Location of Lori within Armenia
and largest city
|• Governor||Artur Nalbandyan|
|• Total||3,799 km2 (1,467 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AMT (UTC+04)|
|ISO 3166 code||AM.LO|
Lori (Armenian: Լոռի, Armenian pronunciation: [lɔˈri] ( listen)), is a province (marz) of Armenia. It is located in the north of the country, bordering Georgia. Vanadzor is the capital and largest city of the province. Other important towns include Stepanavan, Alaverdi and Spitak. It is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries and the well-preserved Akhtala monastery, where Armenians, Georgians, and Greeks make an annual pilgrimage on September 20–21.
The province was heavily damaged during the 1988 Armenian earthquake.
The province is served by the Stepanavan Airport.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Education
- 7 Sport
- 8 Attractions
- 9 Communities
- 10 Gallery
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The name Lori (Լոռի, known as Loré ლორე in Georgian) first appeared in the 11th century when King David I Anhoghin founded the fortified city of Lori (Loré). The fortress-city became the capital of the Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget in 1065. The name Lori later spread through the region and replaced the original name of Tashir.
Situated at the north of modern-day Armenia, Lori covers an area of 3,789 square kilometres (1,463 sq mi) (12.7% of total area of Armenia). It is bordered by Tavush Province from the east, Kotayk Province from the southeast, Aragatsotn Province from the southwest and Shirak Province from the west. The province is bordered by the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia.
Lori is a mountainous region, dominated by the ranges of Javakheti, Bazum, Pambak, Gugark, Halab and Somkheti. The highets point of the province is Mount Achkasar of the Javakheti range with a height of 3196 meters. The lowest point is 380 meters in the valley of Debed at the northeast of the province.
The climate is characterized with extremely cold snowy winters and mild summers. The annual precipitation level is between 600 and 700 mm (24 and 28 in).
Excavations conducted in 1931 testify that the region of modern-day Lori was most probably settled during the 1st half of the 2nd millennium BC. Later, the region became part of the Urartu Kingdom between the 8th and 6th centuries BC. After the Achaemenid invasion, the region became part of the Satrapy of Armenia. With the establishment of the Kingdom of Armenia in 331 BC, the region became part of the kingdom within the historic Gugark province, the 13th province of Greater Armenia.
Following the partition of Armenia in 387 between the Byzantine Empire and Sassanid Persia, and the subsequent collapse of Arsacid Armenia in 428, Eastern Armenia including Gugark province became under the rule of Sassanid Persia. In 658, Armenia was conquered by the Arab invaders. At the end of the 9th century, most of the Gugark province became part of the newly established Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. In 979, King Kiurike I founded the Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget under the rule of the Kiurikian dynasty and the protectorate of the Bagratid kings of Armenia. The capital of the kingdom was Matsnaberd (until 1065) and the Lori fortress. The Kiurikians ruled the kingdom until 1118 when Tashir-Dzoraget became part of the Kingdom of Georgia.
The Seljuks invaded the region in the early 12th century, but their rule did not last long and in 1118-1122 the Georgian king David the Builder conquered Lori and granted the rule to the Georgian-Armenian Orbelian Dynasty. The Orbelians revolted unsuccessfully in 1177, after which a Kipchak named Khubasari was appointed spasalari of Lori. Later in 1185, the province became ruled by the Zakarian dynasty after Queen Tamar of Georgia appointed the Zakarid prince Sarkis as its governor.
Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the monasteries of Haghpat, Sanahin, Kobayr and Bardzrakash in Dsegh served as centers of Armenian culture, theology and science. Scholars such as Hovhannes Imastaser, Grigor Tuteordi, Davit Kobayretsi, Grigor Magistros worked in these monasteries. However, The region was devastated by the Mongol invasion of 1236, and the Zakarian dynasty declined by the second half of the 14th century.
Lori was annexed by Safavid Persia as a result of the 1555 Peace of Amasya and became part of Persia's Kartli-Kakheti province. After Nader Shah's murder in 1747, the Georgian kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti became independent and united into a single kingdom by 1762. In 1801, together with Georgian provinces of Kartli and Kakheti, Lori was annexed by the Russian Empire. The region became officially part of the Russian Empire at the Treaty of Gulistan signed on 1 January 1813 between Imperial Russia and Qajar Persia.
In 1850, Lori was incorporated into the Erivan Governorate. In 1862, it was transferred into the jurisdiction of the Tiflis Governorate. In 1880, Lori became part of the Borchali okrug of the Tiflis Governorate. In the early 20th century, Lori was mostly Armenian-populated with several Russian and Greek villages. In May 1918, the Ottoman Turkish forces moved towards Yerevan and Karakilisa (now Vanadzor). On 25 May 1918, the Armenians led by Garegin Nzhdeh fought against the Turkish forces led by Wehib Pasha, at the vicinity of Karakilisa. On 28 May 1918, the Turks retreated from Karakalisa, Abaran and Sardarabad, paving way towards the declaration of the Republic of Armenia on the same day.
