Amberd Fortress Castle: The History of Foundation
The Fortress of Amberd (“fortress in the clouds”) is located in Aragatsotn Region on the southern slope of Mount Aragats. Based on the results of excavations Amberd is related to X-XIII centuries. In historical sources, the city-fortress referred as the royal summer residence. Historians believe that the construction of Amberd was started by the Kamsarakan Princes in VII. In the X century fortress was as a possession of the noble House of Pahlavuni. In this era, the main function of the locks was to protect the land from numerous attacks by the Romans and the Parthians, then the Byzantines, Persians, Mongols and Turks. The fortress was famous for its inaccessibility due to its location and natural protective structures. Fortress rises above a deep gorge.
The ensemble of the main monuments of Amberd in X-XIII centuries included a number of architectural structures: the palace, cathedral church, chapel, residential buildings, reservoirs, bath. Almost all the buildings in the fortress have been preserved until our days.
In 1026 the king Vahram Pahlavuni built the church of Surb Astvatsatsin. In the 70s of the XI century Amberd was captured by the Seljuks, but in 1196 Zakareh freed the fortress. In the XIII century Amberd became the administrative center of the noble House of Vachutyan, but in 1236, the fortress was invaded by the Mongols and was almost completely destroyed.
At the end of the XIII century the Vachutyan’s reduced Amberd again. The fortress lost its importance after the Turkish-Tatar invasions and it was finally abandoned after the invasion of Tamerlane in the XIV century.
There were found secret passages at the gorges of the Arkashen Amberd rivers.Today numerous archaeological excavations and restoration work are produced on the territory of the fortress.