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Kashatagh (Lachin)

Kashatagh region is situated in the south-western part of AR and borders with Martakert and Karvachar regions in the north. In the west and south there passes the state boundary with Armenia and Iran. Hadrout, Shoushi and Akeran regions are adjoined to the region from the east. Their regional center is Berdzor city that is situated 45 km away from the capital of AR, Stepanakert city. The total area of the region is 3377 sq.km., the population is 8550 people. The relief of Kashatagh region is mountainous, keenly indented. The rivers of Agaru and Aghavnaget flow along the territory.

In ancient times this place was the south and south-western part of Agaechk province. In Kashatagh region there has remained ancient and medieval architectural monuments, among which is Tsitsernavank monastery, the rocky church and  the palace of meliks, turned at present time into the modern guest-house.

There is still a great number of  unexplored and  little-investigated architectural monuments in the region.

Kashatagh is also famous for its natural resources – forests, rapid rivers, mineral and thermal springs. The lovers of pedestrial and еquestrial   walks, rock climbing, mountaineering, tours on mountainous rivers would certainly like the region.

Berdzor city is the regional center of Kashatagh region, it arouse on the place of the ancient Armenian settlement. The city has the church, Sourb Hambartsoum (St. Rapture), archaeological museum, where there are exhibits, illuminating the history of this ancient region of Armenia.

In the north-western outskirts of Tsitsernavank village (from Arm. "tsitsernak" swallow and "vank" - monastery) 12 km away from the village of Aghavno, which is situated on the route Yerevan-Stepanakert, between the river Aghavnaget and its tributary Khoznavar, at picturesque place the monastery of Tstsernavank is built. According to the legend remained to this day the monastery was called in the name of swallow, which saved the lives of the builders of the monastery. Noting that the adder had got into the kazan (the pot) with the dinner the swallow tried with its twittering to attract the attention of the builders, but they didn't understand the warning. The swallow in order to save the lives of the people rushed to the boiling pot and in this way the builders of the church escaped unavoidable death. According to the latest researches the monastery was founded on the place of the pagan temple in 5-7cc. The crown of the monastery, the triple-naved basilica–one of the most remarkable and beautiful creations of the Armenian architecture. The church is remarkable not only for its sizes, but also frescos on the walls. The monastic complex is walled, where the monastic cells with arched ceilings and arched windows were built. It has remained to this day and now the archaeological museum is located there. In the western part the gates, raised here in 1613, have survived.

In recent years the monastery has been restored and nowadays is practically in its primeval view. One can safely refer Tsitsernavank to the most beautiful and perfect architectural monuments not only of Artsakh, but also the whole Armenian architecture.

The rocky church
On the height of 1200 m over the sea level, on the left bank of the river Aghav, in the rocky forest created by the nature itself not far from each other several rocky cells and a church are situated. The church has remained in perfect state. Except the altar that was carved apart, the whole church was carved in the rocky monolith. This architectural monument is one of the few rocky constructions for public worship in Artsakh

The palace of meliks in Kashatagh.

The palace is situated 12 km away from the village Aghavno in the village of Melikashen. The complex of Melikatoun (The house of Melik) is hedged by fortress wall with tower and gates. The palace consists of two-storied chambers with arched halls and other constructions. According to the researcher M. Hasratyan, the palace was founded by the melik Haykaz at the end of 15c. The gates, the fortress walls are restored, and the whole territory around the palace is beautified. Nowadays a modern guest-house with comfortable living rooms and high level service is opened here.

The thermal spring not far from Tsitsernavank

12 km away from Tsitsernavank there is situated the thermal spring famous in these regions. The hot water goes out from the spring into the three pools situated not far from it. One of the pools is deep, the others are shallow, and here one can organize the rest time for the children. The thermal spring is famous for its healing properties.