This route is a real treasure for history fans. Throughout the route, you can see a lot of medieval fortresses and castles, churches and monasteries. In this unique and informative trip you visit the Askeran fortress, the State Historical and Cultural Reserve Tigranakert, church of Yeghishe Arakyal (Yeghishe Apostle) and other memorable sights. On the site of the village Drmbon the route connects with the already known North tourist route.
Askeran city was founded in the early 20th century nearby to the ancient fort and got its name, which literally means "barracks". The historical museum is established in the city. It stores a unique collection. The church services are held in the newly built Church of St. Astvatsatsin (Holy Virgin).
Glorious walls of the Middle Ages Askeran fortress are visible on the approach to the town, already from the road leading to Tigranakert Reserve, 14 km east of Stepanakert. In the XVIII century it underwent reconstruction and has established present appearance. The ramparts have a thickness of 2 m and a height of 9 m and round towers are interconnected by narrow passages. The embrasures are walled. You can climb on the wall through a vertical entrance.
Askeran historical museum presents numerous ancient artifacts discovered during excavations in the Askeran region, showing the way of life of people in ancient times inhabited the area. The museum consists of two departments - department of military art, which presents materials about World War II (1939-1945) and the Artsakh liberation war - books, photographs, and personal files of dead veterans of the liberation movement. The second department presents Archaeological and ethnographic exhibits - photographs of architectural monuments and settlements, books on Armenian history and culture, and so on.
State historical and cultural reserve "Tigranakert" was created in 2008 in the area of the excavations of the ancient Armenian town of Tigranakert in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the early Middle Ages. Tigranakert expedition of the Institute of Ethnology and Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia, headed by PhD Hamlet Petrosyan, began excavations of the city and its surroundings. As a result, it was found that Tigranakert, like any classical medieval towns, had quarter, surrounded by an impregnable wall, cultural and handicraft or central quarter, a vast agricultural suburb. Archaeological Museum, acting on the reserve was founded in 2010. The museum demonstrates the relics found in excavations.
Martakert city. Martakert regional centre is a small cozy town, spread out in the hills. During the Azerbaijani occupation the town was totally damaged, but after the liberation rather quickly recovered. Surprisingly, even after the temporary occupation, the city preserved 19th-century buildings. Many houses of the old Armenian quarter hit unique architectural style. They are all decorated with carvings. The narrow streets of the old town are paved with cobblestones. Church, around which there are gravestones with images of idols, the locals call "pagan cemetery." In the old pagan settlements of Martakert were found ancient stone sarcophagus, two of which are presented in Stepanakert, in Artsakh State Historical museum.
Visiting the historical museum in Martakert, you can get acquainted with numerous exhibits belonging to different historical periods of the region, samples of Christian culture as well as of an earlier time. In the courtyard of the museum you can find scenic stone idols of pre-Christian era, transported here from the occupied Azerbaijani village Seysulan.
Village Tonashen. Fortress Jraberd. At the junction of the rivers Tartar and Trkchi, on the right bank of the river Tartar, stands the hill on which one of the most famous castles in Artsakh - Jraberd is built. It got its name from the fact that is surrounded on three sides by water. Nature has created a few of inaccessible and at the same time imposing fortresses. The first notes of the fort are dated of 620th.
Near the village Tonashen, 7 km far from the famous castle Jraberd, is the monastery Yerek Mankunk. The architectural complex consists of a church, and 2 residential buildings. Khachkars are walled up in the walls of the monastery, dating from 1571, 1620, 1745 years, respectively. In the monastery the monks and hermits lived, as evidence the halls and numerous cells with a fireplace.
Village Madaghis. Church of Yeghishe Arakyal (Yeghishe the Apostle). Monastery of Yeghishe Arakyal is located at the foot of the mountain Mrav. The path leads through the forest to the monastery on the rocks, rising on the edge of canyons. Construction of the first building of the monastery is associated with the famous political and cultural figures - the king Vachagan Barepasht, (late 5th century BC, the beginning of the 6th century).
The church houses the remains of Vachagan Barepasht (the Pious) and Yeghishe Arakyal (the Apostle). It is considered an important place of pilgrimage for all Armenians.