Beyond Yerevan: Why Vanadzor Should Be on Your Armenia Itinerary

Vanadzor, also known as Kirovakan during the Soviet era, is the third-largest city in Armenia. Located in the northern part of the country, Vanadzor serves as the administrative center of the Lori Province.

The city is situated on the banks of the Pambak River and is surrounded by the picturesque mountains of the Lesser Caucasus. I made a quick stop and made a few drone photos here in Mid February 2023, after returning from Yerevan to Tbilisi.

Vanadzor in Winter

Vanadzor has a rich history and culture, with several notable landmarks and attractions. The city is home to many museums, art galleries, and cultural centers, including the Vanadzor Fine Arts Museum, the House-Museum of Stepanavan Brothers, and the Vanadzor Drama Theatre.

Visitors can also explore the natural beauty of the region by hiking in the nearby mountains or visiting the Vanadzor Botanical Garden.

Soviet Architecture in Vanadzor

One of the must-visit places in Vanadzor is the Lori Berd Fortress, a medieval fortress situated on a hill overlooking the city. Another popular attraction is the Sanahin Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 20 kilometers from Vanadzor. The monastic complex, dating back to the 10th century, is renowned for its exquisite architecture and decorative art.

Soviet Architecture in Vanadzor

Vanadzor is also known for its traditional crafts, including carpet weaving, pottery, and woodcarving. Visitors can witness these crafts firsthand by visiting local workshops and markets.

Vanadzor is a fascinating destination for those who want to explore the history, culture, and natural beauty of Armenia. With its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant arts scene, Vanadzor is a city that should not be missed.