Dilijan

A 16 CENTURY TOWN ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF A LARGE NATIONAL PARK IN CENTRAL ARMENIA.

Once, it was one of the main stopovers on the Silk Route that passed through Armenia, connecting Tabriz, in the south, Tiflis, in the north and the cities of Baku and Sheki, in the east. Today, it lies on the road connecting two modern large cities, Yerevan and Tbilisi, in a country that is situated on the border of Europe and Asia, at the heart of the diverse, culturally rich and complex region with a long history at the junction of the Persian, Byzantine, Ottoman and Russian Empires.

As a renowned spa town with 24,000-hectare Dilijan National Park favoured by artists, composers and film-makers for the beauty of its sloping wooded hills and climate, in the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union, in its heyday Dilijan had exposure to the international cultural elite. However, because of social and economic changes in Armenia, Dilijan saw a period of severe hardship after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Today, as economic stability has returned to Armenia and it has become a