The Handaberd fortress (Հանդաբերդ) is located in the Shahumyan district of Artsakh near the village of Knaravan, 600 meters from the right bank of the Lev River.
It is located on the top of a wooded and steep mountain at an altitude of 1665 m. The only approach to the fortress is a path that stretches under the southwestern fortress wall.
Handaberd occupied a special place among the fortresses of the powerful fortification system of Eastern Armenia, being a part of the Tsar province in Artsakh.
The fortress was first mentioned in 854.
According to the inscriptions on a khachkar kept in the Dadivank monastery, Handaberd belonged to Hasan Kronavoryal, the Prince of Verin Khachen, in 1142-1182.
Around 1250, the fortress was mentioned in the “History” of Kirakos Gandzaketsi. In the 1312 memorable record of the Gospel of the Targmanchats monastery in Khachakap, Handaberd was referenced as one of the fortifications of the principality of Dopyans.
800 meters to the east of the fortress are the ruins of the Monastery of Handaberd.
The Discovery of Handaberd Monastery, part 1/3, by Zareh Tjeknavorian
The Discovery of Handaberd Monastery, part 2/3, by Zareh Tjeknavorian; 2008
The Discovery of Handaberd Monastery in Armenian) 3 of 3