Kakavaberd is one of the few Armenian fortresses that are relatively well-preserved. The fortress is a great travel destination because it is a historical site, it is an interesting architectural piece and it has a stunning view around it.
Founded: 4th century
Distance: 43km from Yerevan
Time to Spend: 2 hours
Best time to visit: March – October
Why to visit: Beautiful historical site
Geghi is a medieval fort-mansion, which is located in the Mazaz province of the Airarat province, on the right shore of the Azat River (Ararat district). It was first mentioned by Hovhannes Draskhanakertsi (9-10cc) as a Bagratuni’s «clan field».
The Fortress of Kakavaberd is also known as the fortress of Geghi. The fortress was built on top of a mountain, which is inaccessible from three sides because of steep terrain. The walls of the fortress stretch from the north to the east. They are 2-2.5 meters thick and 8-10 meters tall. Inside the fortress there are the church and ruins of several other structures.
In the 11c. it passed to the Pahlavuni’s and in 12-13c. to the Proshyan’s. As reported in the Draskhanakertsi, that in 924 Geghi was attacked by the Beshir commander and was later himself beaten by Gevorg Marzpetuni. The last time Geghi was mentioned was in 1224, when after losing the battle near Garni, Ivane Zakaryan found his shelter there. The fort is well preserved presently. It was built on the top of a high mountain so it is unreachable from three sides. On the north-eastern side there are stretched walls, which have 2-2.5 m width and towers 8-10 m. high. Inside the fort there are ruins of a church and other buildings.
Perhaps so far the most beautiful description of the fortress was given in the story of Armenian writer and translator Aksel Bakunts. It’s titled “Alpine Violet.” It’s devoted to Arpenik Charents, the first wife of Armenian prominent writer Yeghishe Charents.
The story begins with the description of Kakavaberd Fortress. Below are some parts from the description:
“Year round there are clouds on top of Kakavaberd Fortress, the crenelated walls get lost in the white clouds. At a distance no ruins are seen and it seems like the pyramids are guarded; the iron doors of the castle are locked…
And when the wind causes the clouds to get dispersed, the sight of thickets, the bowed head of the tower and the walls partially stuck in the soil is caught. There is no any iron door or a guard on top of the tower. There is stillness in the ruins of Kakavaberd. The black kite and the vulture have built their nests on top of the walls. As soon as they hear some footstep they utter croaks and fly from their nests and make terrifying circles around the top of the fortress.
Time passes slowly both in the village and the fortress; the years are like the similar leaves of one and the same tree.”