The town of Meghri is located 264 km southeast of Yerevan on the Meghri River, which is one of the tributaries of the Arax. In 1980, it registered 4180 inhabitants. In the past it was part of the Arevik region of the Siunik province of Greater Armenia. According to 13th century historian Stepanos Orbelian, the town was under the jurisdiction of the Datev Monastery. The Seljuk Turks overran Meghri in 1105 and it was completely destroyed by Amir-Harons barbaric forces in 1162. During these invasions, the fortress of Meghri played an important role in the defense of the town. The fortress is located at the top of a mountain chain directly north east of town. Meghri was mentioned once more during the liberation struggle of the 1820′s led by David Bek. Information about Meghri was also given by Hovsep Emin during his travels in 1766 and by three European travelers named Dubois, Raddy and Chandre.
They were amazed by Meghri’s beautiful natural landscape, the fortress and the neighborhoods (named Large, Medium and Small). It is important to note that each neighborhood of Meghri has its own church. The Large neighborhood has the Church of the Holy Mother of God (16thc.) with its impressive frescoes. The church of the Small neighborhood is named after St, John the Baptist. The Monastery of St. John is located in the eastern part of town (built 11th-13th-cc., renovated 17th c.). The site of old Meghri is probably located on the western side. Archeological digs in Meghri have uncovered objects dating back to the Bronze and Iron Ages.