The Armenian monastery converted into the palace of the Sultan overlooking Mount Ararat, the capital of Armenia – Arshakavan, the ancient fortress of Daruynk, the Russian military garrison, the massacre of Armenians, and today. This post is dedicated to the ancient Armenian city of Daruynk (aka Bayazet) in Western Armenia
8th century BC – the rulers of the Ararat kingdom built the Daruynk fortress.
6-4 centuries BC – Daruynk as part of the Armenian satrapy.
4-3 centuries BC – Daruynk as part of the Ararat Armenian kingdom.
2nd century BC – 5th century AD – Daruynk as part of Greater Armenia.
During this period, in the 1st century, the kings of Great Armenia, on the site of the Ararat citadel, built a new powerful fortress. This fortress was the place of storage of the state treasury of Greater Armenia for 400 years, until the end of the 4th century.
In the 4th century, Persian troops tried to storm the Daruynk fortress to take possession of the Armenian treasury. But unsuccessfully.
In 350, the Armenian king Arshak II loses his throne due to the revolt of the Nakharars.
To maintain his power and weaken the nakharars, he and his faithful people flee to Daruynk, build a city here, and convene in it all the people deprived of their will, whom the nakharars exploited: slaves, shinakans, servants, unpaid debtors, criminals deprived of their liberty, apostates, fornicators. Arshak II freed them all from taxes and gave them complete freedom. He named his city Arshakavan and declared it the new capital of Greater Armenia.
The Nakharars, the clergy, and Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church did not recognize Arshakavan as the capital of Armenia and revolted.
Taking advantage of this rebellion, the Persians attacked Armenia. The Armenian nakharars agreed with the Persians. Arshak II fled to Iberia.
The Nakharars with their troops entered Arshakavan and destroyed all the people who were there, except for infants, whom they were going to take with them as future slaves. However, the Catholicos Nerses the First intervened and ordered the release of the babies and the appointment of nurses and nannies for them.
The city of Arshakavan itself has been wiped off the face of the earth. In 390, the ruined Daruynk fortress was restored by the Armenian nakharars from the Bagratuni dynasty, who declared it their residence. Daruynk remained their residence until the 450s.
Further, until 640, Daruynk was just one of the fortresses of the Armenian marzpans. From 640 to 880 – one of the fortresses of the Armenian Emirate. From 880 to 1020 – one of the fortresses of the Armenian Kingdom of Ani.
During this period, in 920, Daruynk was captured by Arab troops led by Yusuf ibn-Abu-s-Saj, however, a year later, in 921, the Armenian nakharars from the Artsruni dynasty, recaptured this fortress from the Arabs and returned it to power Armenian kingdom.
In 1020, after a long assault, Byzantine troops captured Daruynk from the Armenians, but 50 years later they handed it over to the Turks, who at that time had just come from Turkestan (in Central Asia).
Then, the Shah-Armen dynasty ruled here, where Armenians converted to Islam. In 1380, Daruynk was captured by the Mongol troops, who handed it over to the Turkmens. At the same time, Daruynk was renamed “Bayazet”.
Since the middle of the 16th century, it has been part of the Ottoman Empire. In the middle of the 16th century, the nomadic Kurdish tribe of Jyldyrogullars moved from Persia to the Armenian-populated Bayazet, who swore allegiance to the service of the Ottoman sultans and in return received the right to rule this Armenian region.
In 1828, Bayazet was taken by Russian troops led by Prince Chavchavadze. In 1829, many times superior forces of the Turks recaptured Bayazet from the Russians, under the command of General Popov. After that, the massacre of the Armenian population began in the city.
In 1854, the Russian army under the leadership of Baron Wrangel again took Bayazet. But the city was surrendered a year later, in 1855, by political decisions.
In 1877, Bayazet was again recaptured by Russian troops and Armenian militias, led by the Armenian prince Ter-Gukasov. A month after that, the 11,000-strong Turkish army blocked the fortress of Bayazet and the small Russian garrison stationed there.
The Kurds, taking advantage of this, entered the defenseless city, and without exception massacred all the inhabitants there, from infants to the elderly, plundering their property. The murders were committed by the most sophisticated methods. Hundreds of young girls were forcibly driven into Muslim harems.
Meanwhile, for 26 days and nights, a small military garrison in the fortress itself held the defense against the superior forces of the Turks. After 26 days, the troops of the Armenian prince Ter-Gukasov came to the rescue, at the sight of which, the Turkish troops and Kurdish robbers rushed into a chaotic flight. However, according to political decisions, the city was again given to the Turks.
In 1915, Russian troops again took Bayazet and the city became part of the autonomous Turkish Armenia. However, in the spring of 1918, the Turks occupied again, massacring the last remnants of the indigenous Armenian population there.
In 1915, in Bayazet and its district, there were:
Armenians – 26,251 people (today they would have about 150,000 descendants)
Armenian villages – 57
Armenian Apostolic Churches – 49
Armenian monasteries – 21
Armenian schools – 25