In the Shirak region, the beautiful town of Gyumri attracts visitors with its distinctive architecture, warm atmosphere, and preserved handicraft traditions. In Gyumri’s workshops, you may meet generations of master blacksmiths, coppersmiths, tinsmiths, jewelers, and stonemasons who learned their crafts from their fathers and grandfathers. Here you also may find beautiful objects—from everyday household items to works of art.
Also known as a center for the arts, Gyumri is famous for the Aslamazyan Sisters Gallery and house-museums of several famous writers, actors, and artists. The house-museum of painter Minas Avetisyan is located in the village of Jajur, not far from Gyumri. The Dzitoghtsyan House-Museum contains a rich collection of household items that portray the ethnography of Shirak.
You may wish to try special local dishes in Gyumri and parts of the region. Some favorite dishes include chanagh, tatar boraki, soup with beans and dough, Lenten tolmas, harissa, ghazan barbecue, qyala, khash and tava. Also popular in Shirak are chechil and string cheese, and sweets such as pakhlava, shakarlokhum, yaghli, sini gata, various puff pastries, and sliced gata.
The region contains several famous historical and architectural monuments, such as the Monasteries of Marmashen, Harich, and the Basilica of Yereruyk. Shirak is also home to Lake Arpi National Park and Trchkan Waterfall, which became a special protected zone in 2011.