After having breakfast at the hotel, we’ll explore the hero city of Shushi. A very eventful day is waiting for us.
At 10 kilometers from Stepanakert is situated the soul of Artsakh, the historical town of Shushi. The city – fortress surrounded by stone walls is the pride of the country.
The first thing we’ll see in Shushi is the “Winner Tank” memorial. The 9th of May is a double celebration for Armenia. On this day we celebrate both the victory in the Great Patriotic War and the Day of Liberation of Shushi. The operation of liberation of Shushi was named “Wedding in the Mountains”: when Vazgen Sargsyan (at that time the Military Minister of Armenia) saw the plan of capture of Shushi, he said it’s impossible. Furthermore, he promised to get married after the capture of the city. On 9th of May at dawn Shushi was liberated.
The next stop is the fortress of Shushi.
One of the sights of the city, the walls of the citadel built in the XVIII century, has preserved to our days almost completely. The walls of the fortress with 2.5 km length are starting from the high rock massif and down to the steep slopes of the gorge. The walls, as well as the towers with 8 meters length, are built from the rock: they seem to grow out of the rocks and merge them. The Gates of Gandzasar are one of the 4 fortress gates, which have survived almost intact.
Then we’ll visit to the Geological Museum of Shushi, which houses the most unique natural and artificial stones of Armenia and Artsakh.
Following the route we’re going to the Museum of the History of Shushi, where you can see and learn a lot. The museum is located in a beautiful detached house of mid – XIX century. It houses very important artifacts, which tell us about the century – old history of the city – fortress of Shushi. Here household and handicraft items of the local masters are collected. Special attention should be payed to the diorama devoted to the military operation of liberation of Shushi, which reminds us of the story of the battle in details.
Through the narrow alleys and sidewalks we’ll come to the ruins of a fabulous architectural structure – the Realschule of Shushi, which operated till the beginning of the 20th century. In those times even foreigners came to study in the school. Unfortunately, only ruins remained nowadays.
Next to the Realschule was located the first women’s gymnasium in Caucasus. Today the Ministry of Culture of NKR is situated in the building.
We’re heading to the St. Ghazanchecoc Cathedral of Christ the Holy Savor, a white church decorated with bas – relief images of angels. The church was built in the second half of the XIX century. During the Nagorno – Karabakh war, when the Azerbaijani forces captured the church, it was badly damaged. After its liberation by the Armenian army the cathedral has been repaired and renovated. The cathedral has become the symbol of the rebirth of independent Artsakh.
Then our walking tour will begin.
We’re heading to a reserve – the Hunot Gorge. The view of the cave gorge, with the lenght of 3 km and the depth of about 750 meters, is indescribably beautiful. The slopes are covered by dense forests, the mountains and the hills are stretching to the skies. For the easy transportation, an arched bridge was built here in 1720, which is used by the locals even nowadays. Once in the reserve, looking around, it seems you’re in a green, clean and untouched little world.
Through the Jdrduz plain, leading to the gorge, we’ll reach the Mamrot Kar waterfall (arm. the Moss stone), also known as the Umbrellas. This is an indescribably beautiful place, where we can hear the symphony, created by the nature, and forget absolutely everything. When looking on this idyll, a man’s soul sings and dances.
We’ll walk to the Karin Village through the gorge. It’s a place filled with harmony and grace. It’s hard to imagine, that during the Nagorno – Karabakh war fierce fighting took place in this area.
We’re returning to Stepanakert.