Lori Region


Area: 3,799 km2

Population: 235,537 (2011)

Lori is located in the northeast part of Armenia and borders on Georgia. The name Lori first appeared in the 11th century when King David I Anhoghin founded the fortified city of Lori. The fortress-city became the capital of the Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget in 1065. The name Lori later spread and replaced the original name of the region -Tashir. The capital city of Lori is Vanadzor - the 3rd largest city in Armenia. Nowadays Vanadzor is known as a resort city.

The region is famous for its medieval monasteries Haghpat and Sanahin located in the picturesque nature of Lori. The rivers Pambak, Dzoraget, Debet, and Aghstev flow through this beautiful region. The important towns of Lori are Alaverdi, SpitakStepanavan, and Tashir. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions of Armenia.

24 km north of Vanadzor is the town of Stepanavan․ The town has a mild and humid climate and is considered a resort town due to its natural and climatic conditions. The most famous place of Stepanavan is Dendropark, a unique park, where a natural forest landscape has been reshaped into a Forest Park. It is home to a wide variety of trees: both native and acquired from other botanic gardens. California Sequoia of the park is of particular value․

The Dendropark was established by Polish engineer-forester Edmund Leonowicz in 1931. It may be safely said that Stepanavan Dendropark is the best park in Armenia. The place is perfectly pleasant to stroll and enjoy the peaceful nature and breathe fresh air. The place is especially popular in summer and during the pine tree pollen season (April-May) when favorable conditions for allergic people and those with chronic respiratory diseases are created.

Historical sights of Lori Region

Haghpat Monastery

The monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin are among the most magnificent and popular churches in Armenia included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.  

Haghpat Monastery was built in the 10th -13th centuries by the Bagratid king Ashot III and Queen Khosrovanuysh. The complex includes four churches Saint Grigor(1244), Saint Astvatsatsin (1281), Saint Katoghike(12th century) and Saint Stephanos(1232), two courtyards, refectory, prayer halls and khachkars(cross-stones).

Sanahin Monastery

Sanahin is a monastery complex in the town of Alaverdi. Sanahin monastery includes Saint Astvatsatsin and Saint Savior churches with their courtyards, as well as Saint Grigor and Saint Harutyun chapels, a lyceum, writing house, bell-tower, and the ancestral mausoleums of Kyurikyan’s Zakarian’s. The first church of the complex Saint Astvatsatsin was built in the 10th century. The church structure belongs to cross-domed types of constructions. The exterior and interior walls are decorated with sculptures and engravings.

Odzun Monastery

If you are visiting Lori take a sightseeing tour to the church of Odzun, which is an Armenian basilica of 5th–7th centuries in the Odzun village. Odzun is the largest historic village in the Lori Province situated on a plateau above the left bank of the Debed river gorge. The Odzun plateau itself is a truly impressive and spectacular place to visit. 

The first church was built here in the 6th century. In the 8th century, it was reconstructed by Hovhannes III Odznetsi who served as the katholikos between 717 and 728 and was from the village of Odzun. There are numerous gravestones of the clergy around the church and a funerary monument. Its stepped platform supports two carved stelae between double arches. It is suggested that this monument commemorates Hovhannes Odznetsi, but its style suggests that it was probably erected earlier, in the 6th century.

The climate of the Lori region

Lori Region has a relatively humid climate. In the middle and high regions, the climate is mountainous with long and cold winters. Summer is warm but humid. Annual precipitation is 600-700 mm.

The population of the Lori region

According to the calculations of 2011, the population of the region is 235 537 people. 98.10%-Armenians, 1.34%-Russians. There also live Yazidis, Greeks, Ukrainians.



Vanadzor is the capital city of the Lori region. It is the 3-rd largest city in Armenia and the industrial, economic, educational and cultural center of Lori. The city is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the capital Yerevan. Vanadzor was known as Gharakilisa, then in the Soviet period as Kirovakan, and after the independence of Armenia in 1992, Kirovakan was renamed Vanadzor. 

The city is located in the valley of the Pambak river, 1350 meters above sea level, surrounded by the mountains of Bazum and Pambak. From East and South the city is surrounded by forests, from North and West - by hills covered with bushes and plants. The climate in Vanadzor is characterized by cool summers and relatively mild winters. 

The word Vanadzor is a combination of two words meaning "Valley of Van", Van refers to the historic Armenian city of Van (now in the territory of Turkey). The area of the present-day Vanadzor has been settled since the Bronze Age, which is proved by the tombs and other historical remains found on the hills of Tagavoranist and Mashtots. The area was a part of the Tashir of Gugark; which was the 13th province of the Kingdom of Armenia.

Sights of Vanadzor

Vanadzor is a beautiful quiet city surrounded by mountains and forests, with low-raised buildings and lovely parks. The city was a popular resort during the Soviet period. There were skiing routes, ropeway, summer camps, and resort houses in the city. Unfortunately, Vanadzor, along with Gyumri and Spitak, suffered extensive damage during the earthquake in 1988. However, it has been reconstructed and is becoming a popular resort again.

Vanadzor is the educational and cultural center of Lori Province. The Vanadzor House of Culture named after Charles Aznavour is one of the largest cultural centers in Armenia. The Eduard Kzartmyan school of music has been operating in the city since 1934, the fine art museum since 1974, and the house-museum of writer Stepan Zoryan since 1990. 

Vanadzor is the seat of the Diocese of Gougark of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The church of the Holy Mother of God (1831), is the oldest church in the city. Saint Gregory of Narek Cathedral, opened in 2005, is named after Saint Gregory of Narek to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of his Book of Lamentations. Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, opened in 1895, is serving the city's small Russian community.

There are several important state universities and colleges in Vanadzor․ The city is also famous for its Horevel Folk Dance Ensemble (founded in 1958), Vanadzor Chamber Music Choir (1989), and Vanadzor Chamber Orchestra (1993). Some modern rock bands famous in Armenia have been formed in Vanadzor.

It is home to many theatres including the Bohem Chamber Theatre of Vanadzor, Vanadzor Musical Theatre, Vanadzor Drama Theatre named after Hovhannes Abelyan, and Vanadzor Puppet Theatre.  

One of the beloved spots of the residents is the artificial lake not far from the center. It is especially popular on hot summer days when children, and not only, swim and have fun here. Nearby is the famous Armenia Vanadzor Spa and Hotel Complex. 

In warm summer evenings, the locals love to stroll in the parks and along the city streets, as well as in Hayq Square surrounded by beautiful buildings. In the center of the square, you will see the new musical fountains that have no prototype in the region. Thus, welcome to Vanadzor - an excellent place for those who love nature and quiet peaceful city life with slow pace and harmony.



Haghpat Monastery

Haghpat is medieval monastery complex located in Haghpat town Lori Region. Haghpat monastery was built in 10th century. Haghpat was eminent spiritual and cultural center of Armenia.

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