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Artashat is placed in a picturesque valley of Ararat on the river Araks where the village and the whole area is surrounded by vineyards and orchards. The territory since ancient times was the center of the most significant events of the nation and dates back to 176 BC with a known name Artaxias.
Even Plutarch and Strabo wrote that Hannibal, during his long exile, to seek refuge in the distant kingdom settled in Artaxias, and made considerable contribution to the new capital which was created on the river Mezamòr, named after the then ruler Artaxana. According to their description it was a big, beautiful city, and called as Armenian Carthage. In the old days it was the core of Hellenistic culture.
Here were built the citadel and other fortifications. Given its strategic location, Artashat became an important place of thriving economic activity and international trade, as located on the main passage connecting the Black Sea to Central Asia and India. Rise and economic well-being of the town is confirmed by numerous markets, shops and the presence of administrative buildings constructed during the rule of Artashes I.
About 2,000 years ago in Artashat it was founded the Armenian theater, where performances were held in Greek, and the first Armenian playwright was King Artavazd, who was able to organize the Bacchae of Euripides in the amphitheater of Artashat in 53 BC.
In recent decades, in the Drama Theater of Amo Kharazyan were spectacles of classical Armenian and international contemporary works.
In today Artashat preserved many priceless monuments of the rich past, including the unique convent of Khor Virap and the remains of ancient Armenian capital.
The town is disposed about 30 kilometers from Yerevan, and can be reached by bus, but in an organized tour you can comfortably reach it with a guide on transport provided by the tour operator.
Modern Artashat, located near the ancient city got the status of urban units in 1962 in the Soviet period. Artashat grew gradually, with the development of industry, the field of food and building materials.
An active cultural life of Artashat is determined by the existence of numerous cultural institutions, the Palace of Culture, the arts center named in honor of Charles Aznavour and Drama Theatre.
Manifold of cultural monuments were created in Artashat, during the festivity of the 1600th anniversary of the Armenian alphabet.
In 2003, it began the construction of the new temple of St. Hovhannes.
During the economic downturn of 90s of the last centenary many enterprises in the city have experienced a difficult phase, but survived and even export their products to the international market.