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The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh), an actual independent state in Transcaucasia, not yet recognized by the member-states of UN. It is bordered from West with the Republic of Armenia, from the South with Iran, from East and North with Azerbaijan. Stepanakert is the capital city, while the historical and cultural center is Shushi.
This wonderful state maintains several cultural monuments and nature's miracles in its small area that even the strongest mind can't even imagine. Nature in Artsakh is wild and cleaner, mountains are higher, rocky and inaccessible.
Historically, this area covers Artsakh province of Great Hayk. Armenian prominent historian Leon Artsakh compared it with a "huge Citadel" without which "it’s impossible to imagine the defense of the Heart of Armenia, the Ararat World".
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is the second Armenian state.
The Republic of Nagorno-Kharabakh adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1991 September 2, during the session of regional councils of Nagorno-Kharabakh and Shahumyan by the deputies.
According to national etymology “Artsakh” means the alley of Aran. According to tradition Aran, assigned by Armenian king Vagharshak, was the minister of North-Eastern states of Great Hayk (Mets Hayk). He was from the Sisakyan family. Aran is considered to be the ancestor of Aranshahiks, medieval nobles and meliks, belongs to the family of our forefather Hayk. That’s why Artsakh nobles are called “Haykazuns”.
“Kharabakh” name comes from Turkish “Kara” (black) and Persian “Bagh” words and means “Black garden”. For the first time this name appears in medieval Georgian and Persian sources. According to Western historians, Armenian population in Artsakh and other parts of Armenian plateau originated from merging of ancient native tribes and our predecessors(proto-armens). The latter settled here in the 7th century B.C.. According to historic sources Artsakh was part of Armenian Kingdom in 189 B.C. being one of the 15 states. Artsakh state had 12 provinces and was part of Armenia till the end of 4th century.
In 387 after the fall of Armenian Arshakunis, Byzantium and Persia divided Armenia into two parts and excluded those far provinces of a strategic importance. Artsakh together with Utik state was banded up to Aghvank country which was on the left bank of Kur River. Despite this, Artsakh preserved its Armenian cultural and ethnic image.
At the beginning of the 5th century, after the invention of Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots opened the first Armenian school in Amaras district of Artsakh. Artsakh had a significant cultural growth during the reign of Vachagan G. Barepasht (487-510) during which numerous churches and schools were founded here.
From 7-9th centuries Artsakh was under the rule of Arab Caliphate. Then it became a stage for wars between Armenian rebels and Arabs.Sahl Smbatyan, one of the rebels, who was from Aranshahik family, founded the noble family of Khachen in Khachen castlein 821. In 1000 this noble family created the Kingdom of Artsakh, which was the last autocratic state of the Eastern Armenia after the fall of Armenian Bagratunys' dynasty.
Together with other Armenian territories liberated from Seljuks' power, Artsakh had a cultural and economic growth at the beginning of the 13th century during the reign of Jalal A. King(1214-1266). The later built the monastery of Gandzasar,which played an important role in the history of Artsakh being aspiritual and cultural centre and symbol of the unity of mountainrulers of Artsakh.
Azerbaijan triggered the Armenian-Azerbaijani war starting 1988. Well-armedAzerbaijani armybegan itslarge-scale attacks all along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Armenians mobilized all their forces and formed Armenian National Army which had about 20-25 thousand soldiers whilst Azerbaijan's army included 75-80 soldiers. Despite this, Armenians made it to confront the enemy attack and liberate Artsakh.
Because of Azerbaijani massive attacks, more than thousand Armenian innocent civilians became victims.Armenian side lost part of Artsvashen, Mardakert, Martuni, Shahumyan regions.
Determined operations of Armenian army made Azerbaijan to ask for a truce, which was signed on May 12,1994. Armenians showed their power of unity during Artsakh’s liberation war, and made it tostop the enemy's aggression and liberate part of the Armenian territory.
In addition to falsification of history anddestruction of Armenian cultural heritage, Azerbaijan constantly spreads false informationas if Artsakh is now in active war state, the territory is being bombed, and there are minefields everywhere and so on.
Artsakh is in internal peace just like European countries, there are no minefields at all, people live their daily life and only in some villages or places you can find traces of past war. All the false info spread by Azerbaijan has only one goal: to influence the inflow of tourists.
We assure that hospitable Artsakh will accept you with open heart, will feed you and show such wonders you may not even imagine.While visiting Artsakh, do not forget to visit Shushi, monastery of Gandzasar, Amaras, caveof Azokh, Dadivank, warm waters of Zuari, Hanaberd castle, Kachaghakaberd, canyon of Hunot and waterfalls and of course see the 2300-year-old tree of Skhtorashen. Taste the local dishes, especially famous and very tasty bread with Zhengial and drink homemade mulberry vodka.
For visiting Artsakh you need entryvisawhich you can get easily in Yerevan or in the capital of Artsakh, Stepanakert. It will take only 15 minutes.