- Geographic location
In the north-eastern part of the Republic of Armenia,between mountain chains of Pambak and Bazum, where Tandzut and Pambak rivers merge, at the height of 1 350 meters above the sea level, spreads a beautiful town of Vanadzor that has about 130 000 inhabitants. The distance from Yerevan, capital of the Republic, is 120km by highway and 224km by railway.
The climate of Vanadzor is mild and favorable. Winter is warm with stable snowfall, summer is cool. The average temperature in January is 4,2øC, in July 23øC, the lowest temperature is -32øC,the highest +36øC. Rivers Tandzut and Vanadzor flow through the town. Slopes of Pambak mountain chain are covered with forests. If we add to all of this the favorable geographic position, abundance of mineral sources it will become clear why Vanadzor has always been considered a sanative town. Probably the saying “There are no bad weathers in the nature” is about Vanadzor.
- Historic overview
The history of the locality of Vanadzor comes from the depth of centuries. The long research of archeologists showed that the region of Tashir-Dzoraget and especially the area of Vanadzor were rich in big and small archeological monuments (“Tagavoranist”, “Mashtotsiblur”, “Kosi moter” and so on). Some tombs belonging to the Bronze Age and the early period of Iron Age (third millenium BC) were discovered in Dimats district. The weaving art was prospering here. Findings of metal, bronze and later iron items prove the development of metal production in this region. Examining of material culture patterns show that the tribes dwelling in the locality of Vanadzor in III-I milleniums BC were in close contact with Trans-Caucasus, Asia Minor, even with Near East. The information about Medieval Gharakilisa (the old name of Vanadzor) is very little. The only trace is the village of Papan situated in the gorge of Vanadzor. Even today, one can see ruins of the medieval church not far from it. It is supposed that the name Gharakilisa (Black Church) is of Tartar origin, it was given because of the church made of black stone situated on the northern hill of Vanadzor. Vanadzor was constantly conquered and destroyed by foreign invaders: Persians,Tartar-Mongols and Turks. In 1801 Lori together with Georgia joined Russia and Vanadzor became a boundary military station. Since 1849 Vanadzor belonged to the region of Yerevan. Construction of a road Dilijan- Vanadzor – Gyumri began in 1870 and Typhlis – Vanadzor – Gyumri railway began in 1899, a station, a post-office and inns greatly assisted in the development of the rural town. Great Armenian educator Kh. Abovian, who visited Vanadzor in 1829, gives evidence that there were hardly 500-600 inhabitants who had come from Yerevan. Later when Eastern Armenia joined Russia in 1830, hundreds of Armenian families from Kars, Ardahan, Bayazet, Erzrumand other town of Western Armenia settled down in Vanadzor. The historical data rich in past and present heroic conquers of Vanadzor can be seen in more than five thousand exhibits of the town museums. In January 1935, the central committee administration of the Armenian Socialist Republic decided to rename Gharakilisa to Kirovakan after the well-known revolutionary S.M. Kirov.
- Business & Economy
The production of fur and fur-coats was considered the only one in the republic by its type. It has delivered goods to more than 100 addresses. During the first years of Soviet system when they had built one of the industrial pioneers – the chemical plant, the word “master” received a new sense. They began to call “masters” the people who were the first chemical workers, who learnt the hard language of technique and in a short period of time were able to master the production of carbide, melamine, mineral fertilization, different chemicals that were important for the country. The production of melamine through ceaseless method was first invented in the world and installed in Vanadzor Chemical Plant. Other large enterprises in the town are manufactures of chemical fibers, precision machines, furniture, hosiery, factories “Avtogenmash” and “Avtomatika”.
The personnel of “Polymer-glue” scientific Research Institute has developed new types of glues that are widely used in various spheres of industry and national economy. One of the pioneers of the contemporary science is “Avtomatika” Scientific Research Institute, which is in close scientific and technical cooperation with many research institutions and plants of the country. The systems worked out by the Institute are successfully used in 30 foreign countries. The factories of furniture, fur and fur-coats, plant of “Lori” mineral water and other enterprises of light industry are very popular in the country and abroad.
Two higher education institutions, 5 technical colleges, 3 professional technical colleges, music, art and sports schools of the town prepare highly qualified human resources for the country’s economy.
One of the cultural centers of the town is the state dramatic theatre named after Hovhannes Abelyan. The theatre ant its cast have much grown during years. Professional level of the theatre and personal abilities of its actors have much developed due to the contribution of such famous Armenian directors as A. Burjalian, T.Shamirkhanian, V. Achemian. More than 50 years ago when Edvard Kzartmian was founding the first music school in Vanadzor, there were only a few pianos in the town. Currently there are five music schools in Vanadzor anda music college preparing good specialists for the whole Northern Armenia. One of the famous music groups is “Horovel” state chorus.
Today the town possesses 15 hospitals with 1115 beds, 23 polyclinics, dozens of drug stores, more than 360 doctors, 1 500medical staff.
Thousands of citizens visit the City Stadium for training or health improvement purposes, Sports Palace and in many other sport courts. Vanadzor provided champions of World and European competitions. Among them are … Samson Khachatrian (box), Stepan Sargsyan (wrestling) and many others. People of Vanadzor are amateurs of winter sports and “Lori winter” is one of the vivid proofs. People of Vanadzor love the picturesque nature of Lori.