Karabakh is a country of marvelous meadows, pasturages and forests. Since 1923 the
picturesque Stepanakert town was the capital of the Mountainous Karabakh Autonomous
Region and since 1991 of the Mountainous Karabakh Republic. Since 490s to 1847 it was
called Vararak:n, from 1847 to 1923 - Khankendi and since 1923 - Stepanakert.
It is nested in the plain eastern foothills of the Karabakh mountain ridge, on the left river-
side of the Karkar. The settlement was founded at the end of the V century by the Armenian
king Vachagan the Barepasht of Artsakh. Stepanakert has an airport. The town is also a road
In the Artsakh heroic battles Stepanakert manifested itself as a Hero-town. The Artsakh
movement was a vivid manifestation of the independence and national dignity of Armenians
the centre of which was Stepanakert. The sculpture "We and Our Mountains" by sculptor
Sargis Baghdasaryan is situated in the town suburbs. These two huge stone sculptures sym-
bolize the unity of the man and nature.
Shushi is located on the top of the plateau and occupies a dominating position in the land-
scape surrounding it. Lower, south-east of the town spread fields, gardens as well as Ste-
panakert - the centre of the Mountainous Karabakh Republic.
The River Karkar flows through the gorge encircling Shushi from the south.
The churches of Karabakh built in XVI-XIX centuries are mainly of basilica type,
without a dome which speaks for the hard economic and political situation of the region.
Among all the monuments built in Karabakh during the abovementioned centuries there are
only 9 domed churches, the 5 of which are in town of Shushi. One of them is Ghazanchetsots
St. Amenaprkich church, others are the churches of Kanach-Zham, Aguletsots, Meghertsots
and Kusanats Monastery.
Outwardly Ghazanchetsots St. Amenaprkich church presents a luxurious aspect: it is or-
nament with bas-reliefs, particularly the arcade of the door and windows of the church. The
church has 3 doors from the west, south and north of the same type and dimensions. Rising
over the other constructions of the central part of the town, on the background of the green
hills it dominates not only over the plateau but also the verdant valley of the River Karkar.
Not far from the church, in the western part of it rises a three-storied campanile. In the upper
comers of the ground floor there are four forged statues of a full human height.
In Ghazanchetsots church there were numerous manuscripts, gilded boxes and annals.
The famous Kanach-zham church is located on the high mountainous part of the plateau
which commands a beautiful view of the town. The church was erected in 1818. Both the
church and the campanile arrest the eye by their original interior decoration.