Armenia with 5 thousand years of civilization is one of the human cradles in the world. Indo-European Armenians had developed an exemplary high culture. Here the first statehoods had been established yet in the early third millennium BC and were the contemporaries of Schumer, Accad and Ancient Egypt ones. In ancient descriptions the Armenia was considered as a "Sacred Highland". With reference to the Bible the humanityArmenia had been created right here in the paradise-on-land laid at the beginning of Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Here is the mountain Ararat, which carried the Noah's Ark. For an Ancient world Armenia had been considered as a provider of material and human ideological resources. Some great discoveries, which considerably promoted the development of the humanity, had been made here. The Armenian Highland is considered the pre-homeland of the Indo-European peoples as well. Armenians are among these nations with an ancient manuscript. According to the tradition Armenian's Forefather Hayk was the inheritors of the Noah's son Habet. The first Pan-Armenian state was established in 4th century BC and till the end of the 4th century after Christ Armenia had been considering among the three most powerful states of the Ancient world and during this period twice managed reaching the regional superiority.Syunik Nowadays Armenia covers the only 1/10 part of the Armenian Highland area
The Major Armenia covered more than 300.000 square kilometers reaching the Asia Minor at the West, Northern Mesopotamia at the South, almost to the Black Sea at the North and the Caspian Sea at the East.
In the eastern part of the Asia Minor was developing another Armenian state described in the ancient sources as Minor Armenia. In 301 Armenia, first among other nations adopted the Christianity as a State religion.
In 387 the Romans and Persia divided the Armenia between each other.
In 428 Armenia regained its independence. After some 450 years of struggle Armenia again regained its independence, but which exterminated in 1045 by Byzantium. In the late 11th century an Armenian statehood was established in Kilikia, and its commander Levon was inaugurated as a King in 1198. The Armenian Kingdom in Kilikia was a European-type state with a rich culture and traditions. It survived till 1375. About 8 and half centuries the Armenians were in the composition of Turkish, Persian and then Tsarist Russian empires. In 1918 the first Republic of Armenia was formed, which further in 1920 turned to the Soviet Armenia.
In 1991 Armenia regained its independence creating the third republic. In the same year another Armenian State Kharabagh proclaimed its independence, too.

Armenians are among unique nations in the world, who have got great glory, suffered foreign yoke for centuries, genocide and renaissance without losing their national identity, proud, creativity and aspirations towards the happy future.


Syunik is one of the most ancient regions in the world. As of Stone Age period the region had all the time been inhabited. In mediaeval centuries the Syunik governors had the biggest army among other Armenian local authorities and managed to establish statehood as well (10-11th centuries). SyunikThe Syunik land preserved its semi-independent state till the new stage and in the early 19th century was included in the composition of the Russian empire and in 1920-1921 heroically run self-defense against the Bolshevik invaders. The name Syunik had been derived from the name of the ancient Armenian pagan God Sivini. According to the tradition, the Syunik-Sisakan, as well as town Sisian bears the name of the Hayk forefather's grandson Sisak.
In the past the region, together with its lands, included the following territories of the nowadays Armenia - Vayots Tsor and Gegharkunik regions with nearby territories. Today, the center of the region is town Kapan. The other towns are Sisian, Goris, Mexri and Qajaran.
Syunik is distinguished with its calm mountainous climate, fresh air, cold water sources, rivers and lakes, natural riches, resort houses, historic and cultural monuments. Today the region has commenced its modern time development stage preserving the unique features of its traditional culture.


