Armenian Travel Bureau

Inbound travel to the Republic of Armenia

Armenia What to see? Silk Road Halidzor Berd

Halidzor Berd

From this point you can see the outline of Halidzor Castle, on top of a far hill to the right of the sign.

The fortress is a renovation of an early 17th century complex which was also known as Halidzor Convent/Hermitage.

Its location made the site impregnable from attack, and this drew its attention to the early 18th century freedom fighter Davit Bek, who used it to defend the region and who, along with 300 volunteers, moved into the fortress in 1723 and faced a seven day siege by an invading army of 70,000 Ottoman Turks.

Their fate seemingly hopeless, Bek led a suicidal charge down the hill that terrified the Turks, routing their army and securing the region for Armenia. Future plans to continue the struggle against Turkey were cut short by Bek's illness and death. He died in the fortress and his remains are believed buried at the site.

Among the features of the fortress, a secret tunnel was dug that ran 500 meters to the river to allow inhabitants to draw water. This was one of the reasons the Turks could not force Bek's men to surrender; it was a calculated decision to fight rather than wait that caused their charge down the hill.

The complex includes a separate church (12) to the east. Its architecture is plain, the builders using old techniques of masonry and hard stone. The same technique was used to build the fortress complex, including the main church St. Minas (1).

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