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Coordinates: 40°48′46″N 44°29′18″E / 40.81278°N 44.48833°E / 40.81278; 44.48833 Vanadzor
Vanadzor
(Armenian: Վանաձոր pronounced [vɑnɑˈdzɔɾ]), is an urban municipal community and the third-largest city in Armenia
Armenia
serving as the capital of Lori Province in the northern part of the country. It is located around 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 an approximate population of 82,200 as per the 2016 official estimate. The city is in a picturesque setting, with an attractive planned town centre. Mostly crumbling Soviet-era chemical factories dominate much of the valley below the city. Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is the seat of the Diocese of Gougark
Diocese of Gougark
of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History 3 Geography and climate 4 Demographics

4.1 Population 4.2 Religion

5 Culture 6 Transportation 7 Economy

7.1 Industry 7.2 Tourism

8 Education 9 Sport

9.1 Football 9.2 Other sports

10 International relations

10.1 Twin towns – Sister cities

11 Notable natives 12 References 13 External links

Etymology[edit] Vanadzor
Vanadzor
was known as Gharakilisa (alternatively Karakilisa) -meaning the black church in Turkic- at its foundation during the days of the Russian Empire. Following the Sovietization of Armenia, the city was named Kirovakan (Armenian: Կիրովական) in 1935, after the Russian Bolshevik
Bolshevik
leader Sergey Kirov. After the independence of Armenia, Kirovakan was renamed Vanadzor
Vanadzor
in 1992. The name Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is composed of two words, vank (Armenian: վանք), meaning monastery, or church, and dzor (Armenian: ձոր), meaning valley in Armenian. Thus, the name of the city means "Valley of the Monastery" or "Valley of the Church", probably as a translation of it's previous name Karakilisa[citation needed]. History[edit]

Old khachkars in Vanadzor

The area of present-day Vanadzor
Vanadzor
has been settled since the Bronze Age, based on the tombs and other historic remains found on the nearby hills of Tagavoranist and Mashtots. During the ancient Armenian kingdoms, the area was considered as part of the Tashir
Tashir
canton of Gugark; the 13th province of the Kingdom of Armenia
Armenia
( Armenia
Armenia
Mayor), until the end of the Artaxiad Dynasty's rule over Armenia
Armenia
in the 1st century AD. Later, the region was ruled by the other Armenian dynasties of the Arsacids and the Bagratunis. By the end of the 10th century, the area became part of the Kingdom of Lori
Kingdom of Lori
(Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget) until the beginning of the 12th century. With the invasion of the Seljuk Turks, the region came under the rule of the Great Seljuk Empire. The settlement was called Gharakilisa (meaning the black church in Turkic) by the Seljuks possibly as early as the 13th century, the name being taken from the black-stoned Armenian church of the Holy Mother of God on a nearby hill. In 1801, the entire region of Lori became part of the Russian Empire along with the Georgian state. Lori was a strategically important territory for the Russian defensive forces on the border against Persia. In 1826, the settlement of Gharakilisa was entirely destroyed by Hasan Khan during the Russo-Persian war. In 1828, the Russians founded a new town as a major centre for the deployment of their troops during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29. According to Khachatur Abovian, the population of Gharakilisa was not more than 600 by the end of the 1820s, mainly consisting of migrants from Yerevan. In 1849, it became part of the Erivan Governorate
Erivan Governorate
within the Russian Empire. Under its new administrative status, Gharakilisa was flooded with many hundreds of migrating Armenian families from Kars, Ardahan and Western Armenian cities of Karin and Daroynk). The town enjoyed a considerable uplift through the opening of the railroad towards Tbilisi
Tbilisi
in 1899. The vicinity of the town was the site of the Battle of Karakilisa in May 1918, when General Tovmas Nazarbekian's outnumbered troops, led by Garegin Nzhdeh
Garegin Nzhdeh
successfully defended the region against the invading Turkish Army, pushing them back just few days after the crucial Armenian victory in the Battle of Sardarapat, thus allowing the Republic of Armenia
Armenia
to come into existence.[2] On the North side of the Spitak- Vanadzor
Vanadzor
highway, about 2 km (1 mi) West of the city, there is a little shrine in the ruins of a church, the site of a planned monument to that battle.

