Located on a vast plateau overlooking the majestic Debed canyon, about 10 km south of the town of Alaverdi, the village of Odzun is one of the ancient settlements of the Gugark province of the historic Kingdom of Armenia, and one of the largest villages in the country. Odzun is renowned in Armenia for it is not only the birthplace of one of the Catholicoi of the Armenian church, Hovhannes Odznetsi (John of Odzun), but also home to a unique Armenian church, the Basilica of Odzun, the history of which dates back to as early as the 4th century.

The village derives its name from the Armenian word “to ordain,” “otsel.” According to Christian tradition, in the 1st century Thomas the Apostle, one of the 12 apostles of Christ, had priests ordained here, thus the name of the village.

Odzun is a popular tourist destination among locals, as a result of which, the village has a more or less developed tourism infrastructure, including hotels, guest houses, marked hiking trails, etc.

What to see in and around Odzun

Odzun Basilica
Horomayr Monastery (3 km)
St. John Monastery of Ardvi (8.5 km)
Odzi Port (Dragon Belly) natural monument (8.2 km)