Situated on the right bank of Debed river, at an altitude of 810 meters above sea level, the town of Tumanyan is located about 150 km north of Yerevan, and about 40 km north of Vanadzor, the capital of Lori province of Armenia. The town has a population of over 1700 people (2016 estimate). The climate here is subtropical, with relatively hot summers and mild winters.

Historically, the area of the present-day Tumanyan was part of the Dzorapor canton of the Gugark province of the historic Kingdom of Armenia. The town’s history dates back to 1926, when the village of Dzaghidzor was founded. With the foundation of refractory metals mines and launch of the production of fireproof materials in the 1930s, the village grew rapidly.

Dzaghidzor was granted a status of an urban settlement, and was renamed Tumanyan in 1951, in honor of the renowned poet and writer Hovhannes Tumanyan, a native of the nearby village of Dsegh.

Across the road from Tumanyan, on the left slope of the Debed canyon, the 12th-century monastery of Kobayr is located, famous for its Byzantine-style rich and exquisite frescoes. Another medieval monastery, the Bardzrakash St. Gregory, is located on the slope of Marts gorge, but it’s accessible by foot only. Several khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to the 9th, 13th and 14th centuries are found in the town.

What's Nearby

Kobayr monastery (2.5 km)
Bardzrakash St. Gregory monastery (3 km on foot)
Horomayr monastery (18 km)
Hovhannes Tumanyan House-Museum (18.5 km)
COAF Smart Center (13 km)
Basilica of Odzun (16.5 km)


With a population of 80,000 people, the city of Vanadzor is the third largest city of the Republic of Armenia and the administrative and cultural center of the Lori province. Founded in 1828, when Armenia was a part of the Russian empire, it was called Gharakilisa, meaning black church (the church still stands in the city). After the Sovietization of Armenia, the city was renamed Kirovakan in honor of a Soviel politician Sergei Kirov. In 1992, following the independence of Armenia, the city was renamed again, acquiring its current name, Vanadzor.

In the Soviet times, Vanadzor was a major industrial city, famous for its chemical production. But with the collapse of the economy after Soviet Union’s fall, many factories closed down, and today their abandoned buildings stand like ghosts from the past. Some of the old factory buildings today house production of garments, food, construction materials, etc․

The city is also a regional transport hub connecting the villages and towns through a network of public transport. The railway connecting Yerevan to Tbilisi runs through Vanadzor.

Vanadzor’s neoclassical architecture set against the green mountains surrounding the city creates its own unique atmosphere. Vanadzor is famous among the youth as the rock music capital of Armenia.

Indeed, many famous musicians and rocks bands originated here, including Vordan Karmir, Lav Eli, The Clocker, and others. Today, Vanadzor is rapidly developing, becoming one of Armenia’s educational, cultural, and tourism centers.

What to see in Vanadzor

Museum of Local Lore Lori Pambak
Tairov’s Summer House
Church of the Holy Mother of God
Vanadzor Fine Arts Museum
Vanadzor Agriculture Market
Stepan Zoryan House-Museum


The city of Alaverdi is located in the northeastern part of Armenia, not far from the Armenian-Georgian border, at the bottom of the Debed canyon. An important commercial and industrial center, Alaverdi has a population of over 13000 people (as of 2017). The settlement acquired the status of a city in 1939 but archaeological evidence suggests that the area was most probably already inhabited during the 1st half of the 2nd millennium BCE. Later, between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, the area became part of the Urartu Kingdom.

Working tools, weapons, and jewelry made of copper and bronze were found here during archaeological excavations. The oldest find was a copper axe dated back to the second half of 3rd millennium BCE. Copper was mined in this area from ancient times.

In the 18th century, Greek miners settled in the area and founded a copper smelting plant. Not long after nearly a quarter of the entire Russian copper was being mined here. Copper played a key role in Alaverdi’s economy. Another major factor that contributed to the boost of the city’s development was the construction of the railway connecting Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, to the city of Gyumri.

Today, tourism is on the rise here, too. In and around the community of Alaverdi, there are many historical and cultural monuments, of which the most famous is the UNESCO World Heritage site monastery of Sanahin, a masterpiece of medieval Armenian architecture. Another major historical site is the Old Bridge of Sanahin, built over the Debed river at the end of the 12th century.

What to see in Alaverdi

Sanahin Monastery
Sanahin Old Bridge
Alaverdi Art Gallery
Mikoyan Brothers Museum