Smbataberd Fortress

Smbataberd is mentioned in connection with the 5th century Vardanank War. It belonged to princes of Syunik in the 9th-11th centuries and was donated to Orbelian princes in the 13th century for the support during the liberation of Vayots Dzor from Seljuq Turks.

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Smbataberd Introduction

Smbataberd castle lies 750 m southeast of Artabuynk village. It is otherwise referred to as “Tsaghats Kar castle” because it faces the monastery. Built on a narrow mountain top, the castle is protected by the Yeghegis and Artabuynk canyons to the east, south and west.

It is guarded by a long stretch of wall (2-3 meters thick and 8-10 meters high) with a series of round towers.

The monument covers an area of 6.5 hectares. The fort is divided by walls on the northern and southern sides, where the ruins of the citadels, military barracks, dwellings and water-pools have been preserved. It had entrances from the north-east, north-west and north. 

Smbataberd is mentioned in connection with the 5th century Vardanank War. It belonged to princes of Syunik in the 9th-11th centuries and was donated to Orbelian princes in the 13th century for the support during the liberation of Vayots Dzor from Seljuq Turks.

The building was extensively fortified in the 13th century, however it was ruined and abandoned in the 17th century following the Shah Abbas exile of Armenians and the Persian-Ottoman wars. Ghevond Alishan states that the church was probably named after Smbat I Bagratuni (890-914). 

Another viewpoint suggests that the castle was named after the 13th century famous political figure and Prince of Syunik, Smbat Orbelian. Stepanos Orbelian mentions Kapuyt Berd (Blue Fortress) as one of the strongest castles of the Vayots Dzor province, with which Smbataberd is assumed to be identical.


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    Working period/season Year around

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    Working days Monday - Sunday

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    How to reach Take M-2 highway from Yerevan for about 125 km, go to M-10 and then North to Shatin village and follow our road signs to reach the fortress.

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