A   stone-built    checkpoint/bus stop marks the right turn from the main Goris road toward Sisian.  From the Sisian road, turn right into Shaki, then left at the village center, jog right, and left again, to follow a dirt road that leads to  a  small  tributary  of  the Vorotan  which  joins the main stream via  a  small  (because   diverted   to   a hydroelectric    plant)    but    attractive

   Sisian   (Gharakilisa  till 1935,  then Sisavan till 1940) is a pleasant town at the confluence of the Vorotan and Sisian rivers. The history museum has on display 2nd millennium BC pottery and other finds from the Bronze Age cemetery/“observatory”   of  Zorakarer N of town. In the museum garden are a   series  of  medieval   sheep-shaped tombstones,    some      with     Persian

waterfall. Near the village are the ruins of Shaki Vank, and a shrine with khachkars. According to legend, the site was named for Shake, one of 93 maidens saved from flood by a miracle.


inscriptions perhaps a testament to the presence of Turkmen tribes in the region in the 15th through 18th centuries. The road uphill from the prominent Soviet monument to those who fell in 1921 during the Sovietization of Zangezur (leads to a cemetery to Sisian’s Karabakh martyrs, and from there to the Sisavan church, also known as S. Hovhannes or Syuni Vank. The church was built by Prince Kohazat and Bishop Yovsep I between 670 and 689, and restored in the 19th and 20th centuries. There are sculpted reliefs of the builders somewhere on the church. On the E side of Sisian, a princely tomb of the  2-1st c. BC contained rich grave goods. On the plateau east of town is a large Middle Bronze through Early Iron Age cemetery. Leaving Sisian on the road NNE from the center of town, climb up the hill, then turn hard left where you see the rusting steel umbrellas. This road will lead you in a couple of km to Zorakarer, Bronze Age settlement/cemetery site left of the road, around whose large chamber tombs are a series of standing stones, some with holes pierced in them. It is universally assumed that this is an early astronomical observatory, though the alignment is not ideal for the purpose. In any case, the site is beautiful and ancient, well worth the visit. Most of the  volcanic caves near the city were used by people starting from the stone age.

"BOTY" cheese  factory