Theme Week Armenia – Vanadzor

Tuesday, 23 January 2024 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Gugark Hotel © Armineaghayan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Gugark Hotel © Armineaghayan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Vanadzor is an urban municipal community and the third largest city in Armenia, serving as the capital of Lori Province in the northern part of the country. It is located about 128 kilometres (80 miles) north of the capital Yerevan. As of the 2011 census, the city had a population of 86,199, down from 148,876 reported at the 1979 official census. Currently, the town has a population of approximately 76,000. Vanadzor is the seat of the Diocese of Gougark of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In the official records of the Russian Empire, the city was labelled as Karaklis Bolshoy (lit.: Greater Karakilisa). Following the Sovietization of Armenia, the city was renamed Martunashen (alternatively Martunakan) in 1926 after Armenian Bolshevik revolutionary Alexander Miasnikian. On 3 January 1935, it was renamed Kirovakan, after the popular Russian Bolshevik leader Sergey Kirov. A close associate of Miasnikian and Aghasi Khanjian, Kirov had been assassinated on December 1 of the previous year. On 25 June 1992, after Armenia gained its independence, Kirovakan was renamed back to its initial name Vanadzor after the Vanadzor River which flows through the city. The name Vanadzor is composed of the Armenian words vank (“monastery“) and dzor (“valley”). Thus, the name of the city means “valley of the monastery.”

The population of Vanadzor has grown gradually since 1849, after becoming part of the Yerevan Governorate. The population of Kirovakan-Vanadzor increased significantly after World War II, when Stalin allowed open immigration to the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic with the promise of a better life for the arriving Armenians in the historical homeland. Armenians from different parts of Europe and the Middle East, most of them survivors of the Armenian genocide, immigrated and settled in Kirovakan. Due to the harsh conditions imposed by Soviet intelligence and the Ministry of Interior, many of the immigrants were sent to labor camps in Siberia and elsewhere. The reason for this treatment towards the Armenian immigrants was because almost all were more educated than the local community, spoke more than 3 languages, and were open followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church, something that was considered a threat to the national security by the Stalinist government. Despite the difficulties, more Western Armenians immigrated to Kirovakan during the following years. However, many of the immigrants left the city and returned to their diaspora countries, including Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Greece, France and the United States. Nowadays, approximately 2,000 Western Armenian settlers are living in Vanadzor, most of whom are still using the Western Armenian dialect in daily life. While the majority of Vanadzor are ethnic Armenians, there are also small communities of Russian, Ukrainian and Greek population.

Vanadzor ski resort © flickr.com - Govorkov/cc-by-2.0 Downtown © Narek75/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Emptyfear/cc-by-sa-4.0 Gugark Hotel © Armineaghayan/cc-by-sa-4.0 Hayq Square © Emptyfear/cc-by-sa-4.0 S. Astvatsatsin © Vahe Martirosyan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Saint Gregory of Narek Cathedral © Beko/cc-by-sa-4.0 Vanadzor City Hall © Voskanyan1/cc-by-sa-3.0 Vanadzor Fine Art Museum © Տաթևիկ Բաղրամյան/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Vanadzor Fine Art Museum © Տաթևիկ Բաղրամյան/cc-by-sa-4.0
Vanadzor has several archaeological sites including the nearby Mashtots hill which is home to many remains from the 4th millennium BC. The Lori-Pambak archaeological museum opened in 1938 is dedicated to the history and ethnography of Gugark region. It currently has a collection of around 34,000 pieces and artifacts. Vanadzor is the cultural center of Lori Province and northeastern Armenia. The Vanadzor House of Culture named after Charles Aznavour is one of the largest centers in Armenia. The Eduard Kzartmyan school of music is a prominent art school founded in 1934. The Vanadzor fine art museum is operating since 1974, while the house-museum of writer Stepan Zoryan is operating since 1990. The city 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. Other famous art ensembles of Vanadzor include Horevel Folke Dance Ensemble (founded in 1958), Vanadzor Chamber Music Choir (1989), and Vanadzor Chamber Orchestra (1993). Vanadzor has also produced many famous hard rock bands including Lousnelius, Lav Eli and Vordan Karmir. As of 2016, the city is home to 4 public libraries as well as 4 children’s libraries.

The city of Vanadzor is the main industrial centre of the province. The industry of the city is quite diversified with many firms specialized in garment manufacturing, chemical products, building materials, and dairy products. The largest garment manufacturers of the city are the “Dav-Gar” garment factory founded in 1962, the Darbbag’s Sewing Factory founded in 1977 (privatized in 1996), the “Sarton” Sewing Factory founded in 1990, “Ruz-Dan” garment factory founded in 2000. The largest chemical plants of Vanadzor include the “Vanadzor ChimProm” founded in 1929, the “Gipk” enterprise for polymeric materials founded in 1967, and the “Gary Group” for polymeric materials founded in 1998. The “Beton” enterprise founded in 1988, the “Bionik” plant founded in 2004, and the “Karaberd” plant are specialized in building materials. The “DIET LLC”, the “K&K” factory, and the “Katnagorts” plant are specialized in dairy products. Other major industrial plants of Vanadzor include the “Ardvin” electromechanical plant founded in 1956, the “Gems De Luxe” precious stone processing enterprise founded in 1996, and the “Jerutsogh” factory for heating equipments. Many small plants for the production of building materials, mainly tufa, basalt and clay are also operating in Vanadzor. The city is home to the Vanadzor Thermal Power Plant opened in 1961.

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 city is connected with other major cities of Armenia with a railway and a motorway. Vanadzor Armenia Health Resort & Hotel is among the most significant resorts with water treatment procedures (mineral water “Lori”) and mud/peat treatment.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Wikivoyage Vanadzor and Wikipedia Vanadzor. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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