Aragatsotn region of the Republic of Armenia was formed in 1995.The region involves
the territories of the former administrative districts of Aparan, Ashtarak and Talin.
It covers a territory of 2753 sq 2 and is composed of 115 communities and 121 rural settle-
ments as well as the cities of Ashtarak, Talin, and Aparan. The Aragatsotn region is situated
in the western part of the RA.
On May 28, 2005 over 240.000 people danced around Mt. Aragats thus proving the unity
of the ancient Armenian nation.
The region involves the north-eastern, southern and south-western slopes and foothills of
Mt. Aragats, the highest peak of which is 4090 meters above sea level, is situated in Arag-
atsotn region. The rocks covered with meadow flowers make the view of Aragats unforget-
table. In winter the southern slopes of Aragats turn into a perfect resting place for lovers of
winter sports, particularly skiing.
The administrative center of Aragatsotn region is Ashtarak spread along the banks of the
River Kasakh. The city is full of churches, interesting museums and hotel-and-restaurant
complexes. The churches Tsiranavor, Spitakavor and Karmravor as well as the house-mu-
seum of prose writer Perch Proshyan and the old three-arched bridge built in 1664 are all
situated near the central square. Not very far from this bridge there are the ruins of another
one of an earlier stage (12-13 centuries). St. Marine Church built in 1281 is situated in the
western part of the city. The newly built St. Sargis Church stands upper the medieval bridge
spread along the right bank of the River Kasakh.
South of Ashtarak lies the district of Oshakan the last haven of the inventor of the Ar-
menian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots (442). The church erected upon his grave was restored by
efforts of the Catholicos Gevorg the IV in 1875. The walls of this church are decorated with
the miniatures of painter H. Minasyan.
The highest mountain of Armenia is Aragats with its 4 peaks- the northern (the highest
of all 4090 m), the western (4080 m), southern (3879 m) and the eastern (3916 m). Even on
the clearest August days the peak of Aragats is always enveloped in clouds.
Byurakan lies at the southern foot of Mt. Aragats. St. Hovhannes Church is situated in
Byurakan, 1 km north-eastward of it rises Artavazik Church built in 7th century with khach-
kars of the 13th century.
The observatory of Byurakan is known all over the world for its astronomers. It was
headed by Viktor Hambardzumyan who was also the president of the International Organiz-
ation of Astrophysicists. During his leadership V. Hambardzumyan developed a new theory
of star accumulations. The observatory is open for visitors. Exhibitions in Armenian, Rus-