Shahoumyan region is situated in the north of the Republic of Artsakh. In the south it is separated from Martakert region by Mrovsar (Mrovdagh) mountain range. In the western and northwestern parts of the region the peaks of the Karabakhian mountain range are situated, which are part of the mountain system of Small Caucasus. In the east and northeast the piedmont regions gradually become the plain, the lower zone, where part of the region is situated. The region occupies a territory of 600 square kilometers. At the time of occupation of the region by Azerbaijani military forces in June 1992 it had 18 inhabited areas and about 25 000 people.
Two of the most ancient Christian monuments of Artsakh, the monasteries of Glkhavank and Horekavank, are in Shahoumyan region as well.
Here the father of the Armenian written language St. Mesrop Mashtots created one of the first schools of Artsakh. In recognition of the school the nearby village of Verinshen has a sanctuary called Gir-Khach. The sanctuary has been very well-preserved; in Armenian the name of the sanctuary means "The Cross of Literature".
Before the occupation a great number of medieval khachkars (cross-stones), bridges and other monuments of church and civil architecture were kept.
The village of Getashen
The village of Getashen with its rich historical past has been known from the early Middle Ages. Numerous churches, villages and medieval cemeteries with hundreds of khachkars and monuments of civil architecture of Getashen and its suburbs form the rich spiritual heritage of its inhabitants that have lasted to our days.
Before the deportation of the indigenous population of the village and its occupation dozens of magnificent traditional rural houses, built in 18-19 cc, had been preserved here. Wooden laces of carved balconies render unique charm to these samples of folk art of Northern Artsakh.
The fortress of Gyulistan
Gyulistan fortress is one of the most important defence constructions of Artsakh during the last 10 centuries. Being disposed on the inaccessible rocky cape of the south extremity of Mrov Mountain it has been one of the main citadels of five provinces (melikdoms) of Artsakh.
Gyulistan fortress is known as the place where the so called Gyulistan Peace Treaty of 1813 between Russia and Persia was concluded, according to which Artsakh became part of the Russian Empire.
Since 1992 the fortress, after occupation of Shahoumyan region by Azerbaijan, has appeared in the neutral zone and is controlled now by Azerbaijani military forces which makes it unreachable for tourists.