Downtown Vanadzor

View of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
from the southeast

In 1920, after only 2 years of independence, Armenia
Armenia
fell under Soviet rule. The first city development plan for Gharakilisa, initiated by architects Karo Halabyan, Mikayel Mazmanyan and Gevork Kochar, was adopted in 1929–1930. Under the new plan, the town was enlarged towards the East and the West. In 1935, the Soviets renamed the city Kirovakan after the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
leader Sergey Kirov. In 1939, a new remodeling plan for the city, created by architects N. Zargaryan and A. Minasyan, was introduced to create an industrial district and a summer-resort area. The centre of the city was redeveloped during the 1950s. The central town square named after Sergey Kirov
Sergey Kirov
(now Hayk Square) was constructed along with the surrounding government and administrative buildings.[3] After the independence of Armenia, Kirovakan was renamed Vanadzor after the Vanadzor River that flows through the city. Vanadzor, along with Gyumri
Gyumri
and Spitak
Spitak
(25 km (16 mi) west), suffered a considerable amount of damage from the 1988 earthquake when 564 residents died in the city. Unlike the two other cities, the majority of buildings in Vanadzor
Vanadzor
were unscathed from the earthquake. Geography and climate[edit]

Forests around Vanadzor

Vanadzor, the capital of Lori Province, is located 128 km (80 mi) north of Yerevan
Yerevan
and 64 km (40 mi) east of Gyumri. At an average height of 1,350 metres (4,430 feet) above sea level, Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is located in the valley of Pambak River, on the point where the rivers of Tandzut and Vanadzor
Vanadzor
join the Pambak river. The city is surrounded by the over 2,500-metre-high (8,200-foot) mountains of Bazum
Bazum
and Pambak. The southern and eastern regions are densely forested while to the north and west are only covered with bushes and plants. The climate of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is characterized by cool summers and relatively mild winters. The average temperature in winter is −4.2 °C (24.4 °F), while in summer it reaches up to 20 °C (68 °F). Vanadzor's climate is classified as humid continental ( Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
Dfb). The amount of precipitation is around 650 mm (25.6 inches). The Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Botanical Garden located to the southwest of the city is one of the 5 botanical parks within the Republic of Armenia.

Climate data for Vanadzor

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 1.5 (34.7) 2.8 (37) 7.0 (44.6) 13.5 (56.3) 18.4 (65.1) 21.0 (69.8) 23.3 (73.9) 23.8 (74.8) 20.5 (68.9) 16.5 (61.7) 9.4 (48.9) 4.3 (39.7) 13.5 (56.3)

Average low °C (°F) −18.0 (−0.4) −17.0 (1.4) −13.0 (8.6) −5.0 (23) 0.0 (32) 4.0 (39.2) 7.0 (44.6) 7.0 (44.6) 2.0 (35.6) −3.0 (26.6) −10.0 (14) −16.0 (3.2) −5.2 (22.6)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 18 (0.71) 25 (0.98) 36 (1.42) 63 (2.48) 96 (3.78) 95 (3.74) 58 (2.28) 43 (1.69) 32 (1.26) 47 (1.85) 33 (1.3) 19 (0.75) 565 (22.24)

Average rainy days 7 9 11 13 19 17 12 9 10 10 8 7 132

Source: World Meteorological Organization[4]

Demographics[edit] Population[edit]

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Central park

The Prelacy of the Diocese of Gougark

The population of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
has grown gradually since 1849, after becoming part of the Yerevan
Yerevan
Governorate. The population of Kirovakan- Vanadzor
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. More than 150,000 Armenians from different parts of Europe
Europe
and the Middle East, most being survivors of the Armenian Genocide, immigrated and settled in Kirovakan. Due to the harsh conditions imposed by the Soviets intelligence and the Ministry of Interior, many of the immigrants were sent to labor camps in Siberia
Siberia
and elsewhere. The reason for such disrespectful 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.[citation needed] 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
France
and the United States. Nowadays, approximately 2,000 Western Armenian settlers are living in Vanadzor, most of whom still using the Western Armenian dialect at daily life. While the majority of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
are ethnic Armenians, there are also small communities of Russian, Ukrainian and Greek population. Here is the population timeline of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
since 1831:[5]

