Sevan (until 1935 – Yelenovka, founded in 1842 by molokans who were exiled from Russia; in 1967 was granted with the status of a town) is located on the northwest shores of Lake Sevan, 66 km north-east from Yerevan. It extends from the village of Lchashen to the Sevan peninsula, including the former Gomadzor and Tsamakaberd villages.
The total area of the town is 7,5 km2. Օf the January 1st 2016 census, the population of the town is 19200. According to the population, it is the 16th city of the republic. 27.7% of the urban population of region lives here.
The town links the highways Yerevan-Dilijan and Yerevan-Gavar to each other. The railway connects the town with Yerevan and Sotk.
In February 2011, the Sevan ropeway was opened at the north of the town, in the area known as “mashtotsner”, on the way to Tsovagyugh village. It has a length of 1,130 meters.
The city, with its coastal areas, is an excellent place for tourism, recreation and rehabilitation. It is unique for its availability of diverse water resources, ecological and cultural monuments.
The main direction of city’s industry was the processing industry, with the largest share in the production of building and chemical materials, food productions and mechanical engineering.
Sevan is among the 3 towns of Armenia that are allowed to accommodate gambling houses and activities in urban settlements (along with Tsaghkadzor and Jermuk).
The city is surrounded with the Sevan National Park, a natural protected area extending from the northeastern parts of the town to the southwest, while Lake Sevan forms the natural border of the city to the east.
Sevan has 10 public schools, musical and art schools, 2 sport schools, a children’s creative center, a college, a medical school, museums of the ethnographic park “Sevan”, etc. In 2004, the Vaskenian Theological Academy of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin was opened in the peninsula. The peninsula is also home to the summer presidential residence of the Republic of Armenia.
The territory of modern-day town has been populated since the 3rd millennium BC. After the establishment of the ancient Kingdom of Armenia, the territory of modern-day Sevan was included within the Mazaz and Varazhnunik cantons at the east of the historic Ayrarat province of Armenia Major. Eastern Armenia became part of the Russian Empire in 1828 as a result of the Treaty of Turkmenchay. In 1842, members of Russian Molokan religious sect escaping prosecutions in mainland Russia, arrived in the region and founded the village of Yelenovka. It was named after Yelena Pavlovna the daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia. The village remained Russian-populated until the end of the 19th century. The town was known as Yelenovka until 1935 when it was renamed Sevan after the Lake Sevan. Per folk etymology, Sevan is either a combination of sev (“black”) + Van (i.e., Lake Van) or sev (“black”) and vank’ (“monastery”).
The Sevan monastery is located on the peninsula. The monument-complex of Pre-Urartian period is located near Lchashen. The cyclopean fortress of Metsep dating back to the 3rd millennium BC stands just north of the town. Another cyclopean fortress known as Mashtotsner is located in the Tsamakaberd neighborhood of Sevan.