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Sevan — The Pearl of Armenia

Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and it is considered one of the three main lakes of historical Great Armenia. This is a favorite holiday destination for both locals and tourists. And there are a number of reasons for that. Therefore, everyone who comes to Armenia, necessarily want to see this corner of paradise in the middle of an unimaginable universe.

Lake Sevan is the second largest freshwater lake in the world after Lake Titikaki, which is located in the Andes, and it is also rightfully considered the largest lake in the South Caucasus region.

The meaning of the word “Sevan” has many interpretations, according to one of the versions the word basically consists of two other words: “sev” and “vank”, which in Armenian means “black” and “monastery”. Maybe this is due to the nearby monastery. It is built of black volcanic tuff and dates back to the 4th century.

Due to the fact that Sevan has a huge length, during the Middle Ages, it was called Geghama Tsov (Gegham is one of the descendants of Hayk, who is considered the progenitor of all Armenians).

Even there is a legend that Sevan and Van Lake, located in Western Armenia, are connected to each other by an underground tunnel, which is 200 kilometers.


…Or maybe, at the very bottom

The cave is gloomy, full of mysteries:

Entrance to a deep dungeon,

Where the water rushes to Lake Van?…


The lake consists of two parts: Great Sevan and Small Sevan. These parts are connected by a five-kilometer strait, located between the peninsulas Artanish and Noraduz. The southern and eastern shores are wide and smooth, and the northern and north-eastern shores are narrow and stony.

From the western part Sevan is surrounded by the mountains of Geghama, and from the northern part Mount Areguni is located, from the east – Mount Sevan, and from the south the mountains Vardenis rise.

Twenty-eight rivers of Armenia flow into Lake Sevan, the most famous of which are Gavaraget, Argichi, Martuni, Karkhahbur, Masrik, Dzknaget.

The lake is characterized by tectono-volcanic origin. From the point of view of geodesy, Big Sevan is a depression between the mountains from ancient times, inside of which once was a pond. Only appeared volcanic lava, closing the exit from the Lesser Sevan, caused the water level to rise. As a result, Greater and Lesser Sevan merged, and modern Sevan was formed. In the northern part of the lake, the island of Sevan was located, which, due to an artificial lowering of the water level, took the form of a peninsula.

The lake has a beneficial effect on the surroundings and regulates the natural balance of the entire basin of the region. The water and fish resources of the lake are of great importance for the country’s economy. Sevan provides water to most of the canals that irrigate the Ararat valley.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the natural internal level of Lake Sevan was violated. And people built the irrigation and energy complex Sevan- Hrazdan. Due to the deepening of the Hrazdan source, a part of the water reserves was released. The water level has decreased, and the area has decreased too.

On the plots that were freed from water, a railway and highway were built, which stretched across the north-eastern shore. Such water balance reconstructions took place because of the fact that a 48.3-kilometer long Arpa-Sevan tunnel was built.

To solve serious environmental problems Sevan National Park was built later.

Sevan is also interesting as a tourist destination. Along the entire coastline, there are ancient fortresses of the Bronze Age (Lhashen, Airavank). The studies of archaeologists have shown that 3500 years ago most of Sevan was covered with ground. There were many villages, and people were engaged in farming and breeding animals.

Urartu buildings were also preserved and, of course, many medieval architectural monuments (Sevanavank, Airavank) were saved too.

Lake Sevan also talks about many historical events connected with the Armenian people. The famous novel “Gevorg Marzpetuni” conveys the chronicle of the battle of Sevan against the Arabs.

The history of Lake Sevan is the history of a whole nation for centuries…

In the autumn you admire the clouds, smoothly descending to the water from the heavenly peaks. In warm summer weather Sevan impresses you with its soft tones of blue and in gloomy weather, the already saturated blue color of the lake looks like metal. It seems that Sevan is a part of paradise hidden in a secluded place on earth.

Those who happened to visit the Sea of Galilee in Israel noticed the similarity of these two natural relics.

Lake Sevan is a place that will never leave anyone indifferent…