: RA Syunik region's Sisian sub-region with the town of the same name was the biggest sub-region of the former Soviet Armenia (1719 square km). Town Sisian is situated 217 km far from Yerevan, 6-7 km to the South from Yerevan-Kharabagh and Yerevan-Iran highway. It is located on both banks of the Vorotan River, 1600 meters above sea level. The average temperature in January is -5 C and 17.9 C in July.
In mediaeval centuries the town Sisian beard first Syuni and then, in 1935-1940 Sisakan names.
As a historic-geographic territory it has permanently been included in the composition of Major Armenia's Syunik or Sisakan regions and from the beginning has been the administrative-political and religious center of both its forefathers and governing dynasties. Nowadays Sisian sub-region mainly includes the territory of the Tsxuk land of the historic Syunik region. In written sources the Tsxuk land first is mentioned in 8th B.C. According to the tradition the Sisakan-Syunik was the estate of the Hayk's grandson Sisak and to this end beards his name. In pagan period Sisakan was the one of considerable centers of Sun worship.
The name §Syunik¦ comes from the name of the Urartu's God of the Sun Sivini-Shivini and the Sisakan-Sisian, by all probabilities comes from the Schumer sisi, sisu (horse), which was considered the symbol of Sun worship at that time. The most ancient monuments of the Sisian are dated as of Stone Age period. Among the most famous and valuable pre-Christian monuments are the Uxtasar's rock images (5-2 millennium B.C.) and Zorats Qarer Megalith monument and Uyts Megalith settlement (both are dated 3-1 millenium B. C.). There are numerous partly revealed and studied and non-studied shrines, fortresses and mausoleums.
Sisian The stone inscription of the king Argishti the Second (8th century B.C.), one of Artashesi borderline stones (2nd century B.C.) and many other treasures have been found from the Sisian's territory. Among Christian stage historic-architectural monuments are famous the Tanahat's church (4-5th centuries), Syuni church (6-7th centuries), Aghitu monument (6-7th centuries), Vorotnavank (first mentioned in 4th century), Vorotnaberd (mentioned in 5th century) and many other monuments as well.
The Sisian's sub-region is distinguished by its sightseeing, among them the Shake's waterfall, Vorotan's gorge, mountainous lakes and reservoirs.
In Sisian various cultural centers function, where both the past historic heritage and the nowadays-cultural values of both Syunik region and town Sisian are represented.
The Sisian's state museum of History after N. Adonts is distinguished by its rich historic-archeological and ethnographic exemplars, as well as by Qaradaran with rich collection of stone monuments.
The branch of the RoA National Gallery functions as well, where one may be introduced with the art crafts of both Armenian famous and local artists. Various places for leisure are available in the town as well.



Uxtasar's rock images are situated about 25 km North to the Sisian, at the central part of the Syunik Highland, in the site between Black and Al lakes 3300 meters above sea level. The road to this monument is almost impassable and available only during June-September. Ukhtasar These rock testimonies of Armenian forefathers are approximately dated 5-2 millenium B.C. These are carved on more than a thousand laid stones and depicted people at hunting, working, worshipping. There are depictions of domestic and wild animals, terrestrial bodies, cosmic and other suchlike images. There are many inexpressible outlines as well. The rock images are the prototypes of Ukhtasarmanuscripts, which pass the whole and completed events through interrelated images and enable us to reveal the ancient people's living, worldview and skills.
Uxtasar's rock images are of worldwide importance monuments, which reveal the cultural sources of Armenian nation. It is one of the loveliest sightseeing for tourists. During past 8-9 years many tourists have reached this almost impassable site end enjoyed both the archaic stone images and the picturesque surrounding with cold water sources.


(Armenian Stonehedge)

ZoratsStonehedge Qarer is in the spotlight of the tourists conditioned by its high historic-cultural value and easy-to-reach geographical position. It is located near the Yerevan-Iran and Yerevan-Mountainous Kharabagh highway, in the Sisian's part, 300-400 meters far from the highway and distinguished by the nearby fascinating nature as well.
Zorats Qarer Megalith monument famous also as “Armenian Stone Hedge”, Qarahunj and with other names and situated 3 km north to the Sisian. Having a unique structure in its kind, it has not fully studied yet. The monument is a complex of hundreds of vertically fixed stones covering more than three hectares area. It is Stonehedge1770 meters above sea level. The all stones of the monument are of basalt and on some of them there are hauls. The main disputes in scientific circles about this structure are framed within two viewpoints.
First version states that the vertically fixed stones are religious monuments/menhirs devoted to the deceases, the central oval structure is a kromlex and the hauls opened on stones have a technical meaning.
The second version states that the Zorats Qarer is an ancient observatory designed for the observation of terrestrial bodies and time setting and the hauls on stones are designed to more precisely observe these terrestrial bodies from different poses. Due to this version the Zorats Qarer has been juxtaposed with the English Stone Hedge, French Karnak, Dutch new Grege which are considered as Sun worshipping centers and observatories. Based on archeological data the archeologists suppose the Zorats Qarer had built in 3-2 millenium BC during the transitional stage from the early Bronze to the Medium Bronze period and survived till the middle of the 1st millenium. Some astrologists, based on new facts, suppose that it is 6000 or 8000 years old.


