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Top Abandoned Places in Armenia

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, numerous industrial plants, hotels, pioneer camps, cultural centers, and other establishments fell victim to looting and the ravages of time. Over the years, these sites have acquired an air of mystery and allure, making them increasingly appealing to tourists. In this article, I have selected the top abandoned places in Armenia that I have personally explored and documented, now awaiting your discovery.

Herouni's Radio-Optical Telescope

Herouni’s Radio-Optical Telescope stands abandoned yet majestic, a marvel of Soviet engineering. This impressive structure was once pivotal in astronomical research, symbolizing the Soviet Union’s advancements in science and technology. Although no longer in use, the massive dish and surrounding facilities continue to inspire awe, serving as a poignant reminder of Armenia’s contributions to scientific exploration during the Soviet era.

An aerial photo of ROT54 telescope


Abandoned Hotel

This abandoned hotel, located on the shore of Lake Sevan, was once a luxurious accommodation for travelers and dignitaries. Now in ruins, this hotel was part of the Soviet initiative to promote tourism and showcase Armenia’s natural beauty. Its grand halls, now decayed and overgrown, feature the prominent giant mosaic of goddess Astghik by Garnik Smbatyan. Walking through its deserted corridors, one can almost hear the echoes of its former guests and envision the staff who once maintained its elegance.

 The Birth of Astghik by Garnik Smbatyan (1982)

Abandoned School

The abandoned school stands as a testament to Soviet emphasis on education, featuring well-decorated classrooms, marvelous architecture, and vintage posters. These institutions played a pivotal role in shaping the minds of young Armenians, instilling a sense of Soviet identity and pride. Today, the dilapidated buildings and overgrown grounds reflect the passage of time and changing educational norms. Exploring this site evokes nostalgia for the past and contemplation of future generations.


Ready to sneak inside

Abandoned Soviet Pioneer Camp

Once a vibrant center for youth activities, the abandoned Soviet Pioneer Camp now stands as a relic of youth and idealism. These camps were designed to instill Soviet values and foster camaraderie among young pioneers. The camp’s decaying statues, playgrounds, and an impressive swimming pool are silent reminders of Soviet social engineering efforts. Visiting this site offers a poignant glimpse into the cultural and social fabric of the Soviet era.

Thanks to its charming swimming pool this place attracts urbexers from around the world

Abandoned Sanatorium Built by German Prisoners of War

Nestled in a serene landscape, the abandoned sanatorium built by German prisoners of war during World War II holds significant historical value. Initially intended as a health retreat, this facility reflects the Soviet Union's use of prisoner labor for construction. The sanatorium’s architecture, blending utilitarian Soviet design with traditional elements, starkly contrasts with its current state of disrepair. The overgrown grounds and crumbling walls now exude an eerie tranquility, providing a unique exploration experience.


This building is huge and it takes hours to explore it

Abandoned Carpet Factory

The abandoned Carpet Factory stands as a testament to Armenia's industrial past under Soviet influence. Known for its intricate designs and high-quality carpets, this factory was once vital to the local economy. Now, its empty weaving halls and rusting machinery evoke a sense of lost grandeur. The remnants of unfinished carpets and decaying equipment vividly illustrate the decline of a once-thriving industry.

The machinery in this carpet factory reminds me of a scene from Terminator


Giant Thread Factory

Once a bustling hub of textile production, the Giant Thread Factory now lies in desolation, its rusting machinery and crumbling walls a testament to Armenia's industrial heritage. During the Soviet era, this factory played a crucial role in producing thread for various industries. Today, exploring its vast halls offers a stark contrast between its industrious past and silent present.


This is another giant factory that few have seen

Old Khot or the Armenian Machu Picchu

Old Khot, also known as Hin Khot, is often referred to as the Armenian Machu Picchu due to its resemblance to the Inca citadel in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru. Social changes in the 20th century led to the abandonment of Old Khot. Instead of improving infrastructure with a proper road, new pipeline, and enhanced electricity facilities, authorities decided to relocate the village to a new settlement on a plateau. In the 1960s and 1970s, inhabitants were moved to higher ground closer to the main road and utility lines on flatter land, a trend observed in many villages, including Khndzoresk.

Me exploring Old Khot

These abandoned Soviet sites in Armenia provide a glimpse into the country's Soviet past. Each location, whether an industrial complex or educational institution, tells a unique story of Armenia's journey through the Soviet era. Exploring these places not only offers an adventure into the unknown but also deepens one's understanding of Armenia’s complex history and rich cultural heritage.


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