Kachaghakaberd is a mountain-top fortress in the Martakert Province of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic within Azerbaijan, where it lies in the Tartar Rayon. Kachaghakaberd is translated from Armenian as magpie’s fortress, a combination of the words kachaghak, designating the bird “magpie” and “berd” meaning fortress. First time it was mentioned in the 8-th century when defending against Arab invasion. It is called magpie fortress, because it was an inaccessible place, and only magpies could reach to the top of the mountain.

The bare, whitish rock is like a massive heavenly stone deep in forest, and which amazes everybody with its majestic beauty becomes more poetic when looks at the whitish stone with fortress rising out of completely green forests and reaching the blue of the sky. It seemed that the nature itself took care for Kachaghakaberd fort to be impregnable. Kachaghakaberd was an asylum for the inhabitants of the nearest villages for centuries. According to some legends that Spram princess with her daughter overcame a hard way to reach Kachaghakaberd and found there a shelter after her husband`s death. The fortress was a significant fortification of the medieval Armenian Principality of Khachen that flourished in the High Middle Ages and is situated at over 1700 meters height. Moreover it is beautifully surrounded by vertical limestone cliffs with the heights of 50 to 60 meters, has a hard-to-reach entrance from the southern side of the fortress. During its prime historical chronicles no one could ever storm the fortress, as the parts of the defensive walls remain standing.

The fortress territory actually occupies a large area, though it seems very small. Therefore, several rooms, secret passages cut into the cliffs, gun slots, and distinct “loopholes” for throwing stones at enemies are inside its territory. The problem of water supply was overcome by a distinctive method: two rock-cut reservoirs to store rain and melt-water are in the center of the fortress; hence fresh water was brought from a spring at the foot of the mountain. When you look from the top of the “Kachaghakaberd” hill there is a pleasing panoramic view opens to the mountains covered with thick woods and the river Tartar running beneath.

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