Oshakan

Oshakan village previously named as Ushakan, Hushakan, Ushagan and Oshagan was in the royal realm of Arshakunis’ property. According to legend, Noah and his family by coming down from the top of Mount Masis they first saw Oshakan being released from water.  Then Noah exclaims. “Osh akan, Osh akan, which means “blessed are our eyes”.  According to an Armenian historian Koryun there was a cemetery in Oshakan, where the martyrs for the Christian faith were buried. Amatuni Prince Vahan and a commander Hmayak Mamikonyan transferred the ashes of their teacher Mesrop Mashtots from Etchmiadzin and buried in here. To honour the memory of the Teacher Catholicos Hovsep I Hoghmetsi ordered Koryun to write about Mesrop Mashtots’ personal life and his works. Koryun respectfully did it with honor. Three years later, a church and sepulcher was built on the place of the tombstone in the years of 442-443. In 1875-79 Catholicos Gevorg IV built a new basilica at the site of the old chapel where the grave of Mesrop Mashtots is located under the altar.

In 1884 a two storey cylindrical bell tower was built adjacent to the eastern side of the church, the entrance of which is from the altar. Monuments of different eras were opened in different parts of “Didi Kond” hill. The ruins of a fortress built in 7-5 centuries BC are placed in the vicinity of the village. A large amount of pottery, stone and bone tools, agate beads, jewelry and fragments of more than 100 idols, statues and other relics were found during the excavations. There is an early medieval monument preserved from the 6-7 centuries, which is traditionally considered either Morik Emperor’s or his mother’s tombstone. The apostle St. Thaddeus, St. Gregory, St. Sargis, St.  Holy Mother Mary, St. Tukhmanuk chapels are located in the village and its nearby surroundings. Aragatsotn region fell under the rule of bishops of the Amatounis’ dynasty in the early middle ages.  Oshakan became the center of the rulers of Amatuni dynasty under the reign of the Armenian King Khosrov Arshakuni (330-338). In 336 in Oshakan a battle was waged between the armies of the Great Hayq of Arshakunyats and Mazktats of Arshakunis.

Sanesan prince of Mazktats incited by the Persian Sassanid and with the army comprised of Caucasian nomadic tribes invaded the country and occupied Vagharshapat capital of Great Hayq aiming to sit on the Armenian throne. But he suffered a crushing defeat. Later, another battle among Armenian, Russian and Persian armies occurred August 17, 1827, which ended with the victory of the Armenian-Russian forces.

Oshakan by overcoming all those thorny paths has survived and been preserved up to these days. Since 1979 once a year on the second Saturday of October a traditional holiday of Holy Translators Day is celebrated on the pilgrimage site of Mesrop Mashtots, during which the representatives of the art of translation, such as Mesrop Mashtots and many others are remembered. There are delicately cut cross stones dedicated to the Armenian alphabet in the churchyard of St. Mesrop Mashtots and in constantly well-kept park.

3D view Oshakan