Kapan (formerly Kafan) is a small town in the south of Armenia. The settlement is located quite far from the capital; the journey here will take about 6-7 hours. Nevertheless, Kapan is definitely worth visiting. The city is located in the middle of dense forests. The climate is mild, subtropical here; in winter, there are rarely severe frosts, and the temperature is mostly above zero since February. Kapan is a city with a centuries-old history. Historical Kapan has been partly preserved about 7 km from the center of the modern city. So, what exactly is worth visiting in Kapan today?
Baghaberd fortress (Kapan fortress) is a historical landmark located between the cities of Kapan and Kajaran, on a hill with a height of about 200 meters. The ancient building was founded in 3-4 centuries. Once upon a time, during its heyday, Baghaberd fortress was the central object of the Armenian kingdom of Syunik. Unfortunately, only fragments of the main wall and buildings have survived to nowadays.
Halidzor fortress, built in the 17th century, is one of the main attractions of Kapan. Halidzor is located not far from the city, on a high hill near the Voghji River. Initially, a monastery was founded here, but later the complex was rebuilt into a fortress. Due to the peculiarities of the local landscape and amazing architectural solutions, Halidzor was considered one of the most impregnable fortresses in this territory.
If you like extreme, then you should definitely take a “flight” via the Kapan zipline. The uniqueness of the attraction is that the zipline line runs right above the city. Flying about a thousand meters, you can see the panorama of the city, as well as admire the picturesque view of the mountains and the Voghji River from a bird’s eye view.
Vahanavank monastery complex is located about 5 km southwest of Kapan. Vahanavank was founded in the 10th century, and the monastery got its name from the name of the founder – the prince’s son Vahan. Later, in the 11th century, the complex was partially rebuilt. For a certain period of time, Vahanavank served as a pantheon for members of local royal families.
St. Mesrop Mashtots Church
St. Mesrop Mashtots Church can be considered one of the modern, but at the same time no less significant sights of Kapan. The church was built in 2001 and is a current spiritual center. The building of St. Mesrop Mashtots is designed in the traditional style of Armenian church architecture.
Kapan History Museum
The rich exposition of Kapan Historical Museum will allow you to learn a lot of interesting things about this ancient area. The first mentions of Kapan date back to the 5th century. The museum contains many unique archaeological finds dating back to the Middle Ages.
If you are a fan of outdoor activities, then you should definitely take part in the hiking to the local Mount Khustup. Of course, the hike will require some physical training. However, the magnificent views and incredible mountain scenery that you are going to see along the way will definitely be worth all the effort.