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"If God one day would like to come visit Armenia, I would bring him to Hovk [Dilijan]. The difference between Hovk and other beautiful places in the world is here people forget death." Grigor Pahlavuni Magistros (990-1058)
Dilijan is surrounded by the Dilijan National Reserve (founded 1958), 24,000 hectares of old growth forest on the Halab, Miapor and Areguni Mountain ranges and the upper Aghstev watershed. Dilijan has lakes, numerous wilderness trails and mountain treks leading to some of Armenia's most enchanting cultural monuments; churches, monasteries and prehistoric citadels nestled amongst lush natural surroundings. Area sites include Goshavank, Haghartsin, Aghavnavank, Jukhtak vank, Matosavank, Pars Lich, Tzrkats Lich and numerous nature trails.
Dilijan region in ancient times was the Varazhnunik province of the Ayrarat state in Mets Haik (Greater Armenia). It is also thought that Dilijan was the historic “Hovk” where the Arshakuni royal summer residence and hunting retreat was located.
Prehistoric sites near Dilijan include the excavation of Golovino (8th-6th cc BCE) located south of town center, where a necropolis was discovered. Another necropolis was found at Redkin (Late Bronze/Early Iron Age), 6 km northeast of the city on the right bank of the Aghstev River. Artifacts found include bronze jewelry, a copper sword, sardonyx and agate pendants, obsidian arrowheads, simple pottery, ceramics, and human and animal bones. The artifacts resemble those found at L'Chashen and Nor Baiyazet.
According to locals the name “Dilijan” means “sweet tongue” (sweet sound). It first appeared when the French traveler Jean Charden used the name when writing of his travels through the area (1664-1670).
Dilijan's climate is healthy with fresh air, warm sun and cold mineral water rich in minerals that are natural remedies for the larynx, bone and digestive problems.