Tsaghkadzor is a spa town and a popular health resort in Armenia located north of Hrazdan in the Kotayk Province (marz). The population of 1,600 in 2009, is a decrease of more than half of the 3,400 reported in the 1989 census.
Tsaghkadzor means valley of flowers in Armenian. The city is located 50 kilometers north of Yerevan, on the southeastern slope of Teghenis Mountains, at a height of 1750 meters above sea level, surrounded with alpine meadows.
In the early medieval period the region belonged to the feudal clan of Varazhnuni, which governed the forest that was used as a hunting ground for the Armenian Arshakuni Kings from the 4th to the 5th centuries. In the 6th century, the territory passed into the possession of the House of Kamsarakan. Beginning from the 10th century, the clan of Kamsarakan merged with the House of Pahlavuni, who were also related to the Arshakunis. Gregory Pahlavuni, the leader of the clan and subsequently the prince of the Kecharis principality, built the Kecharis Monastery in honor of Gregory the Illumanitor in 1033. In 1051 he constructed the Church of Holy Nshan. The territory passed to the rule of the Zakarid princes during the 13-14th centuries, at times falling to the rule of Proshyan and Khagbakyan families.
During the most periods of the later centuries, the region was constantly the battlefield between the Ottomans and Persians. Finally in 1828, according to the Treaty of Turkmenchay, the region was connected with the Erivan Governorate and entered into the composition of the Russian Empire. During the Soviet era Tsaghkadzor was developed into a modern city intended to attract large numbers of tourists. Many historical buildings and dachas, built before the revolution by industrialists and merchants from Yerevan and Tbilisi, were either nationalized in favor of the state or they were sold in auctions.
Currently, Tsaghkadzor is a fast developing winter resort that attracts hundreds of ski and snowboard enthusiasts from around the world. Many people choose this undiscovered destination to combine their snow experience with an extraordinary experience of touring the country in the wintertime. The best months for skiing and snowboarding are normally February and March. Usually, snow cover is good from January to mid-April.
On August 11, 2008, about 90 American Peace Corps volunteers, trainees and staff members were relocated to Tsaghkadzor from the Republic of Georgia as a precaution during the military conflict with Russia.
The Kecharis Monastery of Tsaghkadzor is the seat of the Kotayk Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.