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About Vanadzor

  • Contained by: Armenia
  • Time zone(s): Greenwich Mean Time
  • Events: Battle of Karakilisa

Vanadzor (Armenian: Վանաձոր) is the third-largest city in Armenia with a population of 107,394 (2001 census) and the capital of the Lori Province. It was previously known as Kirovakan (Armenian: Կիրովական, after Sergey Kirov) during the Soviet era and as Karakilisa during the Tsarist period. The city is in a picturesque setting, with an attractive planned city center. Mostly crumbling Soviet chemical factories dominate much of the valley below the city. Much of the city's history is unknown. The history of the area possibly dates back to the Bronze Age, with interesting tombs and other material found and housed in the local museum. But with no doubt, the area of nowadays Vanadzor was part of Gugark, the thirteenth province of the Kingdom of Armenia (Armenia Mayor) until the end of the Artaxiad Dynasty's rule over Armenia, in the 1st century AD. The city received its name of Karakilisa possibly as early as the 13th century, from a black stone church on a nearby hill. In 1801, it became a part of the Russian Empire along with the Georgian state, a fact that made the city one of the strategically important points for the Russian defensive forces on the border with Persia. In 1826,

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