History Of The Goghtn District – Armenia

“The wine-rich Goghtn”, as Armenian geographers called it, is an ancient, originally Armenian district (gavar) whose territory now is in the Ordubad region of Nakhichevan. The original name of the region is not used by the current authorities of Nakhichevan – well, it is understandable. Also, Goghtn itself is now named Kilith.

The district of Goghtn has an interesting history. According to Movses Khorenatsi, the myth of the struggle between King Artashes I against Vishap Argavan and the story of Queen Satenik was caroled by the Goghtn gusans (Armenian artists), which made songs dedicated to them extremely popular throughout Greater Armenia.

Even though the district of Goghtn now is not connected with Syunik Province, the two territories used to be closely related. Geographically, Goghtn was subordinate to the Syunik bishops, just as the Nakharar (Armenian hereditary title) clan of Goghtn was an offshoot of the Syunik bishops. At some point, the district became the possession of the Syunik azats (middle or lower Armenian nobility).

Goghtn is considered one of the first, if not the very first place where the apostle Bartholomew has begun his sermon. Presumably, the first sermons have begun in the village of Vortvat and in the vicinity of Bakhk and Goghtn.

During the Turkic uprising in Vedi, Zangibasar, and Nakhichevan in 1919, Goghtn was home to the region’s most powerful self-defense. In the mountainous terrain of the former district, the Armenians managed to stop the advance of the Turkic forces while mass pogroms and killings of the Armenian population were taking place throughout Nakhichevan.

However, the memory of the Goghtn wars has been forgotten since Nakhichevan’s annexation to the Azerbaijani SSR. The residents of Goghtn were forced to leave their lands, and Nakhichevan was eventually deprived of its entire Armenian population.

Goghtn has the heroic history of a mountain region that opposed the onslaught of enemy hordes like Syunik and Artsakh, but, unfortunately, with a much more deplorable fate.

Original material by Arthur Hakobyan, Antitopor

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