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

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

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

Vanadzor is the third largest city in Armenia. It is an industrial, cultural and educational center. It is also attractive for tourists: people come here to relax in a sanatorium and enjoy nature.


  1. History of the city of Vanadzor: past and present
  2. How to get to the city?
  3. Places of interest

History of the city of Vanadzor: past and present

People lived on the territory of modern Vanadzor, presumably from the 4th century BC. BC. This is indicated by ancient burials and other historical artifacts found in the mountains.

In the XIII century. the settlement passed to the Seljuk Turks. Seeing here the Church of the Holy Mother of God made of black tuff, the conquerors called this place Karakilisa - the black church. The settlement survived more than one attack, it was an important defensive point during the Russian-Persian and Russian-Turkish wars. Armenians persecuted by the Turkish conquerors, as well as Molokan heretics from the Russian Empire, moved here.

With the advent of Soviet power, the city began to expand. Plants and factories were built here, and boarding houses and children's camps were opened at them. In 1935, Karakilisa was renamed Kirovakan in honor of the revolutionary S.M. Kirov.

In 1988, due to the devastating Spitak earthquake, the city was badly damaged. Abandoned after the destruction of the building can be seen now.

In 1992, after secession from the USSR, like many Armenian cities, Kirovakan had to be given a new name. We decided not to return to Kirakilisa, the name given by the Turks. Instead, the city was named after the Vanadzor River that flows here.

Nowadays, it is also famous for its industry, although many Soviet enterprises are closed. There are sewing and construction factories, chemical plants, a dairy plant.

As before, people come to Vanadzor to rest. At the hotel built in the Soviet period Kirovakan and now there is a hotel. It is located on a hill from which you can see the whole city. For those who like to stay right in the city center, a hotel is opened on the main Hayk square in a Soviet building with columns "Gugark". There are also new hotels, and even dog-friendly ones, for example, ValDa Hotel on TUMANYAN and AuRoom.

If you continue to work while traveling, it is most convenient to work in a coworking space Loft Vanadzor or (this place also works as co-living). And if you need coworking spaces to work in other cities, we have relevant article.

It is better to stay in Vanadzor in the summer - here, in the mountains, you can escape from the Yerevan heat. On average, the temperature is 10 degrees below the capital.

How to get to the city?

Vanadzor is located 120 km from Yerevan. You can get there by private car or taxi. It is convenient to rent a car through the service Move2Car. The bus to Vanadzor departs from the Central Bus Station (Admiral Isakov St., 6). This road passes through the popular tourist towns of Sevan and Dilijan.

Vanadzor can be reached by train. In 2023, Yerevan-Batumi-Yerevan trains run from the Yerevan Railway Station (Tigran Mets Ave., 80) with a stop in Vanadzor. The journey will take four hours.

If you have any questions about traveling to Vanadzor, you can ask our support team @move2armenia_official.

Places of interest


Perhaps the main attraction of all of Armenia in general is nature. However, according to researchconducted at Yale University, Vanadzor is on the list of places with the most impressive mountain views.

Also in the southeast of Vanadzor is a botanical garden, one of five in Armenia. But the city center is also green: there are several parks here, for example, Zheleznodorozhnikov and Sayat-Nova, Artsakh Square. Local fishermen fish right in the city center, on the reservoir. Not far from Vanadzor, in the northwest, there is a fishing camp with pavilions for relaxation.


We wrote above that once the name of the city was inspired by the black church. Unfortunately, that very old building was destroyed, but in its place in 1831 a new one was erected. Church of the Holy Mother of God. It is no longer made of black tuff, but of orange.

In the building of the former dacha of the scientist, winemaker Vasily Tairov is now residence of the Bishop of the Diocese of Gugark (Lori and Tavush regions). On the territory adjacent to it, a small Temple of St. Sargis.

A powerful, beautiful, bright cathedral stands near Sayat-Nova Park. This St. Grigor Narekatsi Cathedral - theologian, author of the "Book of Sorrowful Hymns".

The place of pilgrimage is kamakatar chapel. Legend has it that a seriously ill girl named Qatar asked her father to build a chapel and name it after her. When the prayer house was erected, the beauty recovered, and over time the chapel began to be called Kamakatar - fulfilling wishes. It is located on a hill with a good view of the city.

Another small, neat Chapel of the Holy Children was opened in 2006 on the territory of the children's camp "Tsitsernak" - a swallow.

There is also a Russian Orthodox community in Vanadzor. She was erected Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary - one of the largest Orthodox churches in Armenia.


You can choose a real estate agent from the Lori-Pambaka Museum of Local Lore Exhibits are exhibited that belong to the Bronze Age, as well as the Middle Ages. They were discovered during excavations in a historical area. Thagavoranist - the current district of Dimats in Vanadzor.

You can choose a real estate agent from the Vanadzor Museum of Fine Arts the works of Armenian masters are presented. It hosts exhibitions of contemporary artists and master classes in drawing.

To learn about the life and work of the outstanding Armenian writer Stepan Zoryan come into it house-museum. More than 3,000 exhibits are exhibited. In addition to excursions, literary evenings and films are shown here.

The villages of Fioletovo and Lermontovo

Fioletovo and Lermontovo villages are located half an hour drive from Vanadzor. There live immigrants from the Russian Empire - Molokans, who are visited by excursions. We talked about these places in more detail in article about Dilijan.


Vanadzor is often visited after visiting Dilijan. This is a popular tourist destination, resort. We also talked about it in a series of articles about the cities of Armenia. Read our materials and choose routes to explore Armenia.

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