What to See
The world’s most talented artist, musician and architect is nature. Even a short visit to the breathtaking mountains and valleys of Artsakh will provide ample proof. For being sure of it, one just needs to at least once visit Artsakh or to check out these links.
In addition to its natural beauty, Artsakh is rich with culture. There are art galleries, creativity centers for children, as well as several song and dance ensembles that reflect Armenian ancient culture and traditions. The performing arts in Artsakh are also thrilling: the V. Papazyan drama theatre has been operating since 1923, and Sayat-Nova musical college since 1961. Besides art, there are several museums displaying the history of Artsakh. The Museum of Fallen Soldiers, located in Stepanakert, details the Artsakh War. In 2012, all of the exhibits were translated into Russian and English with help of Luys students. Audio translations are also available in five languages: Armenian, Russian, English, French and Hebrew.. the translational works of which were done by <<Luys>> students, who translated the information into English and Russian. The audio versions of translated materials are available in 5 languages: Armenian, Russian, English, French and Jewish . Besides art, there are several museums displaying the history of Artsakh. The Museum of Fallen Soldiers. In 2012, all of the exhibits were translated into Russian and English with help of Luys students. Audio translations are also available in five languages: Armenian, Russian, English, French and Hebrew.
Historical and Cultural Monuments
Saint Ghazanchetsots church in Shushi (1868-1886)
Gandzasar monastery (1216-1238), Gtchavank (13th century)
Dadivank (11-14th centuries)
Amaras monastery (4-19th centuries)
Tsitsernavank (2-3th century; 18th century)
Eritsmankants monastery (1691)
Traditional Carpets Museum (carpet making culture 19-20th centuries)
Tigranakert Fortress (1st century BC, by Armenian king Tigran the Great)
Okhty Drni monastery in Mokhrenes
These are just part of it. Artsakh is a museum under the sky!
The Eastern Bathhouse
The Eastern bathhouse, dating back to the 18-19 centuries, is situated in the north-east, near the administrative center and is a typical Muslim bagnio. It was open to the public until 1994. The building has one floor and its east-side porch is the front entrance of the bagnio. There are 5 small bathrooms and one big bathroom and a main hall with a fountain, that was possibly used as a tea room, that has enclaves that serve as private corners. The rooms with an eastern view have natural light, while the inner rooms such as the bathrooms don’t have windows and as a result are short of natural light. However, all of them are being ventilated with the help of chimneys on the roof.
The building is made of white limestone but brick was also used for the constructions. The two main halls have domes.
The building needs to be completely restored. The boiler house, basin and the pump need to be restored, in order to make use of bathhouse.
Theatre has always played a big role in the cultural life of the Armenian people. As long ago as the 1-st BC all the big Armenian cities had amphitheatres where the works of antique authors were staged. Even the Armenian king Artavazd II wrote plays. In Artsakh as well as in the rest of Armenia, the theatrical art was highly thought of. In the 2nd half of the 19c. in the very big inhabited locality of that time Artsakh, in Shoushi, the Drama Theatre of Khandamiryan was found with the hall for the audience of 350. It staged plays of Armenian and Europenian authors. In 1932 there was found the widely known today Stepanakert State Drama Theatre of Vahram Papazyan, the founder of which was the luminary of the Armenian stage Karo Alvaryan. The theatre is situated to the address of 18, Hakobyan str. The repertoire of the theatre mainly includes plays of the Armenian classics and modern authors.
The Artsakh Museum of Fine Arts
The Artsakh Museum of Fine Arts in Shushi is operational since May 9th 2013 (the day of liberation of Shushi) and is built upon the foundation of an early 19th century tavern establishment, preserving its outward appearance and overall structure. The museum was built primarily with support from Professor GrigoryGabrielyants, who also donated a majority of the works. All the paintings and sculptures housed in the museum are donations from countries including but not limited to Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Lithuania, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Poland, France, the USA, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Egypt, Indonesia, Haiti, and Madagascar.
Artsakh Museum of Fine Arts Shop
The museum also sells works by Artsakh artists and youth, without charging any sort of premium. The prices range from 1000 dram to 35,000 dram for souvenirs, and $1000 to $1500 for paintings.
