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For the town southwest of Sisian, formerly also called Sisian, see Hatsavan, Syunik.
Sisian is located in Armenia
Coordinates: 39°31′15″N 46°01′56″E / 39.52083°N 46.03222°E / 39.52083; 46.03222Coordinates: 39°31′15″N 46°01′56″E / 39.52083°N 46.03222°E / 39.52083; 46.03222
Country  Armenia
Marz Syunik
First mentioned 8th century BC
 • Mayor Aghasi Hakobjanian
 • Total 9 km2 (3 sq mi)
Elevation 1,600 m (5,200 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total 16,700
 • Density 1,900/km2 (4,800/sq mi)
Time zone GMT +4
Area code(s) +374 2830
Sisian at GEOnet Names Server

Sisian (Armenian: Սիսիան) is a town in the southern Syunik Province of Armenia. Sisian was known Sisakan, Sissian and Sisavan in ancient and medieval history. The name Karakilise was used by Turkic rulers of Armenia, and that name was in use until 1935. In 1935, one of the old names, Sisavan, was restored. Finally in 1940, it was renamed Sisian.[1]

Sisian is located on the banks of Vorotan River, 6 km south of the Yerevan-Meghri highway, at a distance of 217 km from Yerevan and 115 km from Kapan. The National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (ARMSTAT) reported its population was 16,735 in 2010,[2] down from 16,843 at the 2001 census.[3]


The area of present-day Sisian was also known as Sisakan and Sisavan during ancient historical periods. According to Movses Khorenatsi, the name of Sisakan -and subsequently Sisian- was derived from Sisak,[4] a legendary ancestor of the Armenian princely house of Syuni.[5]


Historically, the territory of modern Sisian was part of Tseghuk canton (Armenian: Ծղուկք գավառ Tsghukk gavar), at the heart of the ancient province of Syunik, within Armenia Major. The area was first mentioned in history in the 8th century BC. During the 4th century, the nearby historic settlement of Shaghat became the residence of the princes and the religious leaders of Syunik. It remained the spiritual and the political center of the region until the end of the 10th century, when the fortified town of Kapan in the Baghk canton became the capital of the newly established Kingdom of Syunik-Baghk.[6]

Between the 16th and the 19th centuries, Sisian was known as Gharakilisa (Black Church) to Armenia's Turkic and Persian rules. In 1918, it became part of the First (Democratic) Republic of Armenia. With the Sovietization of Armenia, Sisian was included in the breakaway Republic of Mountainous Armenia between 26 April and 12 July 1921. After the Soviet Red Army entered the Zangezur region in July 1921, Sisian along with the towns of Goris, Kapan and Meghri fell under the Soviet rule. Between 1935 and 1940, the town was known as Sisavan.

Sister cities[edit]

Notable people from Sisian[edit]


  1. ^ (Azerbaijani) Regions of Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
  2. ^ "Marzes of the Republic of Armenia and Yerevan City in Figures, 2010". National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (ARMSTAT). 
  3. ^ Report of the results of the 2001 Armenian Census, National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia
  4. ^ (Armenian) Movses Khorenatsi. History of Armenia, 5th Century (Հայոց Պատմություն, Ե Դար). Annotated translation and commentary by Stepan Malkhasyants. Gagik Sarkisyan (ed.) Yerevan: Hayastan Publishing, 1997, 1.12, p. 88 ISBN 5-540-01192-9.
  5. ^ (Armenian) Harutyunyan, Babken. «Սիսակ» (Sisak). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. x. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1984, p. 399.
  6. ^ Kingdom of Syunik