As a regional administrative unit Lori region was formed in December, 1995 and includes
the territories of the former administrative districts of Gugark, Tumanyan, Spitak, Ste-
panavan and Tashir. It covers a territory of 3789 sq 2 and comprises 113 communities and
130 rural settlements as well as the towns of Alaverdi, Spitak, Stepanavan, Tashir, Akhtala,
Tumanyan, Shamlukh and Vanadzor.
Lori region is situated in the south of the RA and comprises the region of Gugark with its
rich deposits of polymetals, copper and building materials. The climate is moderate, in the
south it is dry subtropical.
The administrative centre of the region is Vanadzor city. Being surrounded by mountains
Vanadzor is a town of rare beauty. Unfortunately the city suffered a lot after the devastating
earthquake in 1988 which took lives of thousands of people and razed to the ground the city
of Spitak. As a result of the earthquake the city of Stepanavan and the neighbouring towns
were ruined. Lori region comprises also Alaverdi town with Sanahin monastic complex -
one of the vivid specimens of medieval Armenian architecture. In Middle Ages here was the
most famous and largest book depository in medieval Armenia. Sanahin was an important
educational center, the center of enlightenment. Untill the 19th century it was the residen-
ce of the archbishop. Sanahin Monastery was erected in 966 by queen Khosrovanush. The
campanile built in the years 1211-1236 is considered to be the oldest of all the campanili in
Not far from Sanahin Monastery, on the bank of the River Debed is situated the Haghpat
Monastery - one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia erected by queen Khos-
rovanush in 976. St. Nshan church is one of the churches of the monastic complex. The
construction of the church was completed in 991. The monastic complex comprises also the
small St. Grigor church erected in 1025. In the Middle Ages Haghpat was a major educa-
tional centre. 12 kilometers south-west of Alaverdi rises Odzun Temple erected in the 6th
century by Catholicos Hovhan.
Dendro Park is a wonderful botanical garden founded in 1931. It covers a territory of 35
ha. In the park there are fruitful and unique tress recorded in The Red Data Boot and other
plants. At the place where the rivers Dzoraget and Gargar merge there is a small monument.
The road situated next to the monument takes to Hnevank Monastery . That marvelous ar-
chitectural monument ornamented with bas-reliefs was erected in the 7th century and was
entirely reconstructed by king Smbat - the forefather of the kings of Syunik. Atabek Ivane
Zakaryan converted this Aremnian monastery into chalcedonies. The ashes of Ivane and his
son Avag were moved here.
Lori Fortress was the capital of the kingdom of Tashit-Dzoraget and the feudal center
of the dynasty of Kyurikyan. The northern side of the fortress is fenced about with a strong