Modern and attractive resort town Jermuk is situated 2070 meters above sea level on a small plateau made by lava in the province of Vayots Dzor at the source of the upper stream of Arpa river. Densely covered mountains nest it. The town was founded in 1935 and Kechut village, which is in the vicinity, also belongs to this administrative unit. Jermuk is a resort that treats patients with gastrointestinal system diseases, liver, biliary tract and pancreas ailments, musculoskeletal system, peripheral nervous system, gynecological diseases and metabolic disorders.
According to legend, a wounded deer injured by an experienced hunter could hardly reach mineral sources of Jermuk, then threw itself into the water and being completely recovered, came out and disappeared in the forest. Since that day, the reputation of Jermuk with mineral water being presumed miraculous has spread around the world and the deer who revealed the secret of miraculous water became a symbol of Jermuk, which earned its appellation due to hot waters. People repute Jermuk waterfall cascading from 70 meters high to Arpa gorge as “mermaid’s hair”, and it gives rise to another legend to be woven around it.
In the old times there used to be a prince’s castle at the very location of today’s waterfall, which was on the crevice of endlessly cracking cliff. The prince’s daughter, a very beautiful and young princess was an embodiment of virgin nature. The candidates coming from all over the world and seeking to conquer her heart were rejected, as her heart belonged only to a valiant and courageous shepherd’s son.
The strict prohibitions not to see her lover again or else she would turn into a mermaid and that unrelenting fear couldn’t stop the young lovers, since the temptation was irresistible. This time to ascend her lover to the castle she used her long and delicate hair instead of a string and at this moment her father’s curse began to work by turning a princess into a mermaid and her splendid hair into a waterfall, hence the name of the waterfall called Mermaid hair.
The first reference of the site of the old town of Jermuk can be found in Stephan Orbelian’s “History of the Province of Syunik” work, according to which the settlement was first mentioned in the 13th century, but the ruins of the old and cyclopean castle and an 8th century church in the vicinity of the town prove the fact that Jermuk residential area at the mineral spring has existed since ancient times.
In accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Health of the Former Soviet Union in 1970 a renovated Jermuk resort was awarded with the status of a resort of nation-wide significance. Jermuk is not only a land of a surprising nature and numerous legends, but also a city with a myriad of historical and cultural monuments and buildings, with deep valleys and majestic cave complex, with monuments of heroic martyr fighters of Artsakh in forest pathway and a well-known residence and truly earned worldwide reputation of an outdoor museum resort.
Since 2007 a 1000-meter ropeway with the highest point of 2480 m has been used in Jermuk. It is widely stated that Jermuk resort with its purely natural healing waters containing various chemical useful elements can equally be compared with mineral waters of Zheleznovodsk resort in Russia and with Karlovy Vary resorts in the Czech Republic.