Yeghegis (Armenian: Եղեգիս; Azerbaijani: Ələyəz, anglicized: Alayaz) is a village in the Yeghegis Municipality of the Vayots Dzor Province in Armenia. The village was populated by Azerbaijanis before the exodus of Azerbaijanis from Armenia after the outbreak of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In 1988-1989 Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan settled in the village. It has a rich historical past, with the medieval Zorats Church, the Tsakhats Kar Monastery and the Smbataberd fortress being located in the vicinity of Yeghegis, as well as a Jewish cemetery from the 13th century.
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|Yeghegis at GEOnet Names Server|
Yeghegis was a prominent economic and political centre during the Middle Ages, being the seat of the Orbelian Dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries, which ruled most of Zangezur. However, after the incursion of the armies of Timur, as well as Turkmen and Persian forces, Orbelian rule ended by the 15th century. After numerous earthquakes ruined Yeghegis and with the local Armenian population being forcibly exiled into Persia, the village was abandoned. Refugees from Sumgait settled in the village in 1988.
Zorats Church (Armenian: Զորաց եկեղեցի, romanized: Zorats Yekeghetsi, lit. 'Soldier Church') is a unique Armenian church on a hill close to Yeghegis. It was dedicated in 1303 by archbishop Stepanos, during a period in which Armenia was a Mongol vassal state. The church was designed so that cavalry could receive the sacraments without getting off their horses.
There is a Jewish cemetery in Yeghegis that dates from the period between the 13th and 14th centuries, with the oldest tombstone in the cemetery having been dated to be from 1266 AD and the most recent one having been dated to be from 1346 AD. The Jewish community living in Yeghegis likely had an Iranian origin.
- Statistical Committee of Armenia. "The results of the 2011 Population Census of the Republic of Armenia" (PDF).
- "Եղեգիս". caa.am. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
- One Way Tour - Jewish Cemetery in Yeghegis
- Kiesling, Brady (2005), Rediscovering Armenia: Guide, Yerevan, Armenia: Matit Graphic Design Studio, see Tsaghats Kar Monastery.
- Armenian Monuments Awareness Project (AMAP) - Armenian Heritage - Yeghegis
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- Report of the results of the 2001 Armenian Census, Statistical Committee of Armenia
- Brady Kiesling, Rediscovering Armenia, p. 123; original archived at Archive.org, and current version online on Armeniapedia.org.
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