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

Askeran region (one of the 8 regions of NKR) occupies the central part of  NKR. During the Karabakh war the area was of strategic importance for the security of the NKR’s capital Stepanakert.

Territory and Population

Askeran region in the north and north-west borders with Martakert region, in the west - Kashatagh region. In south it borders Martuni and Hadrut regions until they reach the border, and in the south-east borders Martuni region. The state border with Azerbaijan passes through Askeran’s north-eastern part.  

The district occupies an area of ​​1,222 square kilometers, with a population of 17,400 people.

The region has a mixed terrain: mountains in the south-west, plains in the northeast. The rivers Karkar, Badara, Kolatak flow through this region. In the past, as indicated by historical sources, part of Askeran region (right bank of the river Karkar) was part of the province of Varanda and the other part (left bank) of the province of Khachen.

According 2013 data, the Askeran region is home to 18,251 people.

Economy

The population of Askeran region of NKR is mainly engaged in agriculture and industries related to it. The most developed agricultural sectors are cultivation of grain and vegetable crops, horticulture and livestock. Winemaking, canning, timber industry, processing of tobacco, production of crushed stone and sand are also rather developed in the region.

Administrative division

There are forty-five populated settlements in Askeran region, including the regional center of Askeran, located fourteen kilometers far from Stepanakert. The town of Askeran arose on the site of an old military fort after 1920, and therefore got its name, which literally means "barracks." Since 1967, Askeran is considered to be urban-type settlement.

In the early 18th century a fort was established in the current place of the city, which after the accession of Eastern Armenia to Russia served as a stronghold of Russian troops for a long time.

 The Askeran fortress, built in the Middle Ages, has been perfectly preserved till today. In the 18th century it underwent a major renovation and acquired its present form. This outpost of Karabakh played a major role in protecting the region from the Tatar thugs during the Armenian-Tatar clashes of 1905-06 and from Turkish invaders in 1918-20. Protective structures are stretching more than 1.5 km. on both sides of the river Karkar.

Sightseeings

In Askeran region of NKR numerous historical and architectural monuments have survived, among them of particular interest are Askeran fortress, the monuments of the village Avetaranots, the former residence of the princes of Varanda Melik-Shakhnazaryans, Bovurhanavank, Monastery of Surb Gevorg or Ptkes-Burke, the church Pirumashen in Sarushen village, the house-museum of the famous figure of the Armenian national liberation movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Nikol Duman, in the village of Tsahkashat, some healing springs near the village of Aygestan, etc.

Besides, there is a village in Askeran region called Astkhashen ("village of the stars") as it rains stones from a rock like stars.

Be sure to visit the Askeran District of Karabakh, take a star for a memory, take a photo on the background of Askeran fortress and climb through the hole in Ulubabe: Karabakh-style longevity will definitely be guaranteed to you!

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