Aparan is located in Aragatsotn region. It is 32 km north of the administrative center Ashtarak and about 50 kilometers northwest of the capital Yerevan. The town is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Aragats and the northern slopes of Mount Ara, on the shores of Kasagh River, and 1880 meters above sea level. It has an Alpine climate with snowy winters and mild humid summers.
The name of the city is derived from the Armenian word of "Aparank" which means a royal palace. According to another legend the name derived from the light fixture which hung down from the sky without the rope " Anparan". Only honest and fair people could see the fixture. Then the pronunciation was changed and stayed Aparan. The past names of the city were Abaran, Bash Aparan, and Kasakh.
The city's name first mentioned in the 2nd century made by Ptolemy. Ptolemy referred to the settlement as Casala which is the Hellenized version of the Armenian name of Kasagh. Once it was the center of Nig canton of the Ayrarat province of ancient Armenia. Kasagh was under the seat of the Gntunik (Armenian noble) family. By the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th centuries, the Gntunik family founded the Basilica of Kasagh.
Between the 9th and 1st centuries, the city was part of the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. From the 10th century, the settlement of Kasagh became Aparan. The new name was originated from the village of Aparank located in the Moxoene province of the Kingdom of Armenia. Between 1914-1918, many Armenian refugees moved to Bash-Aparan from the Western Armenian cities of Van, Mush, Alashkert, and Karin. The majority of families were the Eastern Armenian town of Khoy.
Every Armenian knows this city’s historical battle and proud to tell everyone who visit this place. The heroic Bash-Aparan battle is one of the brightest pages of Armenian history. In 1918 Armenian nation defeated the Turkish soldiers who wanted to conquer Aparan. And after that every year on May 28, the locals celebrate this day with great importance. They even have a beautiful memorial(1978) dedicated to the battle designed by architect Rafael Israelyan. Near the monument, you can see the tomb(on 28 May 2000) of the great Armenian soldier Drastamat Kanayan.
In 1963, the city got the status of an urban-type settlement. The buildings of this city are not high and there are lots of houses which make the city look more special. The first thing that locals like to show the visitors is the Basilica church (Saint Khach). A little part of the Jesus Christ’s cross is situated here, that’s why they believe that this church has a real power. This historical town has both ancient buildings and modern cultural buildings. In the recent years, the theatre and cinema buildings have started to work. The city also has a public library, a music school, and a school of art. In Aparan’s museum, you can see the samples of the battle, and other interesting things from the cultural life of the town.
The locals are famous for their generosity and hospitality. The most famous dish is " Khrchik"; which has a unique taste because they have special. The one and only Gntunik food store is the most popular place in Aparan. Here you can taste the fresh Armenian bread, many types of pies, pizzas and other traditional food.
The other place in the town is the"Kharandzav" restaurant, which is unique in the area, one of the halls is situated in the cave. Near the restaurant, there is a Love Bridge, they say only couples should drink this water and after that, they will get married. This wonderful city welcomes everyone and gives unforgettable memories.