To the north of the ancient town of Arapan, a monument to a pivotal battle and to the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was erected by architect Rafael Israeliyan in 1979. A massive stone structure, the striking asymmetric monument looks notably different on each face. From the north it appears brutally angular, contrasted by the elegant arches of the southern face. It is a powerful location, dominated by the weather thrown over the 4 Km volcanic peak of Mt Aragats, just a few miles to the west.
Many terrible things are said to have happened during the Ottoman invasion of Armenia in world war one. This year marks the centenary of the 1915 Armenian genocide, where 1.5 million people are said to have lost their lives in a systematic extermination which continued for some time even after the war ended. The turning point came with vicious battles fought between the Turkish army and the army of the newly independent republic of Armenia. Whilst making a drive for Yerevan, the Ottoman forces were halted three hours from their objective by 1000 riflemen. After four days of intense battle, combined with other victories in the area, the Turks were driven back by the Armenians on the 29th May 1918.