Area: 2,086 km2
Kotayk is the only province in Armenia that has no borders with foreign countries. The administrative center is the city of Hrazdan, the largest city of the province is Abovyan. The region is named after the Kotayk canton of the historic Ayrarat province of Great Armenia. The territory is crossed by the river Hrazdan which carries its waters through deep gorges and canyons. The administrative centre of the province is named after Hrazdan River.
The most famous resort town of Armenia - Tsaghkadzor is located in the region of kotayk. Since the old times, Tsaghkadzor has been attractive both as a settlement and a resort. The “Gorge of Flowers” was first inhabited in the 3rd - 5th centuries. In the early medieval period, the area was used as a hunting ground for the Armenian Arshakuni Kings.
In the 5th century, the region was granted to the Kamsarakan and Amatuni dynasties. In 1013 the descendant of the Kamsarakan dynasty and the leader of the Pahlavuni dynasty Gregory the Magister ordered to built a church in Tsaghkadzor which was named after St. Gregory the Illuminator. And thus Kecharis monastery was founded – the true treasure of the region.
The monastery complex of Kecharis (XI-XIII) was one of the prominent cultural and religious centers of medieval Armenia. Eminent scientists and politicians of all times, such as Gregory the Magister, Vasak Khaghbakyan, Khachatour Kecharetsi, and others lived and worked in Kecharis. The complex consists of 4 churches, 2 chapels, and a vestry.
According to the legend, a big fortress with a splendid flower garden was built in this beautiful valley by the wish of a noble girl from the Pahlavunyats dynasty. The girl demanded that the most lovely flowers of the Armenian world should grow in her garden. Her wish came true. But one day a furious spring wind destroyed her garden and scattered the flowers all over the gorge. The basin filled with flowers and the gorge got the name of Tsakhkadzor (Gorge of Flowers). Then the noble girl asked her father to build a monastery near the fortress for the priests to pray day and night and bring the dispersed flowers back. And in this way the monastery of Kecharis was built.
The climate of the province is quite diverse. It ranges between the arid and semi-arid climate in the south, and snowy climate at the center and the north.
Winters in Tsakhkadzor are mild and sunny; summers cool and fresh (average temperature in July is +18 С, in January: -6 С). Here you will find all the necessary conditions for rest and sports․ Sports complexes with swimming pools (including the 50-meter indoor swimming pool) and training grounds are equipped for a wide variety of sport types.
According to the census of 2011, Kotayk has a population of 254,397 people. 98.08% of them are Armenians, 1.26 % are Yazidis, Russians, Kurds, Assyrians, Greeks, and Ukrainians.
Hrazdan is the administrative center of the Kotayk region. The river Hrazdan, after which the town is named, flows through the town to the south. They say that there was a swamp in the place of the present-day city. Now there are buildings, parks, cafes and stores in the center of the city. There is a lovely park of fir-trees in Akhta Aghbyurak district where you can breathe fresh air and enjoy the view of the surroundings.
The people of Hrazdan came here from Sasun, Mush, Kars, Artsakh, Baku, and other places. In 1946-1960, repatriates from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus settled in the city. They brought their own traditions and habits, creating a unique cultural mosaic.
The Drama Theatre of Hrazdan and the branch of the National Gallery of Armenia are near the city park which has a beautiful view of the forest. Another lovely place in Hrazdan is the "Tsovinar" artificial lake. The locals love to stroll around the lake and spend free time here. There is a statue at the lake which the locals simply call "a girl coming out of the water".
Makravank church-complex is located in the Makravan district of Hrazdan. The monastic complex includes a half-ruined 11th-century chapel and the 13th-century church of Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God).
Kecharis is medieval monastery complex located in Tsaghkadzor town, Kotayk region. The monastery is the spiritual and cultural center of Kotayk region.Read More