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Gegharkunik province is disposed in the east of Armenia, and covering an area approximately of five thousand km ². Although the area is quite large, however, it should be mentioned that 1,278 square kilometers occupied by Lake Sevan, which is apart of being the largest lake in the Caucasus, is also a lively tourist destination. It also includes an exclave Artsvashen that during the Nagorno-Karabakh war was occupied by Azerbaijan.
The population of about 240 million, accounting for 7% of the total populace of Armenia. It includes five cities and 87 rural communities.
The climate in Gegharkunik is mountain type. Winters are pretty cool and snowy, and the summers are warm and cloudy. The presence of Lake Sevan softens the overall temperature background.
Sevan, located at 1,898 meters above sea level, is the huge freshwater pool in the South Caucasus and has a substantial impact not only on the stabilization and the balance of the atmosphere but also on the entire economy.
The National Park of Sevan was founded in 1978 to preserve the lake and surrounding areas. The total area occupied by the park is 1,501 square kilometers. In addition to the lake in a protected area under the protection are 1600 of species of plants and 330 species of animals. There is a division into three zones, of which the reserve itself, relaxation area and an area reserved for economic use.
The lake is supplied with water from 28 streams, and is the only emissary of the river Hrazdan, from which it receives only 10% of the water. It called Sea of Armenia and is a natural reservoir of fresh water.
Nearby is now inhabited city of Sevan, which from eighth century became a place of existence of several monasteries. Here in the past occurred many battles with the invaders, one of which was known in Armenian history in 859, in which the king Ashot was able to combat the Arab conquerors.
When organizing your vacation, contact to experienced tour operator who will offer you an incomparable vacation in Lake Sevan, where you can even go fishing for trout from local waters.
This area is also an important habitat for the reproduction of the Armenian gull which are about 4-5 million pairs here.
The Monastery Sevanavank, also known with the name of Mariamashen, placed on the east of the town of Sevan and at the time was based on the eponymous island now connected to the mainland and is a peninsula. Conducted here excavations indicated that the area was inhabited since the Neolithic.
As it seen from the super inscription on the south wall of the Church of the Holy Arakelots, construction and subsequent expansion of the monastery was carried out in the 9th centenary by queen Mariam, the daughter of Ashot Bagratuni.