It is often called a cultural capital of Artsakh, even “Paris of Caucasus”.
There’s something captivating here that often can’t be described, but even when you pronounce Shoushi, the name itself embraces you with a gentle feeling of warmth. It is often called a cultural capital of Artsakh, even “Paris of Caucasus”. We hope that every traveler will feel close to this place, gaining some incomparable impressions.
Shoushi, in fact, is one of the most beautiful corners of the Republic of Artsakh with the Shoushi plateau which was populated by our ancestors since ancient times. Archaeological excavations have revealed cultural artifacts from the Hellenistic period and early Middle Ages. By the end of the first millennium CE, protective constructions had already been erected on the plateau.
Being in Shushi, visit the following symbolic sights of the region:
The Shoushi fortress was built in the beginning of the 18th century, and developed a richly populated settlement because of its convenient location on the primary caravan routes that connect Armenia and Iran. During Karabakh's time as a part of the Persian Empire, Shoushi began to develop as a market city and trade center. When Eastern Armenia, including Karabakh, became part of the Russian Empire in 1806, craft traditions blossomed and construction was expanded. In 1847 Shoushi was known as the City with Arms.
Ghazanchetsots or St. Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots (Cathedral of St. Christ the Savior) - was built in the XIX century and is the current temple of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The cathedral is located in the center of Shushi on the top of a plateau. An exceptional example of stone carving is the bell tower’s ornamented belt. The cathedral functioned until 1920. In Soviet times, it was used as a barn. During the Karabakh war, sculptures were destroyed in the church, and an arms cache was located here. On May 9, 1992, after the liberation of Shushi, the restoration of the cathedral began, and in 1998 it was reopened and consecrated.
By the beginning of the 20th century Shoushi was a city with all the European conveniences: water pipes, drains, paved streets and sidewalks. The cultural level of this region was very high. The widely known Artsakh silks, carpets, jewelry and other luxury goods presented in the markets stunned travelers with their wealth and bright oriental colors.
A lot of newspapers and magazines were published in Shushi in Armenian and Russian languages. Six schools functioned that time, including the Real Specialized School, the first single-sex school (single-gender school) for females called Mariamyan Eparchial School in Southern Caucasus.
One of the famous educational institutions of the North Caucasus - the Real College, is constructed in 1901-1908, a three-storey building, which still impresses with its proportions, monumental forms, and an exemplary combination of national and European architectural traditions. Nearby there are buildings of city hospital of Zhamharyan, Mariamants’ maiden school, built by the traditions of Armenian national architecture.
Two mosques and several prayer houses were built in Shoushi at the end of the XIX century. Uptown Mosque was built in 1883 by the famous Persian architect Kerbala Sefi Khan. It embodies the synthesis of traditional Persian architectural style with the traditions of Shoushi’s urban development.
On the outskirts of the city, right on top of the cliffs you can view the canyon of Katarot or Jdrdyuz. Magnificent views of the canyon and the valley of the river Karkar, flowing in the lowland, are one of the most photographed places of Artsakh for its visitors. One of the most attractive places of the reserve is the peak of the plateau Shoushi-Karkar. Walking along the top of the canyon, visitors will get acquainted with the amazing canyon scenery and get an unforgettable memories. A small glacier area of about 5 hectares occupies part of the plateau.
Today, after black pages, Shoushi is definitely a symbol of revival, which brings a new breath and hope for Artsakhian people and also inspires others. It is slowly getting back its power.