Artsakh, which is better known internationally as Nagorno-Karabakh (Mountainous Karabakh) or just Karabakh, is a large Armenian region to the east of the Republic of Armenia. The region was renamed Karabakh (Black Gardens) in the 13th century. The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region was established in 1923 but in 1989 the autonomous status of the region was abolished. Karabakh is a typical mountainous country. Places of habitations and cemeteries from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron ages were found on its territory. The first church was founded here by Grigor The Illuminator in Amaras. According to the ancient sources, the first school was created here by Mesrop Mashtots. There are a lot of architectural monuments of different epochs in Karabakh. The valuable complexes of Middle Ages (The Monasteries of Gandzasar, 13-17th cc., Gtich, 13th c., Dadivank (The Monastery of Thaddeus Apostle), 12-13th cc., and Yeghish Araqyal, 13th c., fortresses of Khokhanaberd, Kachaghakaberd, etc.) are kept here.

 

"We Are Our Mountains" is a large monument north of Stepanakert,the capital city of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh (which was initially named Nagorno-Karabakh).

The sculpture, completed in 1967 by Sargis Baghdasaryan, is widely regarded as a symbol of the Armenian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh. The monument is made from volcanic tufa and depicts an old man and woman hewn from rock, representing the mountain people of Karabakh. It is also known as "tatik-papik" in Armenian, which translates as "Grandma and Grandpa". The sculpture is prominent in Artsakh's coat of arms.

We are our Mountains
 

Gandzasar monastery is a 10th to 13th century Armenian monastery situated in the Mardakert district of de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. "Gandzasar" means treasure mountain or hilltop treasure in Armenian. The monastery holds relics believed to belong to St. John the Baptist and his father St Zechariah. 

Gandzasar is now the seat of the Archbishop of Artsakh appointed by the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Gandzasar Monastery
 

Holy Savior Cathedral, commonly referred to as Ghazanchetsots, is an Armenian Apostolic cathedral in Shusha (Shushi), in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). It is the seat of the Diocese of Artsakh of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Built between 1868 and 1887, the cathedral was consecrated in 1888. It was damaged during the March 1920 massacre of Armenians of the city by Azerbaijanis and experienced a decades-long decline under Soviet rule. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War Azerbaijan used the cathedral as an armory, where hundreds of missiles were stored. It was restored in the aftermath of the war and reconsecrated in 1998. A landmark of Shusha and Karabakh, it has become an icon for the Karabakh Armenian cause. Standing 35 metres (115 ft) high, Ghazanchetsots is one of the largest Armenian churches in the world.

Ghazanchetsots Cathedral
 

Dadivank also Khutavank (Arm. Monastery on the Hill) is an Armenian monastery in the Shahumian Region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It was built between the 9th and 13th century.

Dadivank Monastery

State Historic Museum “Hunot Canyon” amazes guests with its unbelievable beauty. From the highest point of Zrnduz you can see 250 m high walls of the canyon. They are situated above the river Karkar, in the South-West of Shushi Fortress. Travelers, preferring walking tours in the canyon, will have the chance to see awesome waterfalls, thick forests, caves, which were inhabited during Stone Age, ruins of Hunot village, ancient bridges … And all these are surrounded by huge mountains and a river, which rushes through the rocks to surprise its guests.

Hunot Canyon

Tigranakert (Armenian: Arts'akhi Tigranakert) is a ruined Armenian city dating back to the Hellenistic period. It is one of several former cities in the Armenian plateau with the same name, named in honor of the Armenian king Tigranes the Great (r. 95–55 B.C.), although some scholars, such as Robert Hewsen and Babken Harutyunyan, have posited that this particular Tigranakert may have been founded by Tigranes the Great's father, Tigranes I (r. ca. 123–95 B.C.). It occupies an area of about 50 hectares and is located in the province of Martakert in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), approximately four kilometers south of the Khachenaget River.

Tigranakert

Tzitzernavank (Tsitsernavank or Dzidzernavank), is a fifth- to sixth-century Armenian church and former monastery in the Kashatagh Province of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The monastery is within five kilometers of the border of Armenia's province of Syunik.

Tsitsernavank

Shushi Fortress was built in the 18th century in The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. It was the property of Melik-Shahnazaryan, the leader of Vananda. This medieval city-fortress had secret paths, which lead to the Karkar River

.

The fortress walls, inaccessible for those times, served reliable support and storage of weapons; they were built of limestone. The walls of 7-8 m high were strengthened with semicircle towers. A number of caves in South of the fortress played fundamental role in the defensive system of Shushi.

 
Shushi Fortress

Mayraberd Fortress is located 14 km North-East of Stepanakert city. The construction of the fortress took place in the 50-ies of the 18th century. Earlier the fortress and the nearest settlement were called Mayraberd. The location and double walls with thickness of 2 m and height of 9 m served as an insurmountable obstacle for enemies.

Front door of the fortress stretch more than 1,5 km along the Karkar River gorge; served as a reliable and powerful guard during defense of Shushi. While protecting the heart of Artsakh in the 18th century these walls were an inaccessible and strong military base with a unique plan. 

Mayraberd Fortress

Ribbon