Year 1831 1873 1897 1926 1939 1959 1979 2001 2011

Population 494 2,017 3,917 8,640 17,607 49,423 148,876 107,394 86,199

Religion[edit]

Saint Gregory of Narek
Gregory of Narek
Cathedral

The majority of the population belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is the seat of the Diocese of Gougark
Diocese of Gougark
of the Armenian Apostolic Church, serving the population of Lori province. As of 2016[update], The city is home to 4 churches and 2 chapels:

Church of the Holy Mother of God: opened in 1831, also known as Gharakilisa (meaning the Black church in Azerbaijani), is one of the oldest preserved churches of the city. It was completely renovated in 1999.[6] Kamakatar Chapel, located at the northeast of the city: although it originally dates back to the medieval period, however the current building was reconstructed in 1841.[7] Church of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, opened in 1895, is serving the city's small Russian Orthodox community.[8] Surp Sarkis Church of Vanadzor, opened in 2000, located near the prelacy building. Saint Gregory of Narek
Gregory of Narek
Cathedral, opened in 2005, named after Saint Gregory of Narek
Gregory of Narek
to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of his Book of Lamentations. It is currently the seat of the Diocese of Gougark
Diocese of Gougark
of the Armenian Apostolic Church Holy Children Chapel, opened in the Tsitsernak children's camp of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
in 2006.

Culture[edit]

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
House of Culture named after Charles Aznavour

Vanadzor
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
Gugark
region. It currently has a collection of around 34,000 pieces. Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is the cultural centre of Lori Province
Lori Province
and northeastern Armenia. The Vanadzor
Vanadzor
House of Culture named after Charles Aznavour
Charles Aznavour
is one of the largest centres in Armenia. The Eduard Kzartmyan school of music is a prominent art school founded in 1934. The Vanadzor
Vanadzor
fine art museum is operating since 1974, while the house-museum of writer Stepan Zoryan
Stepan Zoryan
is operating since 1990.[9] The city is home to many theatres including the Bohem Chamber Theatre of Vanadzor, Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Musical Theatre, Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Drama Theatre named after Hovhannes Abelyan, and Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Puppet Theatre. Other famous art ensembles of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
include Horevel Folke Dance Ensemble (founded in 1958), Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Chamber Music Choir (1989), and Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Chamber Orchestra (1993). Vanadzor
Vanadzor
has also produced many famous hard rock bands including Lousnelius, Lav Eli and Vordan Karmir. As of 2016[update], the city is home to 4 public libraries as well as 4 children's libraries.[10] Transportation[edit]

The railway station

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is connected to other parts of Armenia
Armenia
through a railway and a motorway. The M-6 Motorway that connects the capital Yerevan
Yerevan
with the Georgian capital Tbilisi
Tbilisi
passes through Vanadzor. The city is connected with Tavush
Tavush
Province to the east through the M-8 Motorway. Vanadzor
Vanadzor
has a railway station that also connects the city with northern and central Armenia. In April 2012, the Zamarlu bridge was opened at the Vanadzor- Ayrum
Ayrum
railroad section to secure a safe passage of the trains on this segment. Currently, the Vanadzor-Fioletovo railroad section is under construction within the frames of the Armenian railway development programme.[11] Currently under reconstruction, the Stepanavan Airport located 44 km (27 mi) north of Vanadzor, is the nearest airport to the city. Economy[edit] Industry[edit]

Chemical industry in Vanadzor

The city of Vanadzor
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
Vanadzor
include the " Vanadzor
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
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
Vanadzor
Thermal Power Plant opened in 1961. Tourism[edit]

Gugark
Gugark
Hotel

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is a resort centre in northern Armenia
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
Armenia
with a railway and a motorway. The Armenia
Armenia
Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Spa and Hotel Complex is among the most significant resorts since the Soviet times. Education[edit]

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
State University

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Technology Center

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is home to many educational institutions serving the population of the city and the residents of Lori and Tavush
Tavush
provinces. The following educational institutions are currently operating in the city:

Vanadzor State University
Vanadzor State University
named after Hovhannes Tumanyan
Hovhannes Tumanyan
opened in 1969, with 5 faculties:

Faculty of Philology, Faculty of History and Geography, Faculty of Pedagogy, Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, Faculty of Physics and Mathematics.

