Abovyan

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Coordinates: 40°16′26″N 44°37′32″E / 40.27389°N 44.62556°E / 40.27389; 44.62556

Abovyan
Աբովյան
From top left:Surp Hovhannes Church • Abovyan skylineFriendship Square • Kh. Abovyan's monumentGeneral view of Abovyan
From top left:

Surp Hovhannes Church • Abovyan skyline
Friendship Square • Kh. Abovyan's monument
General view of Abovyan
Abovyan  Աբովյան is located in Armenia
Abovyan  Աբովյան
Abovyan
Աբովյան
Coordinates: 40°16′26″N 44°37′32″E / 40.27389°N 44.62556°E / 40.27389; 44.62556
Country  Armenia
Marz (province) Kotayk
Founded 1963
Government
 • Mayor Vahagn Gevorgyan
Area
 • Total 11 km2 (4 sq mi)
Elevation 1,450 m (4,760 ft)
Population (2011 census)
 • Total 43,495
 • Density 4,000/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC (UTC+4)
Area code(s) (+374)222
Website Official website
Sources: Population[1]

Abovyan or Abovian (Armenian: Աբովյան), is a town in Armenia within the Kotayk Province. It is located 16 kilometres (10 miles) northeast of Yerevan and 32 kilometres (20 miles) southeast of the province centre Hrazdan. As of the 2011 census, the population of the town is 43,495, down from 59,000 reported at the 1989 census.

With a motorway and railway running through the city connecting Yerevan with the areas of the northeast, Abovyan is considered a satellite city of the Armenian capital. Therefore, Abovyan is generally known as the "northern gate of Yerevan".

The town of Abovyan covers an area of 11 square kilometres (4.2 square miles).

Etymology[edit]

The presnet-day Abovyan was occupied by a small village known as Elar. In 1961, the village was renamed Abovyan in honour of the Armenian prominent writer Khachatur Abovian. In 1963, the urban settlement of Abovyan was officially founded.

History[edit]

During the excavations of 1960 led by historian Mesrop Smbatiants, the remains of a 2nd-mellennium BC Cyclopean fortress, an ancient cemetery and old shelters with several objects that represent the 3 stages of the Bronze Age were found in the area of Abovyan.[2]

Smbatiants also found an 8th-century BC Urartian cuneiform left by king Argishti I, referring to the conquest of the "land of Darani" (the pre-Urartian name of modern-day Abovyan area).

The excavations led by Smbatiants revealed that the area of modern-day Abovyan was inhabited starting from the end of the 4th century BC.

During the ancient Kingdom of Armenia, the western area of modern-day Abovyan was part of the "Kotayk" canton of Ayrarat province while the eastern area was part of "Mazaz" canton of the same province.

Between the 5th and 7th centuries AD, the region was granted to the Amatuni Armenian noble dynasty.

Mount Ara overlooking the town from the northwest

After the Seljuk invasion of Armenia, the area became to be known as Elar. According to the Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian of the 13th century, Elar became part of the Zakarid Principality of Armenia under the protectorate of the Georgian Kingdom. Later, the region of Elar was granted to prince Liparit Orbelian of the Orbelian Dynasty by prince Ivane I Zakarian.

By the beginning of the 16th century, Eastern Armenia fell under the Persian rule, and Elar became part of the Erivan Beglarbegi and later of the Erivan Khanate. After the Russian conquest of Armenia in 1828, Elar became part of the Armenian Oblast and subsequently of the Erivan Governorate formed in 1850.

Soviet-era hotel in Abovyan

The small village of Elar (currently part of Abovyan) remained the largest settlement in the area until 1961, when it was renamed Abovyan in honour of the Armenian writer Khachatur Abovian. 2 years later in 1963, the town of Abovyan was founded by the decision of the Soviet government, including the village of Elar and the surrounding areas.

The modern town was built in 1962–1963 on a plateau located between Hrazdan and Azat rivers. It has rapidly developed as an industrial centre within the Armenian SSR. The town was planned to include 8 residential neighbourhoods (locally known as micro-districts), and an industrial district.

Geography and climate[edit]

Abovyan and its landscape

Abovyan is built on Kotayk plateau between the rivers of Hrazdan, Azat and Getar at a height of 1,450 metres (4,760 feet) above sea level. It is surrounded by Gutanasar volcano of Gegham mountains from the north, Mount Hatis from the east, the heights of Nork from the south, Hrazdan gorge from the west and Mount Ara from the northwest. and The climate is continental and dry with relatively hot summers and cold winters.

Climate data for Abovyan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 33.1
(0.6)
35.6
(2)
45.7
(7.6)
57.7
(14.3)
67.1
(19.5)
75.2
(24)
82.2
(27.9)
81.7
(27.6)
75.0
(23.9)
63.3
(17.4)
49.6
(9.8)
37.8
(3.2)
58.67
(14.82)
Average low °F (°C) 16.7
(−8.5)
18.9
(−7.3)
27.3
(−2.6)
36.5
(2.5)
44.2
(6.8)
50.5
(10.3)
56.7
(13.7)
56.5
(13.6)
48.2
(9)
39.6
(4.2)
30.9
(−0.6)
22.5
(−5.3)
37.38
(2.98)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.71
(18)
0.87
(22.1)
1.18
(30)
1.81
(46)
2.80
(71.1)
2.09
(53.1)
1.22
(31)
0.98
(24.9)
0.87
(22.1)
1.34
(34)
1.02
(25.9)
0.71
(18)
15.6
(396.2)
Source: http://en.climate-data.org/location/21596/

Demographics[edit]

Rossiya street

Population[edit]

More than 90% of the population are ethnic Armenians, mainly from the Armenian diaspora who were relocated from Syria, Iran and Lebanon during the 1960s.

Minor communities of Kurds, Yazidis, Russians and Assyrians are also found in the town.[3]

As of the 2011 census, Abovyan is the 5th-largest city in Armenia in term of population.

Here is the population timeline of Abovyan (note that the figures shown between 1873 and 1959 are related with the population of Elar village, now a neighborhood within Abovyan):

Year 1873 1897 1926 1939 1959 1970 1973 1976 1989 2001 2004 2011
Population 360 548 897 1,024 2,289 14,700 28,500 38,400 58,671 44,596 44,800 43,495

Religion[edit]

Surp Stepanos Church of 1851

The majority of the population of Abovyan are Armenians who belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The oldest standing church in the town is the Surp Stepanos church dating back to 1851. It remained closed since the Soviet days until 2010 when it was entirely renovated and reopened for the public on 28 November of the same year.

The other church of the town is the Saint John the Baptist Church opened in 2013 by the efforts of the Armenian businessman Gagik Tsarukyan. The architect of the church is Artak Ghulyan. It is one of the largest places of worship in Armenia.

There is a small Molokan Russian community in the town.

Culture[edit]

A khachkar in Abovyan

Abovyan has a cultural palace, a public library and a community creative centre for children and teenagers. The town is also home to a museum opened in 1982 and dedicated to the brotherhood and friendship between the Armenian and Russian nations.

The Abovyan day is celebrated every year in mid October.[4]

Transportation[edit]

Being approximately located in northeastern Yerevan, Abovyan is connected with capital city with buses and minibuses that are in service 24 hours a day. The H-1 Road connects Abovyan with Yerevan, while the M-4 Motorway connects the town with the rest of Armenia.

Economy[edit]

Abovyan was founded by the Soviets as an industrial town. It used to have many large industrial firms until the fall of the Soviet Union, including a concrete factory, a stone-processing plant and a chemicals factory.

Abovyan has an industrial district located to the south of the town. The sector is quite diversified including several types of finished goods and services, such as building materials, processed food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and polymer products. Major firms for building materials production include the Suardi Armenia Factory since 1963, Armstone Plant since 1996, and Italasphalt Factory since 2015. Alcoholic beverages are also produced by several factories including Samkon Brandy Factory since 1970, Kotayk Brewery since 1974, and Ginevan Factory for wine, brandy, beer and canned food, since 2011. The Arpimed Pharmaceutical Enterprise is operating since 1999, while Poli-Serv Factory for polymer products is operating since 2001. Processed-food is produced by Tamara Factory for dairy products and sweets since 1988, Luma Factory for meet products and chips since 1995, Sipan Plant for canned food and soft drinks since 2003, and Tamara Food Enterprise for convenience food since 2007.

Education[edit]

As of 2015, Abovyan has 10 public education schools, 9 kindergartens and 2 state intermediate colleges.

2 major science institutions and research centres are located in Abovyan: the Republican Hospital of tuberculosis, and the Institute of Biological Microbes of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.

The town has musical academy as well as an arts school.

Sport[edit]

Abovyan City Stadium with Mount Hatis in the background

FC Kotayk founded in 1955, is one of the oldest football clubs in Armenia who represented Abovyan until 2005. Like many other football clubs in the country, FC Kotayk was forced to default from the Armenian football league and consequently from professional football in 2005, due to financial difficulties.

The short-lived King Delux FC represented the town in a single season of the Armenian First League in 2012–13 before going defunct.

The town has the Abovyan City Stadium with a capacity of 3,946 seats. The sports academy of the town is operated by the town council.

Notable natives[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Abovyan is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]