Yeghegnadzor is a town located 122 km southeast of Yerevan on the right bank of the Arpa River.
The city and its surrounding region have gone through several name changes over the centuries. Historically the town is located in the Vayots Dzor region of the Siunik province, which was later given the foreign name Daralaguiaz. The town was called Khodoralez at one point and later Keshishkent. From 1935-1957 its was named Migoyan and finally it was given the name Yeghegnadzor.
Objects found during archaeological digs of tombs near the ruins of the medieval town of Moz show evidence of man inhabiting this region as far back as the Bronze Age. Until the conquest of the Seljuks Turks, the Yeghegnadzor region was controlled by the princes of Siunik, who made the town of Yeghegis their center (821-963). Afterwards, the Vayots Dzor region came under the control of foreign conquerors. In the early decades of the 13th century, the united Armenian-Georgian army, under the leadership of Zakare and Ivane Zakarian, liberated the province from the Seljuks and transferred its rule to Prince Liparit Orbelian and Prince Prosh Haghbakian. Under their patronage numerous monasteries, churches, monuments, bridges, inns, fortresses and castles were built. The University of Gladzor, famous for being a medieval center of higher learning, flourished during their control.
After the fall of the Mongol empire, the Yeghegnadzor region falls under the control of Tamerlane and his successors, followed by the Kara-Koyounlou Turkmen chiefs and later became the battlefield of the Turks and Persians. In 1604, the population of Yeghegnadzor was taken captive by Shah Abbas to Persia. After the annexation of Eastern Armenia to the Russian Empire, Armenians living in Persia were allowed to move back to Armenia and repopulate the Vayots Dzor region as a result of the Treaty of Turkmenchaï in 1828.
In the 19th century, the territory became part of the Sharur-Daralaguiaz province in the prefecture of Yerevan. Transport routes from Lake Sevan and the Arax Valley connected in the village of Arpa (today’s Areni) and continued to wind its way through the Arpa Valley and the Vorotan Passage into Zangezour and Karabagh. Many bridges and hostels were built on this road of which two, the Agarakdzor Bridge (13th c.) and the Selim hostel (14th c.) still stand today. The Yeghegnadzor region is filled with ancient architectural complexes and monuments making it a true open-air museum. Noteworthy are the monasteries of Khotakeratz of Khachik (9th c.), Arates (11th-13th c.), Tsaghatskar (10th-12th c.), Tanade (13th c.), the White Holy Mother of God of Vernashen (12th-13th c.) and Amaghu Noravank (13th-14th c.), the 13th century churches of the Holy Mother of God of Areni, Zorats and Holy Seal of Alayaz and the fortresses of Smabataberd and Proshaberd. The monasteries of Shadin (17th c.), Hermon (17th c.) and Holy Cross of Arkaz (17th-19th c.) are also worth mentioning as examples from the late medieval period.