VANADZOR (Վանաձոր)

We stopped in Armenia’s third-largest city in the Lori Province, Vanadzor, known before as Karaklis (until 1935) or Kirovakan (1935–93). It lies at the confluence of the Pambak, Tandzut, and Vanadzoriget rivers. In 1826 the villages of Bolshoy and Maly Karaklis were merged into the town of Karaklis. Construction of the Tiflis-Karaklis-Alexandropol railway at the end of the 19th century speeded the town’s development. In 1935 the name of Karaklis was officially changed to Kirovakan to honor the Soviet official Sergey Kirov. The name Vanadzor was adopted in 1993 after Armenia gained independence from the former Soviet Union. Electricity from a nearby hydroelectric station on the Pambak River serves Vanadzor’s chemical industries, which produce carbide, ammonia, acetate silk, synthetic corundum, and plastic resin. The city was one of several in Armenia that was devastated by an earthquake in 1988. There is not much to see, but we were waiting there for our friend to join our expedition. In the meantime, we did visit Vanadzor’s market, one of the largest in the Lori region, where you can buy fresh produce, dried fruit, cheeses, flowers, nuts, and spices. There is a good restaurant Madera, where we had our lunch and dinner (Solyanka – 1200 AMD, Beef goulash – 500 AMD, Chicken nuggets – 800 AMD, Bread – 300 AMD, Cheesecake – 800 AMD, Water – 250 AMD / 0,5 l, Dilijan beer – 700 AMD / 0,5 l)

Parking location – Vanadzor: 40.814453N 44.495156E