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From Yerevan: 329 km/ 4 h. 30 min.
Stepanakert is the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh; population: 55, 000 people. Stepanakert is the administrative, cultural and economic center of the republic. It is located on the Western slope of Karabakh mountain range, on the left bank of the tributary of the Karkar River Vararakn, 850 m above sea level. The city was renamed in honor of the activist of Communist Party, International Labor Movement Stepan Shahumyan.
The city stretches on ten village settlements of early Middle Age and Middle Age, where 10 half-destroyed churches, thousands of khachkars (“cross-stones”) and grave stones are preserved.
Stepanakert has an ancient history. First settlements appeared here in the 3-2 millenniums BC. In the 19th century, during the archaeological excavations, held by Emil Rosler lots of objects of great value were found; a part of the treasure is now kept in the largest museums of the world. Vararakn village was on the place of modern Karabakh. The village got its name from the local water source. Only a hostel was preserved by a miracle from the settlement.
As a settlement the city was formed in the beginning of the 19th century. The first plan of the project and construction of the city was done by architect Alexander Tamanyan. During Soviet times Stepanakert was a typical regional center, where a range of large industrial enterprises, pedagogical institute, agricultural technical school, musical and medical colleges as well as historic-geological museum operated. In the 60ies a complex was built, which included Lenin Square (today: Renaissance), the building of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party (today: Government of NKR).
Despite the small territory, there are many picturesque places in the city, green parks, and cozy yards. Also there are lots of high quality hotels in Stepanakert, which will make your rest more comfortable.