About Lori Region

Area- 3,789 sq. km

Population- 283,900

Lori is located on Armenia’s northern border, the largest in area of Armenia’s eleven regions. Bounded on all sides by rugged mountains and cut by sheer gorges, Lori is a dramatically beautiful region, sparsely settled except for the valleys of the Pambak, Debed and Dzoraget rivers. Apart from richly furnished tombs, the early history of the region is little documented, but its medieval monuments are an interesting fusion of Georgian and Armenian, Georgian dominant politically, Armenian culturally.

Lori is the birthplace of several famous Armenians including musician Harutyun Sayatyan (better known as Sayat-Nova), poet Hovhannes Tumanyan, Soviet aircraft designer Artem Mikoyan, and Soviet statesman Anastas Mikoyan.

Lori borders the following marzer: Tavush-East, Kotayk-Southeast, Aragatsotn-Southwest, Shirak- West.
The province of Lori consists of the following 113 communities (hamaynkner), of which 8 (bold in the table) are considered urban and 105 are considered rural. Main cities are Vanadzor (capital), Alaverdi, Spitak, Stepanavan and Tashir.

Lori is home to Haghpat and Kober monasteries — two of Armenia’s loveliest — and a host of other important medieval monuments, to the spectacularly sited Lori Castle (Lori Berd), to a pleasing Arboretum in Gyulagarak, and to a range of stunning landscapes.


Vanadzor (Armenian: Վանաձոր) is the third-largest city in Armenia with a population of 90 525 (2017 census) and the capital of the Lori Province. It was previously known as Kirovakan during the Soviet era and as Karakilisa during the Tsarist period.

Vanadzor, the capital of Lori, is located 128 km north of Yerevan and 64 km east of Gyumri.

At a height of 1425 meters above sea level, Vanadzor is located next to the valley of Pambak river on the point where the rivers of Pambak, Tantsut and Vanadzor.

Sanahin and Haghpat

From Alaverdi there are three ways to get up to the village of Sanahin (see below). You can either take the cable car from the Alaverdi post office up the canyon to Sanahin, walk across the 12th century “cat” bridge (by Alaverdi’s new church) and take the ancient path, or you can take the road as explained below.

Sanahin was the birthplace of Artashes Mikoyants, better known to history as Anastas Mikoyan (1895-1978). His father was a capable but illiterate carpenter at the mines. According to Mikoyan’s memoirs, the village of Sanahin had only two literate men, the priest and the (sole) monk of Sanahin monastery.

The monastery was founded by Saint Nishan (Sourb Nshan) in the 10th century during the reign of King Abas I. The nearby monastery at Sanahin was built around the same time. The location of Haghpat Monastery was chosen so that it overlooks the Debed River in northern Armenia’s Lori region. It was built, not on a peak, but halfway up a hillside on a site chosen to afford protection and concealment from prying eyes and also in response to a kind of monastic humility. It is built on a verdant promontory located in the middle of a mountain cirque, which is often wreathed in clouds. A peak on the opposite side of the river is over 2,500 meters high.