In May 1918, Lori became part of the newly formed Republic of Armenia. In late 1918, Armenia and Georgia fought a border war over Lori. In January 1919, the Lori neutral zone was established by the British forces. Following Armenia's sovietization in December 1920, Lori was finally incorporated into Soviet Armenia on 11 February 1921.
During the Soviet period, modern-day Lori was divided into the raions of Kalinino, Alaverdi, Kirovakan, Aragats, Spitak and Stepanavan. After the independence of Armenia, the 6 raions were merged during the 1995 administrative reform, to form the Lori Province.
According to the 2011 official census, Lori has a population of 235,537 (111,675 men and 123,862 women), forming around 7.8% of the entire population of Armenia. The urban population is 137,784 (58.5%) and the rural is 97,753 (41.5%). The province has 8 urban and 105 rural communities. The largest urban community is the provincial center of Vanadzor, with a population of 86,199. The other urban centres are Alaverdi, Stepanavan, Spitak, Shamlugh, Tashir, Akhtala and Tumanyan.
With a population of 4,578, the village of Metsavan is the largest rural municipality of Tavush.
Ethnic groups and religion
The majority of Lori are ethnic Armenians who belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The regulating body of the church is the Diocese of Gougark, headed by Archbishop Sebouh Chouldjian. The Saint Gregory of Narek Cathedral in Vanadzor is the seat of the diocese.
However, small communities of ethnic Russian Molokans are mainly found in the villages of Fioletovo and Lermontovo, and in less numbers in the villages of Sverdlov, Mikhayelovka, Privolnoye, Pushkino, Medovka and the town of Tashir. The total number of Molokans in Lori is 3,882 individuals. There are few Orthodox Russians and Ukrainians in Vanadzor, Stepanavan and the village of Amrakits.
Lori is also home to a tiny Greek community of 655 individuals who speak the Pontic dialect. Small Greek communities could be found in the towns of Alaverdi, Akhtala, Stepanavan, Noyemberyan and Vanadzor. The majority of the Yaghdan village is Greek.
The agriculture of Lori forms around 7.5% of the annual total agricultural product of Armenia. Approximately, 40% of the population in Lori are involved in agricultural activities, including farming and cattle-breeding. Almost 66.3% (2,511.5 km²) of the total area of the province are arable lands, out of which 17% (421 km²) are ploughed. The main crops of the province are grains, followed by potato and vegetables.
There is a large poultry farm in the town of Spitak.
Currently, the province has a contribution of around 6% in the annual total industrial product of Armenia. Lori is a major centre for metallurgical business. However, the Alaverdi copper smelter owned and operated by the "Armenian Copper Programme" company is the only smelter of the province. Copper mines are located in Alaverdi, Akhtala, Shamlugh and Teghut.
The city of Vanadzor is the main industrial centre of the province. It has 2 large clothing and sewing firms, 2 building materials and reinforced concrete manufacturing enterprises, and a polymer composite production enterprise. With its large chemical plant, Vanadzor used to be a major centre of chemical products during the Soviet period. However, the only surviving plant is the "Vanadzor Chimprom" company for chemical and biochemical products.
The town of Spitak has a flour production plant and a building materials manufacturing company.
Lori, and particularly the town of Tashir are famous for their cheese and other dairy products. A vegetable oil manufacturing enterprise is located in the village of Hartagyugh.
The mountainous nature, the mild summer climate and the green forests of Lori attract a large number of visitors during the summer season. Many sanatoriums, hotels, resorts and spas serve the province, mainly around Vanadzor, Stepanavan, Alaverdi, Dsegh and along the rivers of Dzoraget and Deped.
Lori has 3 nature protected areas and 2 botanical gardens: the Gyulagarak Sanctuary, the Margahovit Sanctuary, the Rhododendron caucasicum Sanctuary near Aghstev river, the Stepanavan Dendropark, and the Vanadzor Botanical Garden.
Gugark was one of the major educational centres throughout the history. The historic University of Sanahin opened in 966 AD by the efforts of the Bagratuni queen Khosrovanush, was located in the area of modern-day Sanahin.
Currently, Vanadzor has 2 universities: the "Vanadzor State University named after Hovhannes Tumanyan", and "Mkhitar Gosh Armenian-Russian International University". Branches of the Yerevan State University and National Polytechnic University of Armenia are also operating in the city.
