Meghri

Meghri

Meghri is located in the southern part of Armenia, in Syunik Region and borders on Iran. The city is on the shores of Meghri River,  surrounded by Zangezur Mountains from the northeastern part, and Meghri mountain chain from the southwestern part, at an average height of 610 meters above sea level. 

It is situated 376 km south of the capital Yerevan and 73 km south of the administrative center Kapan. Meghri is divided into 2 neighborhoods: "Mets tagh" which means a large neighborhood and "Pokr Tagh" meaning a small neighborhood. The first one is located on the left bank of Meghri river in the western part of Meghri.

The second neighborhood is located on the right bank of the river, in the western part of Meghri. It is considered to be one of the oldest towns of Armenia, in its area were found the remains and the ruins from Iron millennium.

The city was founded in 906 by king Smbat I of Armenia. It was called Karchavan during the period of the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. Later, it was changed into Meghri, which is derived from the Armenian word meaning honey town.

The city has been settled since the Bronze Age. Many archaeological monuments were found here which date back to the 7th-6th century BC during a period of Urartu kingdom. In 1105, Meghri was occupied by the Seljuks and the town was completely destroyed. After the establishment of the first Republic of Armenia (1918), the city was included in the Zangezur region. In 1959, Meghri has got the status of an urban-type settlement. After the independence of Armenia, Meghri was included in  Syunik Region.

In 2016, Meghri was enlarged including  villages of Agarak, Alvank, Aygedzor, Gudemnis, Karchevan, Kuris, Lehvaz, Lichk, Nrnadzor, Shvanidzor, Tashtun, Tkhkut, Vahravar, and Vardanidzor.

The most popular monuments are Saint Astvatsatsin and Saint Hovhannes churches. The two Churches are situated in the Meghri’s castle which remains date back to the 11th century. Saint Astvatsatsin church has two entrances and considered to be one the best examples of Armenian architecture. Near the church, you can see the Khachkar-monument dedicated the 100th anniversary of the Genocide.

In Shvanidzor (near Meghri) town there is a unique water bridge which is building in a Greco-Romanian style(17th century).  Here you can find the remains of the Berdin Kar castle, ancient tombs, and chapels. There is also abandoned church of Surp Sarkis which dates back to the 17the century located in the north of the city. 

Meghri has a public library which was founded 1882,  also a cultural center and the children's school of art. A branch of Yerevan fine arts teaching center was opened in Meghri in 1985. The locals are involved in the food industry, bread-baking, canneries and a winery. Meghri is the only location that produces pomegranate and other fruits that can be found only here.

The surrounding areas of the town are known as Prime Butterfly Area. Here are found a number of rare and endangered species of butterflies, such as Gegenes Nostradamus, Papilio alexanor, Cupido argiades, Polyommatus damonides, and others.