Dashtadem Fortress

It is believed to have been built in the 7th c. at the site of an Urartian fortress during the reign of the Kamsarakan family, who ruled Shirak district. Dashtadem is mentioned in connection with the first stage of the Arabic invasion of Armenia.


The Citadel

The Citadel

The impressive castle towers above the entire complex. Foundation for medieval buildings lie scattered among the construction materials for the ongoing renovation.

Just north of the castle is the small 10th c S. Sarkis, a single-nave domed hall with a semicircular apse, enclosed within a rectangle. The ruins do not show much of the original décor, it I missing its roof, dome and sections of the south, west and north walls. But the interior walls may have had some wall painting.

The castle is truly impressive, becoming more so as an ongoing local-government initiative authentically reconstructs the walls and floors. Following the principle of the use of monument stone, Armenian Ministry of Culture is funding a massive project to completely rebuild the structure to its original structure. Though built for Shaddadid emirs, the architects and builders of the time were Armenian, their engineering prowess allowing seismic tremors to pass through while the polygonal design of the towers insured the citadel's impregnable defense during possible arm battles. 

Below there is a large central room, used for dining, with narrow stairways leading to the top ramparts. From the top of the central room, there were two more floors, which the preservation engineers plan to recreate as the project progresses. The whole thing is planned to be completed in three years, completing the complex, rebuilding the outer ramparts and removing village homes from the fortress area (causing a bit of a controversy locally) are in progress aiming to restore the historic image of the area.

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    How to reach From Yerevan follow M1 highway, drive to north west for 75.5km and you will reach the Dashtadem Fortress. The trip will take approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.

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