In the east of the Republic of Armenia is located the largest province in the region -Gegharkunik, 1/4 of which is occupied by Lake Sevan. It invades 18% of the territory of the Republic of Armenia, including the regions of Gavar, Chambarak, Martuni, Sevan, and Vardenis. The regional center is Gavar.
Area 5348 sq. km (including Lake Sevan 1270 km)
Population` 228,300 (2019 census)
Gegharkunik province was reformed on April 12, 1995.
In 1918 – 1920 it was the province of New Bayazet of the Republic of Armenia.
The province is included in the Diocese of Gegharkunik of the Armenian Apostolic Church, headed by St. Astvatsatsin Church of Gavar (1848).
It borders on Tavush (in the north), Kotayk and Ararat (in the west) and Vayots Dzor regions (in the south), as well as Azerbaijan (in the east) and the Republic of Artsakh (in the south-east).
From northwest to the southwest, the longest stretch of Gegharkunik province is 115 km, from west to east 85 km. The area is an interstellar triangular tectonic ridge at ‘1900-3000 m altitude. The highest peak is Azhdahak Mountain (3597m) the bottom of which is Lake Sevan.
The province is surrounded by Areguni, Sevan, Eastern Sevan, Vardenis, Pambak mountain ranges, Geghama Mountains. Spitakasar (3555 m), Vardenis (3522 m), Geghar (3446 m) are also high. The deepest part is the Getik River Gorge -1325 m (Dzoravank village). The landscape is mountainous, steppe-like and meadows. The oaks of Daranak and Tsapatagh gypsies are of exceptional importance.
The area, discharged from Lake Sevan (16 km), is covered with forests. To protect the lake’s ecosystem in the coastal zone at the height of 1898-3597 m, the Sevan National Park was established in 1978 . There are 1600 species of plants and 330 species of animals.
There is chrome (Shorzha), gold (Sotk), peat (Masrik field), mine (Sevan, Litchq, Gavar) and artesian (Masri Artesian Basin) water resources in the region. Arpa-Sevan water complex, upstream of Hrazdan River originating from Sevan, Dzknaget, Gavaraget (47km), Argichi (the longest river is 51 km), Zakkar, Vardenis, Karchaghbyur, Drakhtik (45km), Sarukhan, Noratus canals, Lake Sevan, Crater Lakes of Ajdahak and Agmaghani are in the province.
The total area of the basin is approximately 5 thousand. The surface of the lake mirror is 1.2 thousand square kilometers, the volume is 35.8 billion cubic meters.
Lake Sevan is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, located in 1898,155 meters above sea level.
Gegharkunik is one of the less densely populated regions of Armenia. The population density is 56.07 people / 1 sq. km. There are 228,300 people in the region (2019 census ). Most of them,162.6 thousand or 70.2%, are in rural areas and 69.2 thousand people or 29.8% in urban areas. There are 116.5 thousand men (50.2%) and 115.2 women ( 49.8%).
The majority of the population of Gegharkunik is concentrated in the Sevan, Martuni and Gavar regions. About 72.7% of the region’s population lives in the region with the lowest density Chambarak and Vardenis, with 19-33 people per square kilometer.
The population and composition of the region have undergone major changes over the centuries. In the late Middle Ages, the Turkish-language restricting tribes penetrated the region, finding excellent pastures here. The number of local Armenians has decreased. After uniting Eastern Armenia to Russia, a large number of Armenians from Western Armenia, as well as Russian sectarians, resettled in the region.
Now the national composition of the population of Gegharkunik is homogeneous. In recent years, at the beginning of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, the Azeris moved to Azerbaijan. 99% of the population are Armenians, Russians – 0.14%, Kurds – 0.04%, Yezidis – 0.02%, Ukrainians – 0.02%, Moldovans, Germans, Jews – almost 0%.
Sightseeing of Gegharkunik
The province is rich in ethnographic and archaeological monuments, here 5270 monuments are registered. Historical and cultural centers are located in Gavar, Sevan, Martuni, and Vardenis. Cyclopean Urartian castles, Urartian inscriptions, Artashesian borders have been preserved in Lchashen, Gavar, Tsovak, Tsovinar. Are also known Lchashen tombs (IV-I millennium BC), khachkars in the southern cemetery of Noratus (XII-XVIII centuries).
Nature monuments include the Sevan and Artanish Peninsula, small lakes on the hills of Aghmaghani, Azdahak, and Vardenis, numerous gorges, rock cliffs.
Famous historical and cultural centers of the region
Hatsarat Church (VII century)
St. Astvatsatsin Church of Sotk (VII century)
Noratus Church (IX c.)
Sevan Monastery (IV-IX centuries)
The Monastery Complex of Makeniats (IX-X centuries)
Ilkavank Monastery (X-XI centuries)
Hayravank (IX-XIII centuries)
Shoghagavanq (V-IX centuries),
Kotavank (IX c.),
Mashtra Desert (IX c., Dzoragyugh)
Lombashen tomb field
Economy and public life
Gegharkunik is an agricultural-industrial region. region. Livestock (including bee-keeping), cereal crops, potatoes are leading in multi-branch agriculture.
The population is also involved in fruit growing.: There are fish manufacturing, minerals,food, light (carpet weaving), color metallurgy companies.
The main direction of the provinceis industry is the mining industry. There is a Sotk gold mine.
Tourism is also developed. Sevan peninsula, with its craft in the forest, is particularly attractive. There are resorts, rest houses. In summer water sports, like sailing, surfing, are developed.
Sevan peninsula, with its craft in the forest, is particularly attractive. There are resorts, rest houses. In summer water sports, like sailing, surfing, are developed.
There are 39 health organizations, including 2 medical centers, 2 health centers, 1 maternity hospital, 2 polyclinics, and rural outpatient clinics. There are 126 public schools, 17 arts, music, sports schools, youth creative centers, state and non-state higher education institutions, 8 colleges, 41 preschools, Vazgenyan Spiritual School in Sevan and other educational and cultural institutions.
There are 171 cultural centers, 5 of which are republican, 2 are provincial, 164 are community-based. There is one drama theater here. There are 9 music schools, 6 arts and 3 art schools in 11 communities.
The Yerevan-Sevan-Dilijan Republican highway, the Sotk railway, runs 141 km through the province.
There are currently two trains running in the Sevan-Shorja-Vardenis direction, with mainly cargo transit and passenger carrier.In the republic, mobile telephony and mobile internet are provided by all operators. Five post offices of Gegharkunik Marz of the Republic of Armenia -“Haypost-Trust” OJSC serve 92 districts of the region.
The entire territory of the province has been covered by digital TV programs. The programs of 7 national and 3 provincial television stations are broadcasted here. The settlements of the region are almost fully provided with internet coverage and cable TV.
Sevan has a train station that connects the town with Yerevan through railway.
There is a Gavar airport in the region which is not functioning. There are building requirements at Gavar Airport, but the runway is downhill.
Sevan – 261
Martuni – 262
Vardenis – 269
Post Codes — 1201-1626