Martuni Town

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Martuni (Arm: Մարտունի), Gegharkunik Marz

Martuni (11117 p), anciently Mets Kznut, from 1830-1922 Nerkin Gharanlugh, from 1926 Martuni, former rayon capital, named for first Soviet PM Myasnikian's nom de guerre. It has various non-functioning industries and "Martuni" Rest House. Astvatsatsin church rebuilt in 1886; on the S edge of Martuni left of the Martuni-Geghhovit road are cyclopean fort ruins above the modern cemetery. South from Martuni on the road that leads to the Selim Caravansaray and Yeghegnadzor, one first reaches Geghhovit (5141 p, till 1968 Verin Gharanlugh; founded in the 15th c, but current residents from Alashkert in 1823). In the village is a S. Gevorg church. The small modern cement church just on the S end of town was erected by the local member of parliament, perhaps for electoral purposes. There is a small cyclopean fort on the hill above. In the middle of the village, a road descends SW and crosses the river. Turning left at the first opportunity after the river, you reach a hilltop just S of the village with walls of an Iron Age fort (best seen at S end) excavated in 1997 by an Armenian-Italian team. Supposedly the medieval Alberd fort, mentioned in connection with a 9th c. Byzantine military campaign, is here as well, with a shrine of S. Mamas. About 4 km S of Geghhovit, on a hill E of the road where the Martuni and Dashtidzor rivers come together, is a Berdi Glukh cyclopean fort. The paved road passes Lernakert, then ascends (now unpaved) into the mountains toward the Selim Pass/Caravansaray and Yeghegnadzor. Just E of the road before the summit, a series of boulders have carved on them faint outline maps of the major constellations (39 57.33n x 045 14.10e), possibly dated to the 3rd millennium BC. Sev Sar, the mountain just East, also has important petroglyphs. Two other interesting petroglyphs can be found at (40 01.66n x 045 17.26e) and (40 01.65n x 045 17.48e).

Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook