DILIJAN

Usually called “Armenian Switzerland” or “Little Switzerland” by the locals, it is one of the most important resorts of Armenia, situated within the Dilijan National Park. The forested and reclusive town is home to numerous Armenian artists, composers, and filmmakers and features some traditional Armenian architecture. The Sharambeyan street in the center, has been preserved and maintained as an “old town,” complete with craftsman’s workshops, a gallery and a museum. Hiking, trekking, mountain biking, and picnicking are popular recreational activities.

The abundance of rivers, lakes, and natural mineral springs is distinctive to the region. Dilijan, second large city of the region, has healing soft and clean air, used to cure people with lung diseases, which is the capital of the “Tavush” region.

Dilijan is a delightful place surrounded with wild nature: velvet hills and mountains covered with miscellaneous herbs and broad-leaved woods with admixture of pines. The mountain forest climate of local places with slow winds, warm winters and not very hot summers make this resort very popular; the mineral springs rich in carbon dioxide which spew directly from the hillsides add to this popularity. This mineral water is very similar to Borjomi from Georgia and Vichy from France.

The exact time of Dilijan’s birth has not yet been identified. However, it was mentioned in the sources of the first half of the 19th century. At that time Dilijan started to develop as a resort town with specialized hotels and sanatoriums. Until 1951 Dilijan was as settlement. Dilijan is known for a significant community of the Molokans – old believers from Russian provinces who were moved there in the end of the 19 th century. Their way of life and traditions, which they have managed to save, are quite original.

The city’s center is on the right bank of the river Agstev where residential area and shops are concentrated. The restored Old Dilijan with historical buildings furnished with attics, carved wooden balconies and fringing of windows and doors is also there.

This area re-creates the traditional life of townspeople – craftsmen, bakeries, cafes, and souvenir shops. On the left bank of the river the resort zone with sanatoria and boarding houses is located. No matter

where you are in the city, you are surrounded with tremendous mountains and woods. The tourists from all over world come to visit this marvelous city to enjoy the pleasures of its nature and ancient architectural monuments.

Annually, a great number of tourists arrive there after difficult working year to relax, restore health, take a breath of pure mountain air and taste the crystal-clear water from natural mineral springs.