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Lori is one of Armenia’s provinces with a populace of about 282 thousand inhabitants. Its center is Vanadzor. It is the 3rd largest province and the 2nd most crowded after Yerevan. It brings together a whole basin of Debed and different mountain ranges, gorges and canyons. Here is the rich vegetation, typical of the region are beech, oak, walnut and others.
Apart from Vanadzor, the important cities of the province are Stepanavan and Alaverdi, in the environs of which are the village of Haghpat and Sanahin comprised in the World Heritage List.
The Lori Province brought up many worthy sons, among them well-known Armenian musician Harutyun Sayatyan, known as Sayat Nova, an aircraft designer Artem Mikoyan and many others.
During the tragic earthquake in Spitak in 1988, the region has also suffered greatly.
Lori, as an administrative unit was created in 1995 and includes areas such as Gugark, Spitak, Stepanakan and Tumanyan.
Stepanavan is a beauteous town disposed in the Lori region. Its area has been peopled since ancient times and has also been in the spotlight because of the progress in the industry and metallurgy.
Sanahin is the most famous cloister, placed in the eponymous village, on the right bank of the river Debed. The monastery belongs to the X-XIII centuries, and was founded by Armenian monks. In that time was listed among the main cultural centers of the region and all over Armenia. The Academy had a vast library, which contained valuable manuscripts. Around the main edifice grouped the several buildings as the church, three of the porch, library, bell tower and the church of St. Gregory.
Another monastic complex of Haghpat also applies to the X-XIII centuries. The first church was built in 976-991 years by order of King Ashot III. Surrounded by walls, the monastery was not available to the enemy. It is also one of the cultural centers of Armenia in the Middle Ages, where they lived and studied outstanding personalities and scientists. They taught the humanities, theology and painting. Its rich library of Haghpat was known throughout the medieval Armenia. Unfortunately, a few manuscripts have come down to our times, as many times the monastery was looted.
Village of Odzun is also in the Lori region and is rich in monuments of various eras. There is a domed basilica, as well as two cemeteries with numerous khachkars – stone crosses and headstones of the Middle Ages.
Basilica of Odzun was built of white and pink quartz, dates back to the end of the sixth century and is a gorgeous example of early Christianity.