Shirak region – Sima Tours
Shirak region

SHIRAK – the center of the region is GYUMRI – 125 km 

SHIRAK region is situated in the North-Western part of Armenia, on the left bank of Akhurian river. Shirak region as the granary of Armenia, has always been characterized by agriculture.

Today it belongs to one of the most densely populated areas of Armenia. Though, the plateau is poor in wooded areas, but is famous for its rich spring waters and fertile soil. It has continental climate with cold winters and dry, warm summers. In the North of Shirak region rises the highest mountain of Armenia-Aragats. Shirak region is in a seismic risk zone of 8-9 grades by Richter scale. The center of the region is Gyumri, located in the center of Shirak Highland, at an altitude of 1550m above sea level. The length of Shirak valley where Gyumri is situated is about 35km. This valley borders upon Turkey and Iran.



Gyumri | Tsak kar | Yererouyk | Harijavank | Lmbatavank | Mastara | Marmashen



GYUMRI – is one of the oldest cities with its population, territory, economical and cultural significance. It is the second city of Armenia. People lived here since immemorial times. Its history dates back to the 3rd millennium B.C.Gyumri well known during Argishti dynasty in 8th century B.C. and was called Kumayri. Gyumri has been the official name of the city since 1991, before it had other names: Kumayri, Leninakan, Alexandrapol-after the name of Russian Emperor Nicolas’s wife. At the end of 19th century the population of Gyumri counted 32.000 inhabitant. The inhabitant of Gyumri have reputation of hospitable people with rich sense of humour.


TSAK KAR – a stone with a hole, an old superstition believes that those who pass through the hole, will gain everlasting happiness.

YEREROUYK – the church of Yererouyk is one of the most ancient sanctuaries of Armenia to have survived (4 th to 5 th centuries), though it is now half ruined. It has an undeniable affinity with the architecture of Syrian churches belonging to the same period. In view of the exceptional quality of its construction, the church of Yererouyk is the best example, of Armenian churches of the paleochristian era.
HARIJAVANK – the architectural monument of Harij is situated in the village of the same name in the Artik District, on a cape formed by shallow ravines and the rivers flowing in them. In the village known since the second century B.C. there survived ruins of ancient foprtifications. The founding date of the monastery is unknown. Probably it was built not later than the 7th century when its first church was erected.
LMBATAVANK – the small church of Aaint Stepanos of Lmbatavank (6th century) is located near Artik. It is cruciform in layout and has a central cupola. Its architecture is sober. In the interior are splendid frescos. The church is one of the most beautiful of its kind.
MASTARA – was built in the 5th century.
MARMASHEN – located in the North-West of Gyumri , this monastery has four churches (one of which circular, has only recently been discovered). An inscription on the south wall of the main church informs us that it was built between 986 and 1029.

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