Armenian hidden gems: Marzpetuni fortress and Lori fortress

2 minutes to read

In the territory of Armenia, there are several fortresses that are worth exploring. However, the ones I'm going to present today are not much visited by tourists as they are located a bit far, in places that are not easily accessible. So, those are real Armenian hidden gems. Usually, there are no organized tours to these abandoned fortresses, so if you are really into exploring those historical places and knowing more about Armenia you have to somehow make your arrangements to get there. One of them is Marzpetuni fortress, and the other one is Lori fortress.

Marzpetuni fortress

Marzpetuni Fortress (Tapi berd) was built in the 10th century. Marzpetuni was a brave prince. He used to lead Armenian soldiers during Arab invasions during the Armenian dynasty of Bagratids, when the king Ashot II was on the throne. The fortress is located on the right bank of the river Khosrov, not far from the village of Urtsadzor. It’s a quadrant, not a huge building that stands on top of the hills. There are two ways to get there: one of them is to hike (it will be a tiring and very long walk) and the other one is to get there on horseback. Centuries ago this fortress served as a shelter to hundreds of soldiers. In its territory, you can also find a small chapel. The secret underground tunnel gave an opportunity to get from the fortress to the river Khosrov and back.

The Marzpetuni Fortress (Tapi berd)
The Marzpetuni Fortress (Tapi berd)
Urtsadzor, Armenia
©ArmenIsk
©ArmenIsk

credits to ArmenIsk, fortress Marzpetuni

Urtsadzor
Urtsadzor
Urtsadzor, Armenia
Khosrov river
Khosrov river
Ararat Province, Armenia

The Lori fortress

Lori fortress (Lori berd) was built in the 11th century. The fort was founded by Davit Anhoghin. He succeeded his father on the throne of the Armenian Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget. His nickname Anhoghin ("Landless") was given to him when he temporary lost his lands, after a defeat at the hands of the king of Ani. The fortress is located 4.5 km from the city of Stepanavan, by the river Dzoraget. The territory is full of small and big natural caves. In general, the whole complex occupies the area of 45 hectares out of which 9 hectares was the main part of the fortress/citadel and in the surrounding area of 36 hectares used to live citizens (it was kind of a mini city protected with huge walls). What’s very interesting, the width of the walls is around 20 meters (that is very unusual and not a common thing). Among other things, while examining the fortress, you will notice the remains of the bathrooms. Apparently back then, they also had a bathroom with warm water and water irrigation system with the clay pipes. It has around 200-meter long secret underground tunnel. For almost 100 years scientists were trying to find it.

Lori fortess
Lori fortess
Lori Berd, Armenia
©Larisa Sviridova
©Larisa Sviridova

credits to Larisa Sviridova, fortress Lori

Dzoraget river
Dzoraget river
Dzoraget, Armenia

If you want to discvoer some of the Armenian hidden gems, you will definitely like visiting Marzpetuni fortress and Lori fortress. Of course, I will highly recommend making your way to Amberd fortress as well, that is one of the main touristic destinations of Armenia, and it’s very easy to get there by car. Follow the hyperlink to know more!

©leg Breslavtsev
©leg Breslavtsev

Amberd by leg Breslavtsev


The author

Lusine Vardanyan

Lusine Vardanyan

I’m Lusine, from Armenia. I like to travel and explore new places. I'm interested in art, culture, music and sports. On itinari I’ll show you Armenia the way I see it.

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