Artashat city in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there

Artashat city in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there

Artashat city in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there

Artashat is a city with a rich history that goes far into the past. Cornelius Tacitus and Plutarch wrote about him. We will tell you what Artashat was famous for, and what it is known for now.


  1. History of the city of Artashat: past and present
  2. How to get to the city?
  3. Things to do in and around Artashat

History of the city of Artashat: past and present

The city of Artashat is one of the oldest cities in Armenia, its fourth capital. Artashat was founded in 176 BC. King Artashes I. However, Artashat was originally located on a hill near the Khor Virap mountain range. Researchers believe that the Carthaginian commander Hannibal, at the request of Artashes, designed and built the capital. The name Artashat means joy or city of Artashes. In Rome, Artashat was called the Armenian Carthage.

Being the capital, Artashat was an important center of trade - the Great Silk Road ran through it. During its heyday, 150,000 people lived in Artashat. However, after Vagharshapat became the new capital, Artashat became empty and turned into a settlement. In the Middle Ages and until the middle of the XX century. The place was called Karmalu. There they were engaged in agriculture, there was a winery. The village returned its former name - Artashat - in 1945, and in 1962 it grew to the city.

Now Artashat is an important industrial center. Factories operate here: wine and cognac, canning, metallurgical and others. Animal husbandry and dairy production are developed.

Many travelers come to Artashat to take a look at the fourth capital of Armenia. For the development of tourism in the region, it was decided to create a historical and cultural reserve "Capital of Artashat".

The climate in Artashat is sharply continental, with hot, dry summers and short and little snowy winters. This should be taken into account when planning a trip to the city.

How to get to the city?

Artashat is located 30 km from Yerevan. You can cover the distance by personal transport, taxi or rented car, for example, from Move2Car. Buses No. 477, No. 451 and minibus No. 452 go to Artashat. Departure from the Sasuntsi David bus station.

Yerevan-Yeraskh-Yerevan trains depart from the central railway station with a stop in Artashat. The journey takes 40-50 minutes, the ticket costs about 400 AMD.

Things to do in and around Artashat

Monastery Khor Virap

Being the capital under King Artashes, Artashat was located on a hill right on the site of this monastery. Now the city and Khor Virap are separated by 13 km.

In this place there is a dungeon where the Armenian king Trdat III, being a pagan, imprisoned Gregory the Illuminator for 13 years. The name Khor Virap is translated as a deep dungeon. However, it was Gregory the Illuminator who then converted the king to the Christian religion and began to Christianize the country. In 301 Christianity became the state religion of Armenia.

In the 7th century Nerses III the Builder erected a chapel over the dungeon. By the way, tourists are allowed into it and into the dungeon itself. Then the Church of the Holy Mother of God, the Church of St. Gregory and the cells of the monks were added to the chapel.

At the foot of the Khor Virap mountain range, archaeologists discovered a pagan temple dedicated to the god Mithra, a stock exchange, and a 32-meter-long fortress wall. An important find was the Roman baths, consisting of 10 rooms at once.

Near the monastery is the state reserve "Khor Virap". It is important that it has wetland soil, which is suitable for some rare plant species, as well as waterfowl.

Walk around the city

Artashat has a central park with a fountain where locals like to spend their time. The city has many monuments. You can set out to find and take a photo with each of them. The most important monuments in the city are the monument to King Artashes I, the founder of the city, and the monument to the great chansonnier Charles Aznavour. It is also good to spend time near the Artashat lake. If you are traveling in Artashat with children, they will love the large amusement park.

Artashat theater

In 53 BC in Artashat, King Artavazd II created the first Armenian theater. This decision was influenced by the fact that the king himself wrote tragedies. Now the Drama Theater named after Hamo Khazaryan operates in the city. The theater website you can get acquainted with the repertoire and schedule of performances.

Church of St. Hovhannes

Church of St. Hovhannes or St. John the Theologian is the first functioning temple in modern Artashes. It was consecrated in 2015. The church is large and monumental. Outside, at the entrance and windows, you can look at the elaborate stone carvings for a long time. Nearby is a modest, but beloved by the inhabitants of the city, a chapel.

If you are planning a trip to the Ararat region, look not only at Artashat. You may like in the cities Ararat and Masisabout which we have also written articles.

Still have questions about traveling to Artashat? The Move2Armenia support service will definitely answer them for you. - @move2armenia_official.

It was interesting? Subscribe to newsletter:
What are you interested in?
Thanks for subscribing!
Beauty and care
Moving / Flight
Law and law
Restaurants, bars, cafes
Finance and banks
Please select at least 1 item
Article author
Article author
  • articles: 68
  • views : 1
Artashat city in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there
  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment
    It is interesting