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Kachaghakaberd, Kolatak, NKR (Armenia)

Kachaghakaberd (hist. Khachen Fortress) is a fortress situated on the top of the hill. Its height above sea level is 1706 meters. The fortress is located in Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, near Kolatak village. Created by nature itself as a fortress, Kachaghakaberd (VIIIc.) was strengthened by the princes of Metsaranits province to protect local population from the Arab invaders. Its western, eastern and northern walls are 50-60 m vertical rocks. The princes only fortified its southern side with stones and lime. In order to reach the fortress one should climb up the hill.

Because of its natural inaccessibility Kachaghakaberd fortress never fell to invaders. In the historical chronicles the fortress is mentioned as Khachen. It was called Кachaghakaberd by local people, which literally means «Magpie`s fortress» because only birds could reach its top. Kachaghakaberd was an asylum for the residents of the nearest villages for centuries. According to the historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi, Spram princess with her daughter overcame a hard way to reach Kachaghakaberd and found there a shelter after her husband`s death.

Later Kachaghakaberd also served as a sghnakh (refuge) for the Khachen melikdom. Sghnakh is a fortress (place) which served as an asylum for civil population during the wars and in the meantime was an assembly point for the army.

The territory of the fortress is large enough. One can see some halls of the ancient fortress, secret passages hollowed in the rocks, and gun slots. In order to supply the fortress with water, two reservoirs (preserved to our days) were dug in the centre of the fortress. They were filled with rainwater and melted snow. When looking from the top of the Kachaghakaberd hill - there is a wonderful panoramic view opens to the mountains covered with thick woods and the river Tartar running beneath.

By Natalia Ghukasyan,


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