Yeghvard (granted with the status of a town in 1995) is located at the west of the central part of modern-day Armenia, 18 km north of the capital Yerevan. Situated at the southern feet of Mount Ara (4.5 km south of the mountain) – the town has an average height of 1333 meters above sea level.
The total area of the town is 68,31 km2 . As of the 2017 census, the population of the town is 12500.
The word Yeghvard is derived from the merging of two Armenian words: Yeghi meaning odor or aroma, and vard meaning rose. Thus, the word Yeghvard literally means rose odor. According to scholar and Armenologist Aram Ghanalanyan, the name originated from the fact that the area of Yeghvard has been covered by a large forest, that was home to many types of roses and other flowers with strong fragrance and aroma.
Yeghvard has witnessed a major industrial growth during the 1980s under the Soviet rule. It had many major industrial plants: the Yeghvard wine-brandy factory founded in 1966, the “Nairishin” building materials plant founded in 1986, the Yeghvard sport shoes factory founded in 1987, the Yeghvard yeast plant founded in 1991. The residents of Yeghvard are also involved in agriculture (mainly grape and wheat). The farms are irrigated through the Arzni-Shamiram canal. The construction of the large Yeghvard’s reservoir was launched in 1984. However, it is not completed yet, but people are working on relaunching the project in the near future.
Yeghvard has 3 public schools and 3 kindergartens. It is also home to 2 art schools, 1 sport school, a house of culture as well as 3 public libraries. There is also a Nairi Medical Center, operating in the town.
The Church of the Holy Mother of God in Yeghvard is the most notable historic structure of the town. It was built and completed in 1301 as an alternative church of the nearby ruined basilica church of Katoghike. Many old khachkars (cross-stones) and graves are found around the church.
Yeghvard is one of the oldest settlements in Armenia. The name Yeghvard was first mentioned during the 6th century. It first appeared in the historic chronicles of Catholicos Moses II of Yeghvard who reigned between 574 and 604 as the head of the Holy Etchmiadzin. However, the area of Yeghvard has been settled since the beginning of the II millennium BC, based on the remains of the “Seghanasar” ancient settlement found at the west of Yeghvard. During the ancient Kingdom of Armenia, the area of modern-day Yeghvard was part of the “Kotayk” canton of Ayrarat province.
The remains of the 7th-century Saint Theodore Monastery (also known as Gharghavank of Zoravan) are found at the northeast of the town.