- Hiking / Trekking
- Place or Religious Monument
- Castle and fortress
- Place or Historical Monument
Vayots Dzor does not only have wonderful mountain scenery to offer, but also fantastic cultural sites too! The fortress of Smabt, located at an altitude of 1,925 metres, is one of those stunning man-made creations that are to be found in the Caucasus. It was remarkably constructed on the summit of a hill, on a steep outcrop located at the end of a chain of arid mountains, and stands guarding the entrance to the Yeghegis valley.
The ruins of the fortress of Smbat are substantial and sit, like a veritable giant eyrie, with pride of place on this airy summit. What most impressed me when I arrived at the top were the views, which are literally breathtaking from all sides: bare mountains as far as the eye can see, verdant valleys – like oases amidst the arid landscape – cliffs and jagged rock formations … a rich tapestry of wonderful scenery!
The walls of Smbataberd itself reflect more than 15 centuries of history (the fortress dates from the 5th century) as well as the repeated occasions when the Armenians have had to resist Turkish, Mongolian and Persian invaders, and astonishing periods of cultural progress and development.