Uyts Meghalith SettlementIt is situated on the eastern borders of Sisian, in front of the Syuni fortress, on the right-hand high area of the Vorotan's gorge nearby to the village Uyts. This amazing monument has not almost been studied and its partial studies and geometrical calculations have brought to the initial conclusions that from Uyts to the Aghitu village area (about 2 km) a great ancient city had existed, which had permanently survived from the third millenium to the middle of the first millenium. Many Cyclopean structures: dolmens, kromlexs and walls like Zorats Qarer have been preserved. This monument excesses by its sizes not only the suchlike monuments of the Armenia dated at that time, but also the regional ones. The local population calls it Sangyar-Qaraberd.


The monument is situated 8 km south to the Sisian nearby to village Brnakot.
It is an ancient settlement built by menhirs with circled soaring walls. Its central part is an altar. The monument has not studied yet, but obviously it is a megalith structure like Zorats Qarer and Qaraberd. Suchlike kromlexs are available in the Sisian's mausoleums as well and one may also meet alike monuments in the Western Europe, where they are counted about 900.


It is situated in the west-north part of town Sisian, on a hill and has alternative names as well: St. Grigor Lusavorich, St. Hovhannes, and Sisavan. Syuni church
Syuni church, which was the third biggest church after Tatev and Tanahat and named after St. Grigor Lusavorich have been built by the great benefactor Syunik's Mrs. Varazduxt after in 520-530 BC. Syuni church like the majority of ancient Armenian churches has been built on the bases of the pagan temple.
The palace and court of Syunik's governors have been located in the front square of the church. Perhaps in the place of the ancient Syuni (Sun) pagan temple the St. Grigor Lusavorich church has been built and in the late 7th century renamed St. Hovhannes.
Syuni church is made of basalt, on a three-level deck. According to its draft, it belongs to the Avan-Hripsime-typed churches and distinguished by its archaic structure. Within the range of its dome's small tromps are inserted the sculptures of its re-builders: Kohazat governor, Hovsep the A and Teodoros monk with respective inscriptions. There are numerous stone images and inscriptions on its walls including stone carvings. Many khachkars are available in its territory. The main reconstruction of the church was implemented in 1959-1961. The church has been re-commenced its operations since 1979


It is situated 14 km east to the Sisian on the left-hand hill of the Vorotan's gorge.
Vorotnavank is mentioned still from 4th century. Nowadays preserved buildings have been built by the Syunik's queen Shahanduxt in 1000, who was the grandmother of Katramide wife of the Armenian king Ashot the Yerkat, Vorotnavank
mother of the Syunik's governor Vasak the A and the wife of Smbat the A. Formerly in the place of the Vorotnavank was the Christian shrine after St. Grigor Lusavorich/Gregory the Illuminator. The inscription on its establishment has been preserved “In 1000 Shanaduxt by order of king Smbat built a church after St. Naxavka Stepanos, then in 1006 Sevada, the brother of king Vasak built here a church after St. Karapet and its chapel”.
Shahanduxt built also art centers and wholesale houses surrounded them with defending walls. A pillar was erected in its yard, which meant that monks were being entered into religious service here and governors inaugurated. In 1104 the Vorotnavank was destroyed by Seljuks and afterwards was rehabilitated during the reign of Orbelyan family. Stone inscriptions by local governors have preserved on its stones (14th century). Here the mediaeval great Armenian philosopher Hovhan Vorotnetsi (1315-1388) runs his religious and scientific activities. He had established close ties between Vorotnavank and Tatev establishing the Tatev's university. During the Lank-Temurs invasions the church had destroyed again. In the late 19th century the church was in a poor condition. In 1931 the church was entirely destroyed by the earthquake and only in 1980 the reconstruction works of the church were commenced.


This ancient church is situated 17 km south-west to the Sisisan. It has been titled Red Church, because was made of red stones. The church has been built in the place of the pagan temple devoted to the Armenian she-God Anahit. Tanahat churchIn 5th century here a Christian church was built with a beautiful range of stone lilies. The range of columns is located in its eastern side. The early mediaeval cemetery surrounds the church. The stone inscription of Armenian king Argishti the First (8th century B.C.) has been excavated here. The name of the Tsxuk land of the Syunik region had first time been mentioned, which borders are almost coincide with the nowadays Sisian sub-region. Tanahat church had functioned till the late mediaeval ages. Today it is in a destroyed condition and the reconstruction activities are envisaged.


