The rich history of the ancient village of Lor – Syunik – Armenia

The village of Lor (Լոր), located in the Syunik region, is one of the notable places in Armenia. Here, immortal poems of poet Amo Sayan and famous stories of Axel Bakunts were born. It is said that the roads in Lor are poor, making it difficult to get there.

However, this fact pales in comparison to the hospitality and friendliness of the local residents, who, from the first minutes of acquaintance and conversation, become like family to you.

  1. Origin of the name

The village of Lor was first mentioned in the year 839 AD. History suggests that the village got its name in honor of the brave Prince Lorik, who ruled the medieval principality of Syunik. From written sources of that time, it is known that the prince was respected among the people, managed to equip the area with temples, promoting culture and art.

During one of the bloody battles, the prince died fighting heroically. Interestingly, he was buried far from his principality. This was done so that enemies could not desecrate his grave. Today, a small chapel and khachkars made of white and black tuff stand on the burial site, erected in 1271 by Prince Vorotshah.

  1. An Unusual Find

The village of Lor still holds many secrets to this day. One of them was solved by local historian Morus Asratyan in 1950. At that time, he was conducting research and found a grave with the burial of a child of princely origin.

It is assumed that the boy belonged to the Orbelian family, which also ruled the principality of Syunik. This find is evidence that at that time Lor played a special role among other Armenian settlements.

  1. Sanctities of Lor

Lor is rich in ancient churches and khachkars. The Church of Saint George, built in 1666, plays a special role among them. It is located in the center of the village, but unfortunately, services have not been held there for many years.

According to local residents, the ringing of the bells of this church was so strong that it reached neighboring villages. Another, no less popular local temple is the Church of Saint Hovhannes.

Unlike Saint George, it is located away from the village and is not remarkable in its structure. Next to the church is a small spring, which the people call “kcu jur”. It is said that the water there tastes like mineral water and has healing properties.

  1. The Great Writer and Poet of Lor

The inhabitants of this amazing region were quite talented and famous. First and foremost, this is the Armenian prose writer Axel Bakunts (Ակսել Բակունց), whose story entitled “Khonar Aghchik” became a national treasure and entered the treasury of Armenian literature.

It is said to be based on real events related to the writer’s personal life. Note that Axel Bakunts was originally from Goris, and in 1915 he moved to Lor, where he became a teacher at the local school. Now a new school named after him, the “A. Bakunts school”, has been built in the village.

Another person the local residents are proud of is the poet Amo Sayaan (Համո Սահյան). Despite leaving Lor in his childhood, the poet’s heart and soul always remained with his home village: “I don’t live in Lor, but I live with Lor.”

Villagers – both old and young – know almost all his poems by heart. And today, the poet’s house-museum is the pride of the village. Every year on his birthday, villagers gather at the museum to honor the memory of their famous fellow countryman and read his wise poems.

  1. Red Apples and Famous Vodka

If you haven’t tried Lor’s apples, then you haven’t been to Lor. Another highlight of the village is its red “krmrkeni” apples. It is said that vodka is made from these apples, which was adored by Germans, Italians, and Russians during Soviet times. Now apple vodka in the village is a special delicacy. Not every young inhabitant of Lor is able to prepare it according to the recipe as it was done 50 and 100 years ago.

Vigen Avetisyan

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