Exploring the Ghost Town of Old Khndzoresk in Syunik, Armenia

Exploring the Ghost Town of Old Khndzoresk in Syunik, Armenia

Located on the slopes of Khor Dzor (Deep Gorge) in the Syunik region of Armenia, the village of Old Khndzoresk holds a fascinating history that dates back to the 13th century. Once the largest town in eastern Armenia, it suffered a devastating blow in 1931 when an earthquake struck, leading to its abandonment. However, during the Karabakh War, the caves of Old Khndzoresk were briefly inhabited as a shelter.

Today, Old Khndzoresk stands as a ghost town, with its unique caves and 17th-century churches offering a glimpse into the past. Exploring this historic site is a must for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in Armenia’s rich cultural heritage.

To reach Old Khndzoresk, take the highway from Goris and drive approximately 6km. Look for a dirt road about 3km before reaching the town of Khndzoresk and make a right turn. Although the road may be bumpy, it is worth the journey. Along the way, you’ll come across a viewpoint and a charming cafe that is open from May to October. Take a moment to soak in the breathtaking scenery before continuing your adventure.

One of the highlights of visiting Old Khndzoresk is crossing the 160m suspension bridge that spans the gorge. As you walk across, you’ll hear the gentle creaking of the bridge beneath your feet, adding to the sense of adventure. The view from the bridge is simply awe-inspiring, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape.

If you prefer a different route, you can drive to the end of Khndzoresk and follow the paved road to the right, leading you downhill. This route provides a different perspective and allows you to explore the town from a different angle.

Once you arrive in Old Khndzoresk, take your time to wander through the network of caves that dot the landscape. These caves were once homes to the villagers and are now a testament to their resilience and resourcefulness. You can explore the various chambers, imagining what life was like for the inhabitants centuries ago.

Among the caves, you’ll also find several 17th-century churches that have withstood the test of time. These religious sites are not only architecturally impressive but also hold great historical and cultural significance. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate carvings and frescoes that adorn the walls.

As you explore Old Khndzoresk, don’t forget to capture the beauty of the surroundings through your camera lens. The combination of the rugged landscape, ancient caves, and historic churches creates a picturesque setting that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Visiting Old Khndzoresk is like stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the rich history of Armenia’s Syunik region. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of untouched landscapes, this ghost town will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

So, when planning your trip to Armenia, make sure to include Old Khndzoresk in your itinerary. Prepare to be amazed by the unique blend of nature and history that awaits you in this hidden gem of Syunik.

Old Khndzoresk on map

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