English diplomat James Morier in 1812, on the way from Tiflis to Tehran, made a stop in Karakilisa (present-day Vanadzor).
Morier writes in his notes: “The houses in Karakilisa, like all the houses in this country, are underground. Karakilisa is a small village that, except for being an outpost for the Russian army, is of no importance. The houses are made of wood and their roofs are covered with earth. The floor in all houses is earthen.”
In 1817, English traveler Robert Porter visited Karakilisa as well:
“The floor in the houses is made from hardened earth, but rough carpets are laid down under the walls, on which people sit or sleep. There are neither tables nor chairs. Cabinets are hollowed out in the walls.
In the upper part of the hearth, there is a small hollow where a hand lamp is inserted to illuminate the dwellings similar to graves. The other part of the house, that is, the pit, is intended for pets.”
“Journeys”, H. Hakobyan, Yerevan, 1934