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An update from Evaneos

Shoushi (Armenia)

Practical information about Shoushi

  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Museums
  • Castle and fortress
  • Place or Historical Monument
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
10min drive from Stepanakert
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Shoushi

Nicolas Landru Travel writer
117 travel articles

Shusha is one of the most disputed towns in the Caucasus. The second largest town in Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh, it was, before war broke out, an Azeri and Armenian cultural centre. It's an interesting place to visit that's home to monuments built by these two cultures.

My suggestion:
The villages around Shusha are old and extremely pretty. A tour will give you an insight into a traditional Karabagh that has managed to retain an Armenian heritage absent elsewhere in Armenia...

Stepanakert is the capital of the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Shusha, a town deeply scarred by the conflict, is the historic and cultural capital. A former stronghold that was once a leading light in the southern Caucasus, it was, like Azeris, home to numerous Armenian artists and academics.

I was left with mixed feelings during my holiday in Shusha. One the one hand, this Armenian/Karabakh town feels like an over-protected enclave. On the other, the town is a ghost of its former self; its glory days are long since gone, along with its prosperous economy and Muslim residents who were forced to flee. Today, you'll find dilapidated mansion blocks that date back to the Soviet colonial era.

Despite the carnage left behind by the war and the exodus of its Azeri population, Shusha is still a fascinating stop, where remains of its history still stand proud. Its 19th Century stone and wood buildings are appealing. The Ashaghi Govhar Agha Mosque, built in an Iranian Kadjar Dynasty style, as well as the Ghazanchestots Cathedral and Kanach Zham Church are impressive monuments. There's also the Susha History Museum, well worth a tour, even if it only focuses on the positive side of Armenia's past. Finally, there's the Karabagh 'memorial tank', left behind by Armenian troops in 1992, after the capture of Shusha!

Ruins of the Ashaghi Govhar Agha Mosque