Halidzor Fortress

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Location: Kapan, Syuniq region
Established: XVII c.
From Yerevan: 310km/4h 50min

Halidzor Fortress (Halidzor St. Astvatsatsin (Sw. Holy Virgin) desert) is an Armenian architectural complex in Syunik region of RA, on the right bank of the River Voghj. It was built in the first half of the 17th century. Then it was turned into ancestral castle of Melik-Parsadanyan dynasty from Bekh village; this was the most powerful family of Kapan territory. 

There is an opinion, that the first representative of Parsadanyan dynasty was duke Dzagik from Syunik. One of the greatest Armenian commanders David Bek was of this family. Halidzor fortress was protected by strong walls, had several towers; the dynasty’s copper foundry was located in front of the castle. In the 18th century David Bek tuned the foundry into a fortress. Due to its inaccessibility it became the administrative center of Syunik, where the power of the region was concentrated. 

The name Halidzor derives from the names of Hale and Halis settlements. In the 10th century duchess Hamazaspuhi presented Halidzor to Tatev Monastery; Halidzor served as it fortress up to the 14th century.
In 1711 abbot of Tatev Monastery bishop Arakel was severely killed in the desert. In the 18th century David Bek turned the desert into the main center of liberation movement. Nevertheless, even those years the establishment served as a monastery. In 1727, when the Turkish army was trying to capture Halidzor, even nuns were fighting. The complex is protected by fortress walls; the plan is rectangular, according to the location. The only round tower is located in the South-Western part of the complex. The large church, built of untreated basalt, has form of vaulted hall. Two-storey constructions from the North and South serve as parish; the enemy was bombed from the roofs of the constructions. 

The appropriate system of protection and inaccessible location gave David Bek with his small army the opportunity to successfully face the numerous attacks of the Turkish army

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