Kajaran

Kajaran

Kajaran, is situated in the southern part of Armenia Syunik region. It is located 356 km south of Yerevan, 25 km west of the administrative center Kapan, and 50 km north of the Armenia-Iran border. The city is located in the Dzork canton of the historic region of Syunik.

The town is located on the border of two natural landscapes, alpine and highland forests at a height of 1950 meters above sea level, on the bank of Voghji river, between the Zangezur Mountains and Meghri range. The highest peak is Mount Kaputjugh which has 3905 meters height and situated in the west of Kajaran. It is located in an alpine climate zone

The name of the city is derived from the Armenian word "Քաջ" which means "brave" and the suffix "արան" which means place.  So it means the settlement for brave people. The former name of the city was Kachachut, the first historian that mentioned this city was Stephen Orbelian in his 13th-century work Syunik's HIstory. In the late Middle Ages, the name changed to Kchanants and even nowadays some locals name so. In the middle of the 20th century,  the name was officially changed Kajaran.

In fact, the city's area was an ancient residence and had been settled since the 3rd-2nd millenniums BC. The proof of it is the pagan temple found in the area. Besides that metal was produced here since the Bronze Age. The old village of Kajarants is located 2 kilometers west of the present-day town which was part of  Dzork canton. In 1947 it got the status of the urban-type settlements. The majority of the population are Armenian workers from  Kapan and the Nagorno-Karabakh.

In 1930 was discovered huge copper deposits, and the Soviet government ordered to build a large copper-molybdenum plant. The construction of the plant was launched in 1940, but it was interrupted due to the World War II. The first product started in 1945. In 1951, the Zangezur state-owned mining company was formed to organize the production process, which became one of the largest companies of the Soviet Union.  In 2004, production was relaunched and nowadays, it is one of the largest industrial companies of Armenia.

Syunik is rich in mineral resources, including stone. The biggest copper and molybdenum mine of Armenia is located in Syunik region. The ore mainly contains molybdenite, chalcopyrite, magnetite, and pyrite. It also contains valuable accompanying elements like gold, silver, rhenium, selenium, and bismuth. The mine contains 87% of copper and 8% of molybdenum.

The most popular fortress is Baghaberd. It is a very ancient fortress and meantime had unapproachable double barriers. The Bronze Age fort of Napat dating back to the 2nd millennium BC is found 4 km west of the city. A medieval cemetery is found at the eastern edge of the town.  Kajaran has a small church built in 1912 on the foundations of a medieval church. The city has a cultural center, a public library, as well as an art school for children.