Monuments of culture and nature

Area surrounding the Lake is a perfect platform for tourism, which is not properly used though. There are no less significant and interesting places that are often left out of the routes of visiting guests.

1_լճաշենFor instance, the village of Lchashen (former Ishtiuni) is a significant Bronze Age monument. The excavation findings from Lchashen enriched the History Museum of Armenia. The area surrounding the village seems to be an archaeological museum itself. Though archaeological excavations are no longer performed here, each resident is confident that they live on the land saturated with history, that the land under their feet still holds many archeological discoveries.

Lchashen is a complex of archaeological monuments of different periods (particularly rich in artifacts from the Bronze Age and Urartian times). This unique open-air museum is a pre-urartian settlement surrounded by a cyclopean stonewall.

It was established as a settlement in the end of the 4th millennium BC. In the 3rd millennium BC it grew into a fortress. The remains of the walls of the ancient town-fortress (with citadels) are preserved 2 km to the south and south-east of the village. They are 3-4 m and in some parts 5-7 m wide.

Many exhibits of the History Museum of Armenia, attributed to the early Bronze Age, were discovered in 1956-1958 during the Lchashen archaeological excavations.

The village visitors can view the plain surrounded by cyclopean fortresses.  On the eastern side of the village, near the pre-urartian settlements, they can see King Argishti’s cuneiform incription carved on a big and clumsy cliff back in 776 BC. It is the first written reference to the village, where the King mentions also his exploits and power.  Residents of the village are known in the region as good singers

2_մաշտոցներA sanctuary called Mashtotsner, is another non-traditional hotspot to be visited.

According to the legend, it was founded in the 9th century by a priest who later became Catholicos Mashtots Yeghvardatsi. The sanctuary was named after him and  was reconstructed in 1984. There is a water springnext to the chapel. The locals call  the chapel “Holy Mashtotsner”and consider it a shrine  due to the healing water of the spring, like the Holy Water of Lourdes in France. However, unlike Lourdes, which has approximately 5 million pilgrims annually, even those who do not believe make use of the Mashtotsner water so great is the love to the shrine.

The area is rich in various medicinal herbs and is also very comfortable for picnics.

3_բուսաբանական այգիSevan Botanical Garden is another amazing place of the Lake Basin. Although it is quite a young garden, it is unique:  it is located at the altitude of 2,000 m above the sea level and has with more than 450 species.More than 500 species of trees and bushes brought from other countries are being tested in the garden. Sevan Botanical Garden has a great chance of  becoming one of the most visited destinations of the Lake basin.

Tourism as a socio-economic tool

5_լեռներTo learn about the flora and fauna of the Lake Sevan basin and to get acquainted with ecological conditions of the Lake, you can visit the Sevan Museum of Natural Sciences, where flora and fauna are represented comprehensively. Here you can see also exhibits about the ancient history of the region.

Mountains surrounding the Lake make the scenery more charming. Actually the region has all the chances to become a mountain-tourism center of Armenia (and not only Armenia) all the year round.

Hiking in this region is another tourism sector to be developed, as the main advantage of the region is the fact that the mountains are passable and very strong physical training is not required, which makes ​ climbing less difficult (except for people with pressure problems). The entire way up the mountains is incredible as each minute you ascend the Lake is opening to you with a completely different scene.

Development of tourism sector in the region will enable local people from nearby villages to become active players in improving their socio-economic situation. The can be involved in production of honey, dried fruits, herb teas etc.

Gohar Mnatsakanyan
Resident of Sevan town

Sevan Youth Club NGO, deputy director