Today, Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) is a de facto independent state with its capital Stepanakert and the cultural center Shushi. The rich history of this region dates back many centuries, and historical and architectural sights, which can be found everywhere, even under the open sky, testify that. Let us get acquainted with the seven main sights of Nagorno-Karabakh, which you should definitely include in the tour program.
1. We Are Our Mountains
The monument “We are our Mountains”, located at the entrance to Stepanakert is one of the main and recognizable symbols and attractions of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). The monument was erected in 1967, the authorship belongs to the sculptor Sargis Baghdasaryan. The image of the monument is presented on the coat of arms of the Republic of Artsakh, and among Armenians it is called gently “grandmother and grandfather” (in Armenian “tatik-papik”).
2. Ancient fortresses
There are several well-preserved ancient fortresses, most of which are included in excursions and tours as sightseeing places. Among the most significant fortress buildings can be noted Tigranakert, Mayraberd, Shushi fortress and Kachaghakaberd.
3. Churhes and monasteries
Among the most ancient monasteries of this region are Dadivank and Amaras. Amaras Monastery was founded in the IV century. The author of the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots, founded here the very first school of Nagorno-Karabakh in the V century. Another beautiful monument of Armenian architecture is the 12th century monastery of Gandzasar: the name literally means “Treasure Mountain”. It is impossible to ignore the later (1868-1887), but the fabulously beautiful snow-white Cathedral of Surb Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots (Cathedral of Saint Christ the Savior).
4. Hunot Gorge
Hunot Gorge is a stunning and beautiful sight of untouched wild nature, surrounded by a picturesque mountain landscape. A clean mountain river flows at the bottom of the canyon; you can even swim in the cool water. Fans of active tourism often take tents and organize camping in Hunot Gorge during warm season in order to admire beautiful natural views at different times of the day.
Jermajur, one of the most popular sightseeing places, is a high-mountainous region of healing hot springs, located at an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level. The name “Jermajur” is translated from Armenian as “hot water”.
6. Waterfall “Umbrella”
Waterfall “Umbrella” is an unusual and very popular natural landmark. The name of the waterfall comes from its shape, which really resembles an umbrella with streams of rainwater flowing continuously from it.
7. The Skhtorashen plane tree (Tnjri)
Approximately 37 km from Stepanakert, near the village of Skhtorashen, you can see a unique, giant tree – the Skhtorashen plane tree (Tnjri). Tnjri is the oldest (2035 years old) and the tallest (over 54 m) tree in the CIS. There is a hollow at the base of the green giant, inside of which 100 people can simultaneously accommodate. The area covered by the foliage of the tree is 1400 sq.m.