After a rest in this wonderful valley, we return back to the highway, heading to the village Knaravan, where the fortress Handaberd is situated. Fortress, known with glorious historical past, is constantly mentioned in the history of Armenia. It was founded in the IX century. Handaberd repeatedly exposed siege and attacks of the enemies. It is known that this place was a fortress since the V century and Handaberd is total of more advanced defensive structure. The castle is located on top of a steep wooded hill and is surrounded on three sides by deep canyons.
The only way runs along the south-west wall and reaches the gate on the north. Fortification has forged gates and eight guard towers, rock pools for collecting rainwater. The castle walls are up to eight meters high. Handaberd is one of the most famous castles of Artsakh. Perched on top of an impregnable rock, it impresses visitors with its grandeur. Not far from the fortress is the monastery complex consisting of church, temple and chapel. The complex was built in XII-XIII centuries. The monastery stands on the picturesque bank of the river Leo.