The famous monument of the Armenian mediaeval architecture the Tatev's church complex is situated 35 km to the south of Sisian, nearby to the village Tatev. Since 8th century it had become the seat of the Syunik's diocese. Tatev MonasteryIn 906 the cathedral of the monastery titled Poghos Petros was built, in 1067 the St. Astvatsatsin mausoleum -church, in 1295 the St. Grigor church. In 1390-1435 the famous Tatev's mediaeval university and school of miniature and manuscript were functioning.
The monastery had a great matenadaran, where more than 10 thousand manuscripts were kept. Here is the tombstone of the prominent Armenian philosopher and theologian Grigor Tatevatsi. Tatev is famous also by its khachkar-beard rod, which is considered as one of the interesting Armenian architectural solutions.
In 20th of the 17th and 20th centuries it was an important freedom-fighting spot. Many occurrences are connected with the monastery. At the end of the 20th century some construction and rehabilitation works have been carried out in the territory of the monastery. Now the monastery is functioning and the spiritual center of the Syunik's diocese.


It is one of the most famous ancient Syunik settlements and situated 7 km east to the Sisian on a circled hill on the left bank of the Vorotan River. Aghitu is considered as one of the first religious, military and influential settlements of the Syunik region.
Aghitu is famous by its prominent graveside bust-monument built in 6th or 7th centuries. The monument is a three-stored structure with two roaring columns and the central 8-sided pillar is completed with a circled stone image.
Three columns symbolizing the Holy Trinity are roaring above them. Aghitu MonumentThe sculptures on the monument are resembled the sculptures of the St. Grigor Lusavorich and Zvartnots churches. Stone inscriptions are available on it as well. This monument, together with Otsun's one is considered as a unique and memorial. It is worth mentioning that the columns of the Sardarapat memorial are copied from this monument-graveside bust. The meaning of the Aghitu monument is controversial among the scientific circles. According to the national legend here two martyred brothers are rested upon. One of the versions states that here is the tomb of the people martyred for their Christian belief. Another version based on archaeological excavations states that it was a part of the great complex with a church next to it (10-11th centuries) and other monumental structures. Indeed, beneath the monument early mediaeval tombs have been excavated. The monument refers to the martyrs of the Avarayr Battle as well and the graveside bust have erected in the sake of these martyred people. The name of the village (Aghxitu-Aghitu) prompts us that it was the agh-estate of the Syunik's governors and there is another version as well that it is their family cemetery. There is a version that it have been erected based on the collective funeral action of died fighters as Romans do. Two basalt-made sculptures and the other excavated materials from the monument are preserved in the Sisian's museum of the history.



Melik Tangi  Bridge

The bridge is located 20 km to the east from Sisian. It has been built in 1855 on the Vorotan River, in the vicinity of the ancient Vorotn village (Melik's village) by the Syunik Melik Tang. The stones for its construction have been taken from the nearby destroyed church and cemetery of an earlier stage. The bridge is beneath the Vorotnavank's carves, which increases the beauty of the bridge.



It is situated 20 km east to the Sisian and mentioned from 4th century. It was one of famous and powerful fortresses of the Syunik. In 1104 Seljuks held the Vorotnaberd. In 1211 the Zaqaryans (Armenian governors) emancipated it and give it to the famous Armenian leading family: Orbelyans. In 1236 Lank-Temur army held the fortress. Then the Vorotnaberd was mentioned in 1724 concerning the freedom-fighting run by Davit Bek and entered the people's memory as a fortress of Davit Bek. Now the walls of the citadel and the tombstones of Orbelyans have been preserved.
Their beauty distinguishes the fortress and its vicinity. Vorotnaberd and Vorotnavank are situated on both banks of the Vorotan River and had been connected to each other via underground viaduct, which was successfully being used during alien sieges.


Shake Waterfall

It is located in the Vorotan's gorge, 3 km far from Sisian, on the Shake confluent: left bank of the Vorotan River. Its height is 18 meters. Shake is the highest and the most beautiful waterfall of Armenia and, as a place of sightseeing, permanently hosts tourists and visitors. Its distance from Yerevan-Kharabgh highway is 4 km.



