Aragatsotn region – Sima Tours
Aragatsotn region

ARAGATSOTN REGION – the center of the region is Ashtarak – 20 km

The region of Aragatsotn is located in the North West of the Republic of Armenia, on the South-Eastern, Southern, Eastern and Northern slopes of the group of Aragats mountains. The town of Ashtarak is one of the famous historical-cultural centers of Armenia.

The highest peak in the Republic – ARAGATS -created by the nature with its four peaks of volcanic origin, is in Aragatsotn region. The highest of them has an elevation of 4095 m, the others are only a few meters lower.

ARAGATS has always attracted the attention of travelers, tourists and geologists.

Mt. Aragats is a magnificent monument and the LAKE KARY (Stone Lake) with the Cosmic Rays Scientific Research Center is situated on the mountain of Aragats. The Lake is at an altitude of about 3.190 meters. The depth of the lake is about 8 meters.

There are beautiful alpine fields on the slope of Aragats mountain. Kasakh, Amberd, Geghagor and other small rivers flow through the territory of the region.

Aragatsotn region is one the most ancient settlements full of historical monuments constructed in different periods (2 millennium B.C. to 18 A.D.)

From the bridge that crosses the Kasakh River and which leads to the town one can see the town’s churches all at once.


Karmravor | St. Mariane | OshakanByurakan | Tegher monastery | Amberd | Aghtsk | Mughni | Karbi |Hovhanavank | Saghmosavank | AparanMastara | Thalin | Arouj



KARMRAVOR – this exquisite church built in the town of Ashtarak, is one of the rare monuments of the 7 th century that have remained almost intact, even the tiled roof is preserved.

ST. MARIANE – the church of Saint Mariane , at Ashtarak dates from 1281. Rather small in size and simple in architectural conception, it catches the eye with its soaring shapes, particularly the elegance of its drum

OSHAKAN – is a village in Ashtarak district located on the banks of Kasakh River – 5km far from Ahtarak. This village was mentioned by Armenian historians in 440AD. It was the home village of St. Mesrop Mashtots – the 4th century scientist and philosopher from Echmiadzin, who created the Armenian alphabet which is still in use today with no changes. When Mesrop Mashtots created the Armenian letters, the first written Armenian sentence was a quotation from the Bible: “For one to know wisdom and discipline is to discern the depths of understanding”.

Every autumn, the Translator’s Day is celebrated in Oshakan.

Mesrop Mashtots was buried in Oshakan in 442. A circular church with domes was built on his grave.

There are few monuments from different centuries on the territory of the village. The excavations of Didi Kond hill in the center of the village revealed archeological monuments dated back to 2nd millennium BC -5th century AD.

BYURAKAN – the medieval city Byurakan extremely rich in historical monuments ,is located on the slope of Mt.Aragats in the South-Eastern part. Passing the monument to the 1915 heroic battle of Van, you’ll reach Byurakan, one of the largest and best-known villages of Armenia, which is etymologized as ,,10.000 springs,,.

Byurakan is the cradle of astronomical achievements of the Armenian nation. The observatory was established in 1946, it is located at 1500 altitude above sea level. It is one of the largest centers in the world, and named after academician Victor Hambartsumyan. The observatory has a one meter diameter Schmidt Telescope, one of the largest ones in the world, as well as a 53 centimeter Schmidt Telescope and 50 and 40 centimeter mirror telescopes. The main directions of the scientific research are: Galaxy and its components , radio-astronomy, astral cosmogony, extra-galactic astronomy. The Byurakan Observatory is a branch of the National Academy of Sciences.

There are also many holiday houses in Byurakan

TEGHER MONASTERY – the monastery is located on the southern reach of Mt.Aragats, in the province of Ashtarak and was founded in 13 th century.

AMBERD – 7 km to the North from Byurakan, near the slopes of Aragats- a town fortress named Amberd was constructed in 7 th century and was preserved until the end of 14 th century. Amberd stands on a rocky eminence, again one of the impregnable fortresses of medieval Armenia. The fortress is located at 2300 meters above sea level. The church inside the fortress was built in 1026.

AGHTSK – village is located on the way from Amberd to Ashtarak. The village is known as a burial place for pagan and Christian kings of the Arshakid dynasty.

MUGHNI town– is situated in the northern part of Ashtarak. The monastery of Mughni has been a renowned holy site housing the relics of the famous Christian saint, St. George, and was mentioned for the first time in 1278 and 1280 in two manuscripts. The monastery flourished in the late medieval period when St. George’s church was built, which became one of the most celebrated architectural structures of the 17th century.
KARBI town – comes after Mughni where St.Astvatsatin (Holy Mother of God) church – 12-17 th century and a number of monuments constructed during 12-13 th centuries are located.

HOVHANAVANK – this architectural complex is in the village of Hovhanavank in the Ashtarak district and it can be viewed from a remote distance. Its buildings rise along the edge of the picturesque canyon of the Kasakh river . It was built adjacent to a single naved church erected in the 5 th century. The later constructions dating from the 13 th century.

SAGHMOSAVANAK – is located about 8km from Ashtarak near Saghmosavank village, on bank of the Kasakh river, is one of the remarkable cultural centers of medieval Armenia. The monastery was founded 1215-1290. It is especially famous for the precious manuscripts producted and preserved there.

APARAN – is one of the towns of the Aragatsotn region, which was first mentioned in the 2 nd century under the name KASAKH. In the 10 th century it was named APARAN (PALACE). Aparan was one of the summer residences of the pre- Christian kings. The basilica KASAKH is one of the oldest pre-Christian structures in Armenia, built no later than the beginning of the 4 th century.

MASTARA – the church of Mastara constitutes an interesting variation of the cruciform plan and central cupola’s church. It was built in the 6 th century.
THALIN – is located in the western part of Ashtarak. The cathedral of Thalin was built in the second half of the 7 th century.

AROUJ – the cathedral of Arouj as well as the whole of the royal palace are among the most celebrated monuments of Armenian architecture in the high Middle Ages. According to manuscripts and wall inscriptions, those buildings were constructed during the years 670 to 680 .

^ UP ^