Spitak is located in the northern part of the Lori Region. It is 96 km (60 m) north of the capital Yerevan, and 22 km (14 m) west of the provincial center Vanadzor. The city is situated on the bank of Pambak River, at a height of 1650 meters above sea level. From the north, it is surrounded by the Bazum mountains and from the south by the Pambak mountains. It has extremely cold winters and mild summers.

History of Spitak

The settlement was founded during the 17th century and was known as Hamamlu. In 1949 it was renamed Spitak (meaning “white” in Armenian) because of white limestone rocks in the area.

The area of Spitak has been inhabited since the 4th millennium BC based on ancient settlements found on the surrounding hills. The cultural heritage of the town includes an archaeological site from the 2nd millennium BC, the ruins of an ancient settlement on the nearby Sardar hill from the 1st millennium BC, as well as a bridge on the Pambak river dating back to the 19th century. 

The region was included in the kingdom of Urartu during the 7th century BC. Then it was included in the Tashir canton of the historic Gugark province of Greater Armenia.

Sights of Spitak

Unfortunately, during the 1988 earthquake, Spitak was entirely destroyed and 15,000 people died which was 1/3 of the town's population, thousands were injured and left homeless. 

After surviving the severe earthquake the Armenian Nation, with the help of Armenian huge Diaspora, started rebuilding the city. Today Spitak is developing, new buildings stand beside the old ones, dividing life into before and after the earthquake. In 2001 the church of Holy Resurrection was built in the center of Spitak.

Today the city has a cultural house, 3 public libraries, cinema theatres, a municipal theatre, and an ethnographic museum. The day of Spitak is celebrated every year on July 15.