The Askeran Fortress is located 12 kilometers east of Stepanakert, in the lower reaches of the Qarqar River. The name of the fortress derives from the roots “as” (heavenly, divine) and “karan” (stone). In the antiquity, the fortress has been surrounded by Armenian settlements and has been called Mayraberd.
Now, the state highway passes through the Askeran Fortress, making it some kind of a gate towards Shusha. It is one of the remarkable examples of ancient Armenian architecture, and it now stands in quite a good condition, though we can’t say that it is taken good care of.
The Askeran Fortress is notable for its tough double walls and convenient position, which posed an impregnable obstacle for the foe troops. The watchtowers are connected to each other via narrow passageways. This powerful structure has been repeatedly used for defense, including the defense of Shusha during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.