As a regional administrative unit Gegharkunik region of the Republic of Armenia was
formed on December 4, 1995. The region comprises the territories of the former adminis-
trative districts of Kamo, Krasnoselsk, Martuni, Sevan and Vardenis. It covers a territory of
5348 sq 2 (including lake Sevan), comprises 92 communities, 98 rural settlements as well as
the towns of Sevan, Martuni, Chambarak and Gavar. The regional centre is the city of Gavar.
The territory of the region comprises the area of the basin of lake Sevan, the maximal height
above sea level is 3597 meters (Mt. Azhdahak).
The gem of Armenia, Lake Sevan, attracts tourists with its unique beauty.
Lake Sevan is situated 60 kilometers northeast of Yerevan, in the centre of the
Gegharkunik region. Presently the lake occupies a territory of 1256 sq 2 , its depth reaches
82 meters. Almost 28 rivers and streams flow into Lake Sevan but only the River Hrazdan
originates from it. Winters are usually cold here and summers are hot.
In old times the lake was called the Geghama Sea. The peninsula together with the mon-
astery are secrets of nature which nobody has managed to expose yet. Unfortunately, un-
der the Soviet system as a result of the development of hydropower as well as the use of
the waters of the lake for irrigation Sevan shoaled significantly. It is impossible to imagine
the peninsula without Sevan monastery surrounded by marvelous nature. According to the
historical data the monastery was erected in 874. Since 1951 the archeological excavations
have revealed ruins of fortresses, tombstones and even dwellings.
Sevan is glorious by its different kinds of fish and in the first place by its trout or as they
call it the "King of Fish".
There are a lot of first-class rest houses, large and small hotels as well as comfortable
beaches situated along the lakeside. The north-western lakeside is covered with pine forests
which considerably allay the winds penetrating from the Geghama Mountains.
Just as in different places of Armenia the territory of Sevan also abounds in places of in-
terest. One of the most interesting sights is Sevan Monastery situated on the peninsula. One
of the churches of the monastic complex is Arakelots Monastery and the other is the Astvat-
satsin which is lager in size. Sevan Monastery was founded in 874 by the founder of the
dynasty of Baghratuni Ashot the I and his daughter Mariam. Originally the peninsula was a
island and the lake protected it from many enemy attacks. Hayravank Monastery - another
beautiful monastic complex with a church of the 9th century and khachkars of the 12th cen-
tury is situated on the western bank of the lake. This monument is a magnificent specimen of
architecture and nature. Not far from it is Noraduz village with the splendid St. Astvatsatsin