From top left:
Jermuk skyline • Mineral springs and lakes
Spa resorts • Arpa river canyon
Jermuk cableway • Jermuk waterfall
Arpa River and bridge • Mineral water gallery
|First mentioned||13th century|
|• Mayor||Vartan Hovhannisyan|
|• Total||5 km2 (2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,080 m (6,820 ft)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• Density||930/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||GMT +4 (UTC+4)|
Jermuk (Armenian: Ջերմուկ) is a mountain spa town in the southern Armenian province of Vayots Dzor Province, 53 km east of the provincial capital Yeghegnadzor. It was a popular destination during the Soviet era and nowadays is still famous for its hot springs and mineral water brands bottled in the town. It is attractive for its fresh air, waterfalls, artificial lakes, walking trails, the surrounding forests and mineral water pools. The town is being redeveloped to become a modern centre of tourism and health services. Jermuk is also being set up to become a major Chess centre, with numerous chess international tournaments scheduled in the town.
As of the 2011 census, the population of the town is 4,628.
The nearby village of Kechut is part of the municipality of Jermuk.
Etymology and history
The name of the town derives from the Armenian word of "jermuk" (ջերմուկ) or "jermook", meaning "warm mineral spring".
Jermuk occupies an area which is historically considered as part of the Vayots Dzor canton of the Syunik province of Ancient Armenia. It was first mentioned during the 13th century by historian Stepanos Orbelian in his work "History of the Province of Sisakan". The ruins of an ancient fortress and an 8th-century basilica testify that the human settlement near the fountains of Jermuk has started long before the 13th century. The fortress of Jermuk was built during the rule of the Artaxiad Dynasty.
In ancient times the mineral water of Jermuk was known for its curative features. The princes of Syunik regarded the mineral springs of Jermuk as healing and built several pools filled with it, thereby making the little town their holiday destination.
During the 1830s, a Russian engineer-geologist G. Voskoboynikov arrived in Armenia and began explorations on Jermuk's geographical depth as well as the contents and characteristics of Jermuk waters. His observations on Jermuk were published in the "Mountain Magazine" journal in 1831, and later in 1855, in the "Caucasian Calenda" magazine. Voskoboynikov’s works were the first scientific talks on Jermuk.
In 1860s, all the historic pools of Jermuk which were built by the Orbelian princes of Syunik, were renovated by "Gevorg Khanagyan", following a resolution by the Russian government. Today, those baths which are called "Pristav Pools", are preserved as historical monuments.
The foundation of the modern town of Jermuk took place only in 1940, when the first sanatorium was opened to the public, thus setting for the fertile activity of the Jermuk health resort centre. Development programmes were implemented to turn Jermuk into a modern resort for all Soviet nationals. In 1980 the population of Jermuk reached 10,000. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and as a result of the economic crisis in Armenia during the 1990s, the population had dropped to 7,000 in the beginning of the 21st century. However, starting from 2000, the Armenian authorities took steps in order to further develop the Jermuk town-resort including the nearby village of Kechut and the defunct airfield of Jermuk. As a result of the new resolutions, the town has witnessed unprecedented success as a tourist destination.
The town is located at a height of 2080 meters above sea level, within the mountains of Vayots Dzor, among thick forests, on a plateau divided into two parts by the gorge of Arpa River, 170 km south-east of Yerevan. Surrounding mountains of Vayots Dzor, Vardenis and Syunik are all covered with forests and alpine meadows at a height of 2500–3000 meters.
Jermuk is full of natural hot springs (geysers). The name itself is derived from this fact, as the word "jermuk" means "geyser" in the Armenian language. The waterfall of Jermuk on Arpa river has a height of 70 meters.
The average temperature of Jermuk is +15.3C during summer and -9C in winter with a level of 800 mm (31.50 in) of annual precipitation.
Economy and tourism
The natural water bottling industry has its deep roots in the town as the first factory was founded in 1951. Nowadays, Jermuk is home to many giant factories which produce bottled mineral water. The sparkling water of Jermuk is largely exported to markets around the world.
The main water producers of Jermuk are the following companies:
- Jermuk Mineral Water Factory (Jermuk Mayr Gortsaran) founded in 1951
- Jermuk Group founded in 1999
- Jermuk Etalon
Another key sector in the economy of Jermuk is tourism. The town is home to several high-quality health resorts and spas, and it is one of the main touristic destinations for those who visit Armenia. Visitors could enjoy the beautiful nature of Jermuk and the mountains of Vayots Dzor (3000 meters), the waterfalls, the curing water pools, hotels and health spas, sanatoriums, the ropeway and alpine sports facilities. Annually, during the month of August to be precise, the town hosts the FIDE Grand Prix Jermuk chess tournament. One of the most attractive nearby destinations is the Gndevank Monastery, located just 10 km west of Jermuk. This monastery is more than 1000 years old.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Jermuk.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jermuk.|
- Jermuk article on Armeniapedia
- Jermuk guide on Haykland
- Jermuk FIDE Grand Prix 2009
- Jarmuk Ashkhar resort
- Jermuk Armenia resort
- Jermuk Moscow health resort