The State College of Alaverdi offers an opportunity in pedagogical studies with a duration of two years, while the Tumanyan branch of the "Northern University" offers degrees in nursing and dental prosthesis.
As of the 2015-16 educational year, Lori has 162 schools.
The FFA Football Academy of Football is currently being constructed and will be ready by the end of 2015.
There is also a ski resort near the city Vanadzor.
Fortresses and archaeological sites
- Kaytson Castle of the 10th century,
- Kayan Fortress of the 10th century,
- Akhtala Fortress of the 10th century,
- Lori Fortress of the 11th century,
- Sanahin Bridge of 1195,
- Yaghdan Bridge of the 13th century
- Sedvi Fortress of the 13th century.
Churches and monasteries
- Odzun Church of the 5th century.
- Saint George Church of Sverdlov of the 6th century,
- Horomayr Monastery of the 7th century near Odzun,
- Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church of Dsegh, 7th century,
- Hnevank Monastery, 7th-12th centuries,
- Surp Hovhannes Monastery of Ardvi, 8th-13th centuries,
- Sanahin Monastery of the 10th century,
- Haghpat Monastery of the 10th century,
- Church of the Forty Martyrs of the 11th century,
- Khorakert Monastery of 1251 in Jiliza,
- Surp Nshan Monastery of Sedvi near Kachachkut of the 13th century,
- Church of the Holy Mother of God of Vanadzor, opened in 1831,
- Saint Nikolai the Wonderworker Russian Church of Amrakits, opened in 1848,
- Gyulagarak church of 1876.
- Russian Church of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary of Vanadzor, opened in 1895.
- Gyulagarak Sanctuary,
- Margahovit Sanctuary,
- Rhododendron caucasicum Sanctuary,
- Stepanavan Dendropark,
- Vanadzor Botanical Garden,
- House-museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan in Dsegh.
Towns or urban communities
|Image||City (town)||Province||Founded||Land area (km2)||Population
|Akhtala||Lori||18th century (first mentioned)||4.3||2,092||2,000|
Villages or rural communities
- Karmir Aghek
- Lori Berd
- Mets Ayrum
- Mets Parni
- Nor Khachakap
- Akner, belongs to the Alaverdi community.
- Amoj, belongs to the Odzun community.
- Arjut kayaranin kits, belongs to the Arjut community.
- Armanis, belongs to the Stepanavan community.
- Akhtala aroghjaranin kits, belongs to the Akhtala community.
- Bendik, belongs to the Shamlugh community.
- Getavan, belongs to the Saratovka community.
- Gogavan, belongs to the Dzoramut community.
- Haydarli, belongs to the Halavar community.
- Kilisa, belongs to the Halavar community.
- Kober kayaran, belongs to the Tumanyan community.
- Shamut, belongs to the Tumanyan community.
- Lorut, belongs to the Tumanyan community.
- Ahnidzor, belongs to the Tumanyan community.
- Atan, belongs to the Tumanyan community.
- Marts, belongs to the Tumanyan community.
- Karinj, belongs to the Tumanyan community.
- Kruglaya Shishka, belongs to the Medovka community.
- Noramut, belongs to the Meghvahovit community.
- Pokr Ayrum, belongs to the Mets Ayrum community.
- Pambak kayaranin kits, belongs to the Pambak community.
- Verin Akhtala, belongs to the Shamlugh community.
- Lori population, 2011 census
- Tadevosyan, Aghasi (2007). Historical Monuments of Armenia: Akhtala. Yerevan, Armenia: "Var" Center for Cultural Initiatives. ISBN 978-99941-2-070-3.
- Hewsen, Robert H. (2001). Armenia: A Historical Atlas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 114. ISBN 0-226-33228-4.
- Matevossian, R. (1978). "Լոռի [Lori]". In Hambardzumyan, Viktor. Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia (in Armenian). 4. Yerevan: Armenian Encyclopedia. pp. 663–64. Missing or empty
- Lori province description
- Hacikyan, Agop Jack; Basmajian, Gabriel; Franchuk, Edward S.; Ouzounian, Nourhan (2000). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Oral Tradition to the Golden Age. 1. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 172. ISBN 9780814328156.
- Suny, Ronald Grigor (1994). The Making of the Georgian Nation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 55–56. ISBN 9780253209153.
- Molokans of Armenia
- Armstat: Lori
- 2014-2017 development plan of Lori Province
- Lori Province schools
- Vanadzor football academy
- "RA Lori Marz" (PDF). Marzes of the Republic of Armenia in Figures, 2002–2006. National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia. 2007.
- Community mergers in Armenia
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