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
campus of the National Polytechnic University of Armenia named after Petros Melkonyan, operating since 1959, including 2 faculties:[12]

Faculty of Technologies and Sectoral economics, Faculty of Natural sciences and Communication systems.

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
campus of the Armenian National Agrarian University, operating since 2004.[13] Mkhitar Gosh Armenian-Russian International University opened in 1995, currently home to 5 faculties, including: Law, Management, Foreign languages, Pedagogy, and Medicine.

On 29 October 2016, the Vanadzor Technology Center
Vanadzor Technology Center
was opened in the city in an attempt to promote the business and technology environment in the entire region.[14] As of 2009[update], 6 technical intermediate colleges, 30 public education schools and 20 nurseries are operating in the city. Sport[edit] Football[edit]

President Serzh Sargsyan
Serzh Sargsyan
during the opening ceremony of the Vanadzor Football Academy

Football is popular in Vanadzor. The currently defunct football club Lori Vanadzor
Lori Vanadzor
founded in 1936, was one of the oldest football clubs in Armenia. After the independence of Armenia, the team represented the city in domestic competitions until 2006 when was dissolved due to financial difficulties. The largest sport venue in the city is the Lori Stadium
Lori Stadium
with a capacity of 5,000 spectators. It is mainly used for football matches. A renovation plan was scheduled in order to redevelop the stadium to meet the requirements of the UEFA.[15] The FFA Vanadzor Football Academy
Vanadzor Football Academy
opened its doors on 29 October 2016.[16][17] It is home to 3 natural grass and 1 artificial turf regular-sized pitches. In 2017, a new football club named Lori was founded in 2017 by Tovmas Grigoryan; a native businessman of Vanadzor. The club made its debut at professional football through the 2017–18 Armenian First League competition. Other sports[edit]

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
ski resort

Futsal
Futsal
is among the popular team sports in the city. The VSU futsal team plays at the Armenian Futsal
Futsal
Premier League. The Armenia
Armenia
Sports Arena of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is the home venue of the team. Handball
Handball
and volleyball are also popular in Vanadzor. Many sport schools operate in the city under the supervision of the municipality, including the schools of swimming, athletics, weightlifting, chess, artistic gymnastics, table tennis and badminton. Winter sports are also practiced in Lori Province. A ski resort near Vanadzor
Vanadzor
operates during the snowy season, generally extending between December and March. International relations[edit]

Vanadzor
Vanadzor
city hall

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Armenia Twin towns – Sister cities[edit] Vanadzor
Vanadzor
is twinned with:

Bagneux, France, since 1968[18] Pasadena, United States, since 1992 Podolsk, Russia, since 2004[19] Batumi, Georgia, since 2006[20]

Notable natives[edit]

Stepan Zoryan, Armenian writer Suren Aghababyan, literary critic and Doctor of Philology Albert Azaryan, Olympic Champion gymnast Artavazd Peleshyan, film director Shavarsh Karapetyan, Soviet-Armenian fin swimmer Eduard Nalbandyan, current minister of foreign affairs Sergei Alifirenko, Olympic champion pistol shooter Tigran Sargsyan, former Prime Minister of Armenia Stepan Sarkisyan, freestyle wrestling Olympic silver-medalist Armen Gyulbudaghyants, football manager Gor Mkhitarian, rock-musician and singer Vic Darchinyan, professional boxer and world champion Roman Mitichyan, Armenian-American MMA fighter Nareh Arghamanyan, award-winning Armenian pianist

References[edit]

^ 2011 Armenia
Armenia
census, Lori Province ^ Hovhanessian, Richard G. (1997) The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times. New York. St. Martin's Press, 299 ^ ՎԱՆԱՁՈՐ-ԿԻՐՈՎԱԿԱՆ-ՂԱՐԱՔԻԼԻՍԱ ^ "World Weather Information Service – Vanadzor". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 24 September 2016.  ^ Municipality of Vanadzor: Administrative area ^ Parishes in the Region of Lori ^ Kamkatar chapel ^ www.gov.am:Religious organizations in Armenia
Armenia
(in Armenian) ^ Museums in Vanadzor ^ Libraries in Vanadzor ^ President Serzh Sargsyan
Serzh Sargsyan
conducted a working visit to Lori and Tavush
Tavush
marzes ^ Faculties of Vanadzor
Vanadzor
campus ^ Armenian National Agrarian University, Vanadzor
Vanadzor
branch ^ VTC, About us ^ FFA President’s cognitive visit to Vanadzor ^ Vanadzor
Vanadzor
football academy ^ Vanadzor Football Academy
Vanadzor Football Academy
is open ^ "Atlas français de la coopération décentralisée et des autres actions extérieures". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2013-08-22.  ^ " Podolsk
Podolsk
sister cities". Translate.google.com. Retrieved 2010-04-29.  ^ " Batumi
Batumi
- Twin Towns & Sister Cities". Batumi
Batumi
City Hall. Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Vanadzor.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vanadzor.

