Vanadzor is the capital of the Lori region. It is the third largest city in Armenia but the industrial, economic, educational and cultural center of Lori. In the past the city's name was Gharachilisa then it was Kirovakan, and now it is Vanadzor.
The name Vanadzor is a combination of two words, Van refers to the historic Armenian city of Van(now, in Turkey's area), and dzor means valley. So the name of the city means "Valley of Van".
The area of nowadays Vanadzor has been settled since the Bronze Age, the proof of it are the tombs and other historic remains found on the hills of Tagavoranist and Mashtots. The area was considered to be part of the Tashir of Gugark; which was the 13th province of the Kingdom of Armenia.
Vanadzor is located in the valley of Pambak River, 1,350 meters above sea level. The city is surrounded by the mountains of Bazum and Pambak. In the southern and eastern regions are forested while to the north and west are covered with bushes and plants. The climate of Vanadzor is characterized by cool summers and relatively mild winters.
This city was also damaged during Spitak's earthquake; a lot of cultural, educational and other buildings have suffered from the earthquake. From 1990 the people started to recover the city, rebuild houses and apartments, sculptures and historical monuments.
Vanadzor is the cultural center of Lori; it has many churches, lovely parks and historical monuments that you should visit. The Vanadzor House of Culture named after Charles Aznavour is one of the largest cultural centers in Armenia. In 1934 was founded prominent art school named after Eduard Kzartmyan. The fine art museum has been working since 1974, there you can see the works of modern Armenian art and nearly 2000 of the piece of art decorates the museum. While the house-museum of writer Stepan Zoryan has been working since 1990. A lovely Hrant Matevosyan’s park is the great place to visit and just enjoy the look of the surrounding trees.
There is a nice handmade lake at the center of the city. You can go and just walk around it. The most beautiful church in the city is Surb Astvatsatsin. It is the ancient church with unique architectural style. There is also Russian church which was built by Armenians and Russians. The most popular place in Vanadzor is the Hayq’s square; the most important events of the city are held here. So go and visit this beautiful green city, that will give you great memories.
Vanadzor is a resort center in northern Armenia due to its mild climate, clean air and mineral springs. Many hotels and spa resorts are built in the city and the nearby countryside. The Armenia Vanadzor Spa and Hotel Complex is among the most popular resorts since the Soviet times. The city is connected with other major cities of Armenia with a railway and a motorway.