Dilijan

Dilijan

Dilijan is a resort town located 100km north-east from Yerevan. The road from Yerevan passes through a 2.25 km (1.4 mi) long tunnel dug inside a mountain. After you pass through the tunnel a stunning scenery is laid in front of you. It's one of Armenia's refreshing spots where people go to experience nature at its full beauty. Most of this small town is covered with forests of 40 types of trees most common of which are oaks, maples, and pine trees.

Short History

A medieval ruler named Dilijan is mentioned in historical texts. He is believed to be the one who laid the foundation of the town in 1544. Excavations organized during the 1870s unearthed many valuable relics pertaining to late bronze and early iron age. Part of the relics has been transported to various museums. The rest is showcased in Dilijan's geological museum. It was here that the first ever sanatorium in Armenia was built in 1921.

Architectural Heritage

During the 10th to 13th centuries, architecture prospered in Dilijan. Haghartsin and Gosh monastery complexes were built during that period. Besides their religious importance, these monasteries have also been cultural centers. The construction period of Jukhtak vank and Matosavank monasteries also belong to 10th - 13th centuries.

Haghartsin monastic complex

The complex dates back to 10th - 13th centuries. During the 13th century, it has been a leading cultural and educational center. The complex consists of 3 churches, 2 courtyards (one of which is destroyed), a refectory, chapels, and khachkars. A huge 350 kg (772 lbs) pot with 4 handles in a form of a lion has been found here and taken to Armenian National Museum of History. It is dated back to 1232.

Goshavank monastic complex

Founded in 1188 by a monk named Gosh Goshavank was one of its time's largest religious, cultural and educational centers. The complex consists of the following buildings:

  • St Mary the Virgin church (1191 - 1196)
  • St Gregory church (1208 - 1241)
  • St Gregory the Illuminator church (1237 - 1241)
  • Two-floor chapel
  • Small chapel
  • Courtyard (1197 - 1203)
  • Bell tower (1241 - 1291)
  • School building
  • Gallery 

The small St Gregory the Illuminator church sets itself apart from other churches by its delicate elegance and unique charm. The ornaments and embellished design of this church is one of the finest examples of medieval Armenian decorative arts. In the 13th century, Goshavank has been home to an acknowledged educational institution where the scholars have taught Armenian and foreign languages (Greek, Latin), philosophy, rhetoric, music, calligraphy, and painting.

Jukhtak Vank

Jukhtak Vank (lit. Double monastery) consists of 2 churches - St Mary, St Gregory, and an old graveyard. The two churches are 15 m (50 ft) apart. St Gregory was the first of two to be built in the 11th century, St Mary was built in 1201. During Soviet period construction works have been carried out to strengthen the church base. The dome of St Gregory church is now collapsed.

Matosavank

Situated on Jukhtak Vank's opposite mountain base Matosavank was built in 1205 with large blocks of rough stones. On both sides of the entrance 2 finely ornamented khachkars are mounted. It consists of 2 small churches and a courtyard. Currently partly destructed.

At the beginning of the 20th century, an open-air theatre called "Rotonda" was built. It quickly became the favorite gathering point for locals, army men from the nearby military base and the whole Armenian intellectual elite. Alas, Rotonda didn't survive to our days, only ruins and several standing columns are left. The beginning of the 20th century has also seen a rise in summer cottage building by wealthy Armenians from all Caucasus region. Architectural styles from this early years can still be spotted these days. They give a touch of unique atmosphere to Dilijan.

Cafes & Restaurants

Nested inside this picturesque town there are some lovely cafes and restaurants in Dilijan. Whether you're passing through or visiting the town it's worth stopping by one of these places to have some rest and gratify your taste buds with savory dishes.

Cafe #2

Cafe #2, Dilijan

You can find this cafe on the side of Dilijan highway in the city center. This cafe has started as a social initiative. As such Cafe #2 strives to be a point where tourists, locals, and International UWCD community meet, organize events or just sit there to the soothing music and beautiful scenery of the small lake and a mountain forest. Staff members are local teenagers possibly taking on their first-ever jobs in this cafe. in the anteroom, there's a small souvenir stand with locally sourced souvenirs.

What Do People Like About This Place?
  • Beautiful lake scenery
  • Pleasant service
  • Comfortable and tasteful interior design
  • Crêpes, pahlava, cookies, coffee, and salads are delicious
  • Souvenirs corner
  • Soft ambient music

17/1, Maxim Gorky St, Dilijan

Kchuch restaurant

Kchuch restaurant, Dilijan

Kchuch restaurant features Armenian and international cuisine, local organic ingredients and traditional cooking in clay pots. Pizza from the wood-fired brick oven is something not to miss when you are there.

What Do People Like About This Place?
  • Traditional cooking style
  • Big choice of particularly delicious food
  • Courteous service
  • The portions are big
  • Steak, pizza and the rounded pork skewers
  • Creative menu

Myasnikyan St, Dilijan

Carahunge

Carahunge, Dilijan

This is a nice place to eat, relax or play some games with friends in Dilijan. Some people use it as an internet cafe bringing over their laptops. It has a wine cellar, a large area with ethnic Armenian design elements on the first floor. The second floor houses a nice panoramic terrace and a bookstore.

What Do People Like About This Place?
  • Wine cellar
  • Diligent service
  • Nice atmosphere
  • Balcony upstairs
  • Giftshop and bookstore
  • Great food served in traditional plates 

Getapnya St, Dilijan

Caffeine Coffee Shop

A vibrant cafe run by 2 young girls. The coffee shop is uphill from Kchuch restaurant. Grab a cup of coffee and have some rest after a day full of activities.)

What Do People Like About This Place?
  • Incredible carrot muffin
  • Most delicious in-house roasted coffee
  • Meticulous attention to details
  • Cozy feeling and good music
  • Nice minimalistic design

38 Myasnikyan St, Dilijan

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