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Century of Foundation: IX. Region: Vayots Dzor The 9th century fortress of Smbatabert** =90= (GPS - 39 52.35n x 045 20.34e). This spectacular castle sits on the crest of the ridge between Artabuynk and Yeghegis (or, as most people still call them, Yeghegis and Alayaz), and includes an upper citadel. The castle received water from a buried clay pipe leading from the monastery. According to legend, the Turks compelled the fort’s surrender by employing a thirsty horse to sniff out the pipeline. The road leading up to Smbataberd is very very narrow and steep, with barely enough space for one Niva and a sheer cliff on one side. I recommend walking, especially if there has been significant rains lately. Fill up your water bottles at the pipe-spring you passed a little after driving through the river, I did not see water at the top.

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