Masis (granted with the status of a town in 1995) is located on the left bank of the Hrazdan river, 14 km southwest of Yerevan. It is one of the satellite cities of Yerevan.
The area of community is 5.7 km2, the population – 20500 (2017). It is the 10th city in Armenia ny the number of population.
It has been inhabited since ancient times, as evidenced by the discovered ancient settlement of V-IV millennia B.C.
In Medieval times the settlement was called Zangibasar or Hrazdan village. Until 1950 the town was called Ulukhanli. Then, in 1950 it was renamed to Masis. It is the Armenian name for the peak of Mount Ararat. The History of Armenia derives the name from king Amasia, the great-grandson of the Armenian patriarch Hayk, who is said to have called the mountain Masis after his own name.
According to the Caucasus Statistical Committee, by 1879, 2600 Caucasian Tatars, Shiites by religion, lived in the village of Uluhanlu. There were 3 mosques, women’s and men’s schools. The population remained almost mono-ethnic until the beginning of the 20th century.
Now the majority of the population in Masis are ethnic Armenians who arrived in the area from the Iranian cities of Khoy and Salmas, after the Russo-Persian War of 1826–28 and during the Armenian Genocide.
The settlement was developed as centre for agricultural products and light industries during the Soviet years. It has a large railroad commodity station that serves Yerevan, and used to connect the capital city with the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic until the closing of the border with Azerbaijan. Now Masis is a large railway station of interregional importance, which serves Yerevan.
The main direction of the city’s industry is the processing industry, in which, the leading branches are food production (fruit and vegetable processing), paper and cardboard products production and cigarettes production (cigarette fermentation).
The city has 5 public schools, music school named after Arno Babajanyan, art, sport schools, a state agricultural college.
The small church of Saint George opened in 2009, was the first church of Masis. However, the town’s main church is the church of Saint Thaddeus, consecrated on October 4, 2015, by His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II. The foundations of the church were laid in 1991. The World War II monument erected in 1983 is one of the main landmarks of Masis.
Translated by Kristina Ghahramanyan