Spitak is located in the northern part of 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 shores 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 Pambak mountains. It has extremely cold winters and mild summers.
Unfortunately, on December 8, 1988, the severe earthquake destroyed the whole city, thousand people died, thousands were injured and many people remained without roofs.
The previous past name of the Spitak was Hamamlu (Persian word; which means bathroom). It speaks about facts that there were big jars and tubes proper for the ancient bathrooms. In 1949, it was renamed Spitak (which means white in Armenian) because of white limestone rocks in the area.
The area of Spitak was inhabited since the 4th millennium BC, based on ancient settlements found on the surrounding hills. Many remains were found on the Sardar hill which dates back to the Bronze Age. 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. In this area were found the remains of the old animals, tools and other things.
Later, the region was included in the kingdom of Urartu during the 7th century BC. Between the 4th and 2nd centuries BC, It was part of the Orontid Armenia, followed by the Artaxiad ruled in 189 BC. The region was included in the Tashir canton of the historic Gugark province, the 13th province of Greater Armenia.
After surviving from the severe earthquake the Armenian Nation with the help of Armenian huge Diaspora rebuilt the city. And till nowadays Spitak is developing, besides the oldest building, you will see the new and modern buildings. The local’s most favorite place is the Saint Harutyun Church.
The city has a cultural house, 3 public libraries, many cinema theatres, a municipal theater, and an ethnographic museum. It also has a special day dedicated to the city, every year on July 15, Spitak celebrates that day with great importance.