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Learn More about Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic): Shahumyan

Shahumyan is one of the eight regions of the Republic of Artsakh (otherwise known as Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR)), which includes northern and north-western part of the republic. The region was liberated by the Armenian forces in 1993.

Territory and population

Shahumyan region includes north-western part of the NKR. It borders Mardakert in the east, Kashatagh in the south, Gegharkunik of the Republic of Armenia in the north-west,  Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions in south-west. In the north Shahumyan borders Khanlar regions which is situated in the annexed Armenian territories. The territory of the region is 1830 km2. The terrain of the Shahumyan region is mountainous and extremely rugged. Tartar River flows through the region which is the main water pulse of the Artsakh Republic.

During different times the region had different names such as Vaykunik (until XII-XIII century ), Upper Khachen (XIII-XVIII centuries), Kolan (at the beginning of XVIII-XIX)

The center of the region is city of Karvachar which is 128 km away from NKR capital city Stepanakert. The name Karvachar is the distorted version of the name of village Karavachar (in Armenian stone seller) which was situated in the Tsar Province of Artsakh during the times of Great Armenia (Mets Hayq in Armenian.)

The population of the region is 2560 according to the 2005 census. The population is mono-ethnic mainly composing of the Armenians.

According to 2003 data in the region there is 1 urban and 49 rural communities.

Occupied Territory

A part of Sahumyan region is at present occupied by Azerbaijan. In June 1992, when the Azerbaijani army occupied the territory, the region  had 18 localities with approximately 25 000 population. The oldest Christian monuments such as Glkhavank, Orekavank are in the territory of the region.  The heroic Getashen is also in the occupied territory.


The climate of the region is moderate subtropical, The average temperature is +11°C. The warmest and the sunniest months are July and August with ՝ +22°C և +21°C temperature accordingly.


There are many architectural monuments in the region, which speaks of the role this part of Artsakh Republic played in the history of Armenia. Among the most popular monuments are Dadivank, Handaberd castle, Tsar Village.

Dadivank is situated on the left bank of Tartar River, 100 km north from Stepanakert. According to the old manuscripts Dadivank was founded back in the 1st century, in the place of Saint Dadi grave, who had faced a lot of cruelties and died for preaching Christianity. The stone pillar indicates the  exact place of the grave.  Due  to archeological excavations the remains of Saint Dadi and the wooden throne, on which Saint was buried, were possible to find. Despite the myriad of devastating enemy invasions  thirty building of different meanings have been preserved up to today.

Handaberd was built in the second half of IX century by Prince Atrnerseh, The castle is situated near Chapni village, on the top of wooded and steep mountain and is surrounded by deep abysses. Not far away from the castle monastery complex of a church, chapel and tabernacle is situated. Judging from lithography records the complex was built during XII-XIII centuries.

Tsar village is situated on the upper stream of Tartar village on the highland surrounded by the cliffs of 300-310 meters and there is only one way leading to the village. Exactly in this direction there is fortified wall.

For the first time the village was recalled in 1289. The administrative center of the province and the magisterial residence are situated there. The village has four churches dating back to XIII-XIV centuries, in the surroundings there were also two monasteries which were destroyed during the Azerbaijani ruling.

 In addition to historical, architectural monuments Shahumyan region is also known with its natural rich resources. There are  springs of warm mineral waters, among which the most popular ones are Jermajur and the ones near Zuar village. The former is known for its ability to cure illnesses.

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