View from Martuni
|Country||De jure Azerbaijan
De facto Nagorno-Karabakh
|Elevation||390 m (1,280 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC (UTC+4)|
|Area code(s)||(+374) 478|
Khojavend (Azerbaijani: Xocavənd, named Martuni (Armenian: Մարտունի) by locals) is a town and the provincial capital of the Martuni Province of the de facto independent but unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It is located approximately 41 kilometers east of the republic's capital of Stepanakert. Its population according to the 2005 Nagorno-Karabakh census stands at 4878.
Excavations in Khojavand have uncovered a number of tombs dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Khojavand is also home to several ruined medieval churches and remains of settlements, and khachkars have also been preserved.
During Soviet times, Khojavand was the capital of the eponymous district located in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. The population of the town, grouped into kolkhozes, largely occupied itself with raising livestock, grape growing, wheat cultivation, and gardening.
Khojavand, and the district itself, became a frontline city during the latter stages of the Nagorno-Karabakh War. In early February 1992, Vazgen Sargsyan, the then Defence Minister of Armenia, appointed Monte Melkonian as Chief of Headquarters and assigned him to lead the defense of Martuni and the surrounding regions. Melkonian, who remained as regional commander until he was killed in combat in June 1993, and the forces under him were able to halt and prevent the Azerbaijani military from occupying the district throughout the entirety of the war.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Martuni is twinned with:
- Les Pennes-Mirabeau, France: Les Pennes-Mirabeau and Martuni became sister cities on 11 June 2013.
- Results of 2005 census of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
- (Armenian) Anon. «Մարտունի» (Martuni). Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. vol. vii. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1981, p. 352.
- See Markar Melkonian (2005). My Brother's Road: An American's Fateful Journey to Armenia. New York: I.B. Tauris, pp. 207ff. ISBN 1-85043-635-5.
- President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Repoublic (NKR) Bako Sahakyan received on Wednesday a delegation of the French Les Pennes-Mirabeau city headed by its mayor Michel Amiel
- Les Pennes-Mirabeau and Martuni became sister cities