Stepanavan is located in the northern part of Armenia and is considered to be the mountainous resort. Due to its marvelous nature and the richest heritage of historical monuments this city is one of the most popular places in Armenia.
Thanks to its location on the shores of Dzoraget River among the forest of Lori plateau and Bazum mountains, Stepanavan is considered a resort town in northern Armenia.
The area of modern-day Stepanavan was first settled during the 4th millennium BC. The remains of an ancient fortress are found on the western edge of the town dating back to the 3rd millennium BC.
Later, it became part of the Urartu Kingdom between the 8th and 6th centuries BC. With the establishment of the Kingdom of Armenia in 331 BC, the region became part of the Tashir canton of Gugark; the 13th province of Greater Armenia.
Stepanavan was founded in 1810 as Jalaloghli, literally meaning son of Jalal in Turkic languages. The name is derived from the Armenian noble family of Hasan-Jalalyan. A khachkar-memorial in the town testifies that the settlement was founded in 1810 by prince Davit Hasan-Jalalyan. In 1923, Jalaloghli was renamed Stepanavan, meaning town of Stepan in Armenian, in honor of the Bolshevik leader Stepan Shaumian.
The city is surrounded by thick forests, alpine meadows and has a humid climate. The fresh air is very healthy for people who have some respiratory problems. One of the popular places in Stepanavan is the Dendropark Botanical Garden which admires everyone who visits here. It is located 12km away from the city and 155km north from Yerevan, 1450m high above sea level. The park is a natural forest with many ornamental trees and plants, lime trails and different wild plants. The most part of them was brought from the Yerevan’s Botanical Garden, also from other countries such as Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, and other eastern countries.
Dendropark is located close to Gyulagarak village, Lori Region. The park was founded by Polish engineer and famous forester Edmund Leonowicz in 1931. Edmund worked as a director of the arboretum till 1984, the next director was his son. In 1998 the area of the forests was appointed as a specially protected zone. The total area is 35 ha, 17, 5 ha of which occupies the natural forest, 15 ha ornamental trees.
The other famous place in Stepanavan is the fortress of Lori; it is located near the city. There is also Saint Sargis church that was built in the 19th century. There is a mysterious place which is called Mayor’s canyon-cave. If you want to know more about the founder of the city, go and visit the Stepan Shahumyan’s Museum- House.