middle Ages. The monastery was founded in the 6th century, and it was restored and partially rebuilt in the 12th century. The monastery complex consists of three churches, a narthex, as well as utility and auxiliary buildings.
The “Sochut” Dendropark, located about 10 km far from Stepanavan, is a great place to have a rest with family or friends. “Sochut” is the first dendropark in the territory of Armenia. There is a huge number of different types of trees and shrubs grow here, many of which were specially brought from various corners of the world. Not far from the Dendropark there is a sanatorium “Sochut”, which will let you relax with health benefits and fully enjoy the healing air of the Stepanavan forests.
So here is called a picturesque place with a grotto and a waterfall. The reason why the local landmark got such an unusual name is that according to local long-livers the first communists of Armenia, led by Stepan Shahumyan, were hiding from the royal soldiers here. However, it’s worthy to visit this place for the sake of a beautiful landscape and natural views.
The Dzoraget River
A powerful and full-flowing mountain river flows through a picturesque deep canyon with steep rocky slopes. This place is deservedly considered natural sightseeing in the Lori region. In fact, the gorge of the Dzoraget River is called as one of the most beautiful canyons in all of Armenia.
House-museum of Stepan Shahumyan
The house-museum, located on the central square was considered one of the main sightseeing of the city in the Soviet years. It is believed that this was the place where Shaumyan organized the first Marxist circle in Armenia in 1899. The house-museum was partially reorganized into a museum of history and preserved as a historical building in the post-Soviet period.
Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Amrakits Village
This Russian church is located in the village of Amrakits, near Stepanawan. The Church of St. Nicholas the Wondermaker was founded in 1846 and was reconstructed in the early 1900s. The church building is an excellent example of the neo-Russian trend in modern architecture. Amrakits (Amrak) is a historical area where you can see historical objects dating back to ancient times and the Middle Ages. There are located medieval cemeteries of the 13-18th century, church buildings dating from the 13th century here. There are also solitary tombs dating back to the first millennium BC. Later, the village of Nikolaevka which was founded near this territory, that got famous due to the church of St. Nicholas the Wondermaker.
St. Sarkis Church
The small church of Surb Sarkis (St. Sarkis) is a more or less recent architectural monument. The church was built in the 19th century. It differs from the Armenian churches of the middle and late medieval periods in its general appearance and interior.