Sisian

Sisian

Sisian is another lovely city in Syunik region. It is located at the southeast of Armenia, in the mountainous Syunik Region. The city is surrounded by the Zangezur Mountains from the west and Bargushat Mountains from the south, the town is situated on the shores of Vorotan River, at 1600 m above sea level.

Syunik connects Armenia with the Republic of Artsakh and Iran. The Mount Ughtasar (3563 m) is overlooking at Sisian from the north, the Mount Mets Ishkhanasar (3552 m) is located 13 km east of the town.

The name of the town came from Armenian Sisak name. The area of modern-day it was also known as Sisakan and Sisavan during ancient times and later in the Middle Ages. According to Movses Khorenatsi, the name of Sisakan and Sisian was derived from Sisak, a legendary ancestor of the Armenian princely house of Syuni.

Historically, the territory of modern-day Sisian was part of Tsghuk canton, within historic Syunik which was the 7th province of Great Armenia. It was first mentioned as a notable center of paganism within the Kingdom of Urartu during the 8th century BC. The city is considered to be a very ancient residence; the evidence of it was a tomb which has a story more than two thousand years.

Many historical sites of the city date back to the Paleolithic Age also the early Bronze Age. The Ughtasar Petroglyphs are one of the largest ancient petroglyph sites in the world dating back to the 12th millennium BC, is located in the north of Sisian. The Zorats Karer(Stones) archaeological wonder, mostly called the Armenian Stonehenge are from the 3rd millennium BC which is located north of Sisian. Once it was the observatory and holy place. The remains of a Bronze Age cyclopean fortress are at the northeastern corner of the town, the other medieval fortresses are found in the west and the northeast of the town.

The 7th-century Saint Gregory Church of Sisavan, also known as Surp Hovhannes(670-689)  is considered to be one of the historic landmarks of the town. Sisian is known for its beautiful places and picturesque views. Right at the central entrance of the city, you will see a statue of an eagle; a symbol of the proud and powerful spirit of the locals. The other historical place in Sisian is the Syuni monastery or Saint George the Illuminator which was built in the 6th century.

The first thing that you should visit is the fascinating Shake waterfall. The locals call it the seventh wonder of Syunik region. The legend tells that, when the king Tamerlan conquered Syunik, ordered his soldiers to find the most beautiful girl in that town. They searched and found a girl called Shake. But when She knew about that order, ran away from the house right to the Vorotan Canyon. The soldiers followed the girl and when they reached the edge of the canyon the girl threw herself from the canyon. And just from that day, there stands the beautiful waterfall which was named after Shake.

The Sisian History Museum named after Nicholas Adontz has been working since 1989.  The town also has a public library (1935), the Hamo Sahyan house of culture, the Sisian branch of the National Gallery of Armenia (1978).

The climate is in the alpine zone so the in winters are long and snow, summers are mild and short.