More information about Vanadzor American Corner Vanadzor Useful Guide to Vanadzor

v t e

Vanadzor

Places of worship

Church of the Holy Mother of God Church of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary Surp Sarkis Church Saint Gregory of Narek
Gregory of Narek
Cathedral Holy Children Chapel

Culture and Education

Lori-Pambak Archaeological Museum House-museum of Stepan Zoryan Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Fine Art Museum Vanadzor
Vanadzor
State University Mkhitar Gosh Armenian-Russian International University Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Technology Center

Other

Hayk Square Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Botanical Garden Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Central Park Diocese of Gougark Lori Stadium Vanadzor
Vanadzor
Football Academy FC Lori

v t e

Lori Province

Capital: Vanadzor

Urban communities

Akhtala Alaverdi Spitak Stepanavan Tashir Tumanyan Vanadzor

Rural communities

Agarak Akori Amrakits Antaramut Antarashen Apaven Ardvi Arevashogh Arevatsag Arjut Artsni Aygehat Aznvadzor Bazum Blagodarnoye Bovadzor Chkalov Chochkan Darpas Dashtadem Debet Dsegh Dzoraget Dzoragyugh Dzoramut Dzyunashogh Fioletovo Gargar Geghasar Ghursali Gogaran Gugark Gyulagarak Haghpat Hagvi Halavar Hartagyugh Hobardzi Hovnanadzor Jiliza Jrashen Kachachkut Karaberd Karadzor Karkop Karmir Aghek Katnaghbyur Katnajur Katnarat Khnkoyan Koghes Kurtan Lejan Lermontovo Lernahovit Lernantsk Lernapat Lernavan Lori Berd Lusaghbyur Margahovit Medovka Meghvahovit Mets Ayrum Mets Parni Metsavan Mghart Mikhayelovka Nor Khachakap Norashen Neghots Novoseltsovo Odzun Paghaghbyur Pambak Petrovka Privolnoye Pushkino Sarahart Saralanj Saramej Saratovka Sarchapet Shahumyan Shamlugh Shenavan Shirakamut Shnogh Sverdlov Teghut Tsaghkaber Tsaghkashat Tsater Urasar Urut Vahagnadzor Vahagni Vardablur Yaghdan Yeghegnut

Non-community settlements

Akner Amoj Arjut
Arjut
kayaranin kits Armanis Akhtala
Akhtala
aroghjaranin kits Bendik Getavan Gogavan Haydarli Kilisa Kober kayaran Kruglaya Shishka Noramut Pokr Ayrum Pambak kayaranin kits Verin Akhtala Marts Karinj Lorut Shamut Ahnidzor Atan

Abandoned settlements

Gyulludara Kizilshafak Kizkala

v t e

Cities and towns in Armenia

Aragatsotn

Ashtarak Aparan Talin

Ararat

Artashat Ararat Masis Vedi

Armavir

Armavir Metsamor Vagharshapat

Gegharkunik

Gavar Chambarak Martuni Sevan Vardenis

Kotayk

Hrazdan Abovyan Byureghavan Charentsavan Nor Hachn Tsaghkadzor Yeghvard

Lori

Vanadzor Akhtala Alaverdi Spitak Stepanavan Tashir Tumanyan

Shirak

Gyumri Artik Maralik

Syunik

Kapan Goris Kajaran Meghri Sisian

Tavush

Ijevan Ayrum Berd Dilijan Noyemberyan

Vayots Dzor

Yeghegnadzor Jermuk Vayk

Capital city

Yerevan

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 159631034 GN