It covers an area of 2,308 km2 (891 sq mi). With a population of only 53,230 (2002 census), it is the most sparsely populated province in the country. The capital and largest city of the province is the town of Yeghegnadzor.The province is home to many ancient landmarks and tourist attractions in Armenia including the Areni-1 cave complex and Areni-1 winery of the Chalcolithic period, the 8th-century Tanahat Monastery, the 10th-century Smbataberd fortress, and the 13th-century Noravank monastery. Vayots Dzor is also home to the spa-town of Jermuk.The village of Gladzor in Vayots Dzor was home to the 13th and 14th-century University of Gladzor.Literally meaning the valley of sorrows, the province is named after the Vayots Dzor canton of historic Syunik; the ninth province of Ancient Armenia. Syunik was ruled by the Siunia dynasty.Situated at the southeastern end of modern-day Armenia, Vayots Dzor covers an area of 2,308 km² (7.8% of total area of Armenia). It is one of the most sparsely populated province in the country. It borders the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan form the west and the Shahumyan Region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from the east. Domestically, it is bordered by the Gegharkunik Province from the north, Ararat Province from the northwest and Syunik Province from the southeast.Historically, the current territory of the province occupies most of the Vayots Dzor canton of the historic Syunik province of Ancient Armenia.Vayots Dzor is a mountainous region. It is mainly divided into 3 mountain ranges: Vardenis mountain range at the north, Arpa range at the middle and Vayk range at the south. At a height of 3522 meters, the Vardenis volcano at the north is the highest point of the province, while the Areni valley, at a height of 850 meters, is the lowest point. The 2586 meters-high Vayots Sar volcanic cone is almost located at the centre of the province.Vayots dzor has many rivers, mountains springs and mineral water. Arpa river has the most significant of them.It flows 92 km in the territory of Vayots Dzor. It originates in Vayots Dzor from the northwest hillside of Syunik plateau at a height of 3260 meters, and flows into the Araks river. It has a number of tributaries that form waterfalls such as the Jermuk Waterfall and the Herher waterfall. Yeghegis river is the main tributary of Arpa. It flows into a valley that is protected by the government as a wildlife sanctuary.Most of the rivers in Vayots Dzor are characterized with swift flow, deep fall and inclination. A large project was completed during the Soviet period, to transfer the water of Arpa river to Lake Sevan. Thus, an underground water tunnel was opened in 1981 that starts from the basin of Kechut reservoir to transfer the flow of Arpa river into lake Sevan.A number of small lakes are also found in the valley of Herher river.
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