Carpet Museum of Shoushi
The Shoushi Museum of Carpets, founded by Vardan Astsatrian, is operational since October 22nd, 2013, and is located on the first floor of the Center of Arts of Shoushi. The museum is a non-profit establishment, with the objective of preserving Artsakh’s rich history of carpet weaving, and promoting the rebirth of a carpet weaving culture in the region. It houses over 250 carpets (some dating as far back as the 17th century) and also exhibits ancient tools and household items (some dating as far back as the 17th century).The second floor of the museum houses temporary exhibitions, dedicated to different aspects of life in Artsakh. The latest exhibit (closing on July 14th, 2014) included busts of influential freedom fighters who participated in Artsakh’s war for independence.
The Archaeological museum of Tigranakert is founded in the medieval fortress, situated on the territory of archaeological park in the outskirts of Tigranakert city, founded by the king Tigran the Great /95-55 cc BC/. Various artifacts discovered during excavations by the archaeological expedition of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia under the leadership of Hamlet Petrosyan, perfectly illustrate the ancient history and the rich cultural life of this extremely interesting corner of Artsakh.
At the museum’s opening ceremony, Karabakh’s head of tourism, Sergey Shahverdyan, hailed the event as renewed confirmation of the “historical truth.” “Tigranakert is our homeland, like Van, Mush, Kars and Ardahan,” he exclaimed, adding that he was confident the excavated city would “become one of the largest tourism centers of the country.”
Tigranakert was among four cities founded by Armenian King Tigranes the Great, who expanded the Armenian Kingdom beyond its traditional boundaries, transforming it into an empire and the strongest state east of Rome.
According to Armenian archaeologists, the city was founded sometime in the 80s B.C. and survived through the 15th century. The excavated area around Tigranakert features artifacts and ruins from both Armenia’s Hellenic and Christian eras. Among the findings are two main walls and the towers of the Hellenic styled city and an Armenian church built sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries, in which was found a clay, dish-like item with an engraving that reads “My, Vache, the slave of God.”
In three halls of the museum the unique items of material culture belonging to the historical period of 5 c BC-17 c are presented. These are mainly fine ceramic vessels, stone and glass goods. Especially interesting is the disc of gift of the burned clay with the inscriptions in Armenian that dates back to the 5-6th cc. The course of archaeological excavations that have been conducted here from 2006 are widely illustrated, too. The detailed information about the location, the data of the excavations and findings in Armenian, English and Russian are presented on numerous stands.
The visitors of the museum can gain here traditional souvenirs and various printed production. There is a small café on the territory of the medieval fortress.
Nikol Duman (Nikoghayos Ter-Hovhannisyan) was born on January 12, 1867 in the village of Tsaghkashat. He was an agent of the Armenian national liberation movement and a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. He graduated from the Regional School of Shushi in 1887 and went on to become a teacher at several Armenian schools in the Southern Caucasus.
A great many of books and articles, songs and poems have been written about him. Most of us would like to see his birthplace, the atmosphere that surrounded Nikol Duman, and the nature that gave him strength to fight against the enemy, to hold the fidais' weapon.
Today all these have become reality due to Nikol Duman memorial home-museum, opened for the public in 2004.
The Nikol Duman House Museum and Ethnographic District are located in the picturesque village of Tsaghkashat (Ghshlagh) ) along the along the located in the picturesque village of Tsaghkashat (Ghshlagh) along the main road between Stepanakert and Gandzasar, roughly 22 kilometers past Stepanakert, which has been largely restored to recreate 19th century village life in the Askeran Region. Tsaghkashat is a quaint village of roughly 200 indigenous inhabitants who are mainly occupied with cattle breeding and wheat farming. The age-old tradition of winemaking is also being revived in the village.
The home-museum is also remarkable for being a single one in Karabakh; maybe even a single one in all Armenia, built on social means and opened for public.
This home-museum is yet the only realization (accomplishment) of "National Heritage" public foundation's bents, the basic purpose of which is to immortalize the memory of national-liberation movement heroes by creating memorial museums.
The home-museum is situated on Stepanakert-Gandzasar highway and from the very days of its existence it has become the pilgrimage place of (for) tourists, visiting Karabakh. And not only for the reason one can see the original atmosphere of life of a Karabakh village of the late 19th, get acquainted with the basic phases of Duman' s activity, arrange a nice traditional Karabakh picnic, taste famous local made beverages. The important is the feeling that one has after visiting Nikol Duman's house-you begin to re-estimate the transient values of modern life.