About Kapan

  • Kapan, Garegin Njdeh monument
     Kapan, Garegin Njdeh monument

The town of Kapan, the administrative capital of Syunik marz (one of the country's regions), is located in southern Armenia, where the amazing diversity of colors and poetic beauty of the Zangezur mountain range burst upon the eye. Magnificent Mount Khustup, one of the sacred mountains for the Armenian people, rises to the south of Kapan. In the vicinity of Kapan there are two famous medieval Armenian architectural monuments - Baghaberd and Halidzor fortresses, which seem to stand as silent witnesses of the region's turbulent history. Vahanavank monastery, built in the 10th century, is distinguished by its unique architectural features. Shikahogh forest reserve is one of the region's natural jewels, a priceless treasure with its groves of beeches and plane trees. 

Kapan, which is the largest town in southern Armenia and the biggest center of mining industry, is located in the valley of Voghji River. The Kavart and Vachagan tributaries flow into the river from the right and left. Kapan covers an area of 45 km2, mostly with rugged and steep relief, with a population of about 46 thousand. The mountains surrounding Kapan are vegetated and the southern mountain slopes are wooded, giving the town its lush green horizon. 

The climate in Kapan is warm with moderate humidity and temperature fluctuations. There are almost no strong winds in the town, the air is always calm and pure. The average annual temperature is 10.50 C. The highest temperature recorded was + 370 C, the lowest - -270 C. The annual average precipitation is 572 mm. 

In ancient times Kapan was known to be a settlement. The first record of information about Kapan dates from the 5th century. However the settlement was located 10 km to the west of the current town. By the 9th century, the old settlement of Kapan had become a town, and a century later it became the capital of the Syunik region. In 1103 Kapan was captured and destroyed by the Seljuk Turks. After that it was an inconspicuous settlement, and later the people of Kapan moved to another place where they founded a new settlement on the territory of the town that exists today. In the beginning of the18th century Kapan and Halidzor fortress became the center for the national liberation movement.  Successfully headed by legendary army commander David-Bek, these forces removed the Ottoman occupiers from Syunik. 

In the 19th century copper mining and processing started in Kapan.  In the 1930s large quantities of copper were being mined. As a result, within a short period of time the town was constructed, expanded and developed into a major industrial center. In the beginning of the 1990s  the development of Kapan stopped for a while, due to the economic blockade caused by the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, during which the town was often bombed. 

However, having overcome these difficulties today Kapan has turned into a comfortable and bustling town, full of cultural life and ready to host every visitor. Here the visitor can find all the right conditions for vacations. Beautiful natural wonders, ancient monuments, archeological sites, museums and parks, modern hotels that meet international standards, local traditions, delicious cuisine and a variety of tasty fruits will make for an unforgettable trip to the town of Kapan, in Armenia's remote and beautiful southern corner.