MargaritkaSisian's sub-region is famous by its water resources. Here one may find both natural mountainous lakes and reservoirs. By their size the Spandaryan, Tolors and Shamb reservoir is distinguished, which are good places for fishing, swimming and leisure in general. The half-drawn church of the Ashotavan village is in the Tolors reservoir. Surprisingly, for many years it is not destroyed being under the water. The Shamb reservoir is famous by its Edelweiss construction.





AngheghakotAngeghakot is 17 km far from Sisian. It is one of famous and ancient villages of the Syunik region. It may be called “a museum in the open air”. Out of 7 churches of the village two are yet standing: nearby to the village is the famous mediaeval cemetery with ancient khachkars and one may face many stone monuments in the village as well. Nearby to the village is the shrine of the Vardan the Commander, where, according to the tradition is rested upon Vardan Mamikonyan. Angeghakot connects with many important events. It was a famous Melik Center and in 1699 here the prominent Armenian diplomat Israyel Ori convened the famous meeting with the Syunik Melik (local governors). Village was a spotlight during 1918-1919 and 1920-1921 freedom-fighting. In 2005-2006 Armenian and foreign archeologists have excavated a famous ancient settlement, which, according to experts' estimations, may date 6-4 millenium BC and refers to the Mesopotamian Neolithic culture. The excavations are on.



Brnakot is situated 7 km far from Sisian. It was one of the famous Melik (local governors) centers of the Syunik.
The village is famous both by its monuments, church and its famous representatives/villagers. It is the birthplace of the prominent Armenian historic Nikoghayos Adonts. Four heroes of the Great Patriotic War, many scientists, artists and state activists are from the village as well. Megalith monument titled “Hovvi Qar/Shepherd's Stone- is nearby to the village.


Lor is a famous ancient settlement. First time it had been mentioned in 839. Here the Cross-statute-monument titled White or Loriki Khach built in 1271 is situated erected by governor Vorotshah in memory of his parents. Lor was a famous mediaeval educational and manuscript center. There are a number of manuscripts in the Matenadaran taken from or authorized by Lor. The school built in 1905 is still operable. In 1915-1916 the famous Armenian writer Aksel Bakounts was a teacher in Lor and his story "Xonarh Axchikw/Humble Girl" had been written at that period. Lor is the birthplace of the famous Armenian poet Hamo Sahyan leaving an indelible mark on his insight and literal heritage.

The village is situated in a very beautiful place 26 km far from Sisian.




Sisian's museum of History after N. Adonts has been established in 1990. The museum has a rich collection of historic-archeological and ethnological materials highlighting the history of both Sisian and Syunik region: in line with permanent exhibitions 2-3 temporary exhibitions are organized annually as well. The material values raised during archeological excavations and studies in the region are collected and preserved in the museum (mausoleum-field from Zorats Qarer, Aghitu and Syuni fortress etc.), numerous occasional findings, Museum of historyrich collection of Syunik's hand-woven rugs and many other historic and cultural values.

Museum has also a Qaradaran with a rich collection of ancient stone monuments (more than 45 exemplars are represented - stone images, tombstones, khachkars, sarcophagi etc.). It is a lovely place for tourists and visitors of the town


It has been established in 1978. During 1993-1998 it has been functioning within the composition of the Museum of History after N. Adonts and since 1998 as a branch of the RoA National Gallery. Branch

Three types of art crafts are exhibited at the Gallery: water-colour, graphics and sculpture. The masterpieces of the famous Armenian artists of late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (M. Saryan, P. Terlemezyan, A. Kalunts, S. Arakelyan, E. Isabekyan, H. Hakobyan, H. Hmayakyan, H. Zardaryan, G. Xanjyan, S. Baghdasaryan, S. Manasyan, H. Gyurjyan, V. Ayvazyan, M. Abefgyan, A. Gharibyan etc.) are demonstrated here. Exhibitions of local artists are organized in the gallery as well.

The building of the gallery repaired in 1988. It is a lovely place for tourists and visitors.


Sisian's art school has been established yet in the Soviet times as a vocational school for fine painting.
Here the community's school-age children are studied; who continue their education in various national vocational and high art schools and institutions. Art school
The school has many skilled alumni. Here it is conducted not only educational activities, but also organized exhibitions and other cultural events. Thanks to efforts of the school's staff one may be introduced with the paintings of its skilled pupils and alumni, as well as to buy them.
The school's staff greatly contributes into the development of tourism business in the region as well. The school hosts the Sisian's information center for tourism development.