Aragatzotn district inherited its name from Aragatzotn province of Airarat Ashkharh. District is situated between the capital Yerevan and the highest peak of The Republic of Armenia – Aragatz. Its territory extends to the border with Turkey.
Natural conditions and resources
Aragatzotn is reach in water springs, which rise under the volcanic cover and feed many small rivers. Kasagh River with its major tributaries – Gegharot and Amberd, is the main waterway of the district. Aparan Reservoir was built on Kasagh River. The mudflow stream of Mastara is well known, which periodically causes considerable damage to the crops.
Due to large differences in elevation, the climate is very diverse. The summer lasts 5 months (May - September) in slopes. Near the peak of Aragatz, almost all the year round is winter. Even in summer there can be found snow heaps.
Lake Kari Leach (Stone Lake) is situated near the peak of Aragatz. Alpine meadows, crossed by the deep gorges and bare rocks, are stretched in the highland. Here you can see oak groves.
The territory of district had been inhabited in prehistorically times. Here were found artifacts of Stone and Bronze Ages. The bulk of the population has traditionally been concentrated in the middle basins of Kasagh River and its tributaries.
Aragatzotn is also notable for the fact, that here live the bulk of the Yezidis, which are national minorities lived in Armenia. They live, as with the Armenians, as well as in separate villages.
Ashtarak is the biggest city and the administrative center of the region. It is one of the picturesque places in Armenia. The city located at the southern foot of Mount Aragatz, on the both banks of River Kasagh, at an altitude of 1100m above sea level.
City has a good geographical position. It is just 20km from Yerevan, at the crossroads of Yerevan – Gyumri and Yerevan – Spitak – Vanadzor highways. Within the city, these highways intersect the river Kasagh by three bridges, the earliest of which was built in the 17th century (valid to this day) and the other two - in our days.
Since 1960’s Ashtarak has developed as a satellite town of Yerevan. From 1995’s, it became the administrative center of district and plays an administrative, political, economical, scientific and cultural-educational role of the district. Academic institutions, modern industrial enterprises, cultural and health organizations are also well known.
There are also two cities besides of Ashtarak – Talin (not to be confused with the capital of Estonia) and Aparan.
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Here a world famous Byurakan Observatory is located which was founded and headed for many years by world famous scientist Viktor Hambardzumyan.