The city is located in the central part of Ararat valley, and on the bank of Hrazdan River, 16 km southwest of Yerevan on the road to the ancient city of Artashat. The town has a large railroad station that serves Yerevan.
Masis is one of the closest settlements to Mount Ararat. The mountain is visible from most areas of the town. The population of Masis is 18,500.
The name of the city derives from the highest peak of Mount Ararat. The History of Armenia connects the name “Masis” with king Amasia, the great-grandson of the Armenian patriarch Hayk.
Historically, the territory of the present-day city was included within the Vostan Hayots canton of the historical region of Ayrarat of Ancient Armenia. Masis was officially founded by the Soviet government in 1953 as Hrazdan.
In 1969 the residence was renamed Masis. Within 2 years, the town was given an urban-type settlement status, which developed as a centre for agricultural products and light industries during the Soviet years.
The industrial district of Masis occupies the western half of the town. Unfortunately, most of the Soviet industry in Masis was abandoned after the independence of Armenia. However, Masis is currently a major centre for tobacco products in Armenia and Transcaucasia, with 2 giant manufacturers: Masis Tobacco factory (since 1999) and International Masis Tabak factory.
It gradually became home to many large firms including the Al. Miasnikian furniture factory, the Masis unit of the Yerevan carpet-weaving factory, as well as a branch of the Yerevan paper manufacturing plant․ The city is considered to be a satellite of Yerevan city. Summers in Masis are mainly short but hot, while winters are long and very cold.
The main historical and cultural monuments of the town are St. Thaddeus Church which was completely rebuilt in 2015, and the beautiful 19th-century church known as the Holy Mother of God. Currently, the town has a public library and a music school named after Arno Babajanian. The most prominent monument in Masis is the World War II monument.