Tsaghkadzor is a city located in Kotayk Region, 5 km north-east of the province center of Hrazdan (the Republic of Armenia). The city distance from Yerevan is 50 km, at a height of 1841 meters above sea level. Tsaghkadzor received its city status in 1984. The main part of city is spread on the eastern slope of Mount Teghenis. It is considered to be one of the leading tourism centers of the country. The population is about 1,700 people.
As a settlement Tsaghkadzor is known from ancient times. In Armenian Tsaghkadzor means “the valley of flowers”. The name of Tsaghkadzor is associated with the name of Tsaghkuniats Mountains. In the early medieval it was used as a hunting ground for the Armenian Arshakuni Kings. In the 6th century, the territory passed into possession of the famous Kamsarakans’ family. In the 10th century the clan of Kamsarakan was replaced with the Pahlavunis’. In 1033 Gregory Magistros Pahlavuni built a church in Kecharuyq in honor of Gregory the Illuminator founding the outstanding Monastery Complex of Kecharis. In 1051 he built the second church and named it St. Nshan. The economic and cultural life of the Tsaghkuniats province began to rise during the Zaqariants’ reign in the 13-14th centuries. During these centuries Tsaghkadzor was ruled by Khaghbakyan and then by Proshyan dynasties. In 1203-1214 Vasak Khaghbakyan did a great deal of restoration in Kecharis building St. Katoghike church next to St. Nshan. The decoration of this church built by architect Vetsik is the most luxurious among the churches of Kecharis Monastery. During this period St. Harutyun church was also built.
In the 17th century chronicles it is noted that all the churches and chapels of the monastery were still available. After the destructive earthquake of 1828 when all the domes were collapsed, in the 1830s Kecharis Monastery was partly cleaned and renovated.
Before the establishment of the Soviet Union, Tsaghkadzor was turned into a health-resort of the Yerevan State where the high-ranking officials spent their summer holidays. The city became densely populated including Russians.
In Soviet times there were about three dozens of pioneer camps and rest-homes. In 1967 the Sport Complex of the USSR was built in Tsaghkadzor, which brought the city a great fame and renown. In 1969 the Ropeway was built on the slopes of Mt. Teghenis, which became the “visiting-card” of the city and made winter vacation more attractive and popular.
In post Soviet times Tsaghkadzor preserved and developed its traditions of a resort center. Many buildings built by commercial-industrial, bourgeois high-ranking officials of Yerevan and Tbilisi were nationalized as country-houses.
After the declaration of independence, the city underwent difficult days, but since 2000, it developed rapidly acquiring a new luster and characteristics.
Today Tsaghkadzor is a city with well-built squares, streets, luxurious night lighting, modern hotels and rest-homes. It is attractive both in summer and winter.
The integral part of the city is the Ropeway, 5 stations of which were built during 2004-2007 by Austro-Italian Company “Leitner”. These 5 stations are in the line with current international standards by the level of their technical equipment and services. 30 km ski ways were also built. In winter months thousands of winter sports lovers coming from abroad and different parts of the country prefer to have their rest here, in Tsaghkadzor.
The city has modern hotels and rest-homes providing high-quality services. Hotels here are for any taste and different categories. Hotels have the experience of organizing reception according to the international standards and are ready for receiving guests all year round. For example, 5 Star “Golden Palace Resort & Spa GL” Hotel, which has recently been opened, “Jupiter” hotel situated in the center of Tsaghkadzor known for its excellent cuisine and hospitable staff, or “Sport Complex”, which offers a system of updated and modern services. And this is only a small part of luxurious hotels of Tsaghkadzor, the total number of which is about four dozens. The city has a social organization called “Tsaghkadzor Hotel Union”, which in 2012 was recognized the best of Armenian hotel unions.
The religious and cultural center of Tsaghkadzor is the Monastery Complex of Kecharis, which was completely reconstructed in 2001. This place is loved not only by natives but also by tourists. The Kotayk Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church is situated in Tsaghkadzor.
The house-museum of Orbeli brothers, the talented sons of Armenia, is located in Tsaghkadzor. The sons of the famous family Levon, Ruben and Hovsep grew up at their summer house in Tsaghkadzor, and Levon Orbeli was born in Tsaghkadzor. Today the house is turned into a house-museum, where the exhibits connected with their activities were moved from Yerevan, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Tsaghkadzor is one of the most popular and well-known resort outside Armenia. Tsaghkadzor is a unique place attracting tourists all year round not only by dazzling whiteness of its slopes, but also colorful and tantalizing aroma of nature. This feature of the city makes it attractive, inviting and memorable.
In this city, the only reason to get tired is the abundance of impressions and pleasure of interesting rest. In this city, you can always enjoy the hospitality of the citizens, who communicate with the guests freely.