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Jermuk Jermuk Jermuk

Jermuk is a spa town in the southern Armenian province of Vayots Dzor, 53 km east of Yeghegnadzor, the capital of Vayots Dzor. It was a popular destination during the Soviet era and nowadays is still famous for its hot springs and its brand of mineral water that is bottled in the vicinity. The town is considered to be attractive for its huge waterfall, the natural bridge, the lake, its forests with the walking trails and mineral water pools. Jermuk is currently being redeveloped to become a modern centre of tourism and health services. The town is also being set up to become a sort of Chess centre, with numerous chess tournaments hosted or scheduled to be hosted. Finally, Jermuk is well-known among the Armenian people for its distinctively fresh air.

Jermuk occupies an area which is historically considered as part of the Vayots Dzor district of the Syunik province (within Armenia Mayor). It was first mentioned in the 13th century by historian Stepanos Orbelian in his work about the "History of the Sisakan district". But the ruins of an ancient fortress and an 8th century basilica testify that the human settlement near the fountains of Jermuk has started long before the 13th century. The fortress of Jermuk was built during the rule of the Artaxiad Dynasty.

In ancient times the mineral water of Jermuk was known for its curing features. The princes of Syunik regarded the Jermuk sources and water as healing and built several pools filled with it, thereby making the little town their holiday destination.

During the 1830s, a Russian engineer-geologist called "Voskoboynikov" arrived in Armenia and began explorations on Jermuk's geographical depth as well as the contents and characteristics of Jermuk waters. His observations on Jermuk were published in the "Mountain Magazine" journal in 1831, and later in 1855, in the "Caucasian Calenda" magazine. Voskoboynikov’s works were the first scientific talks on Jermuk.

In 1860s, all the historic pools of Jermuk which were built by the Orbelian princes of Syunik, were renovated by "Gevorg Khanagyan", following a resolution by the Russian government. Today, those baths which are called "Pristav Pools", are preserved as historical monuments.

The foundation of the modern town of Jermuk took place only in 1940, when the first sanatorium was opened to the public, thus setting for the fertile activity of the Jermuk health resort centre. Development programmes were implemented to turn Jermuk into a modern resort for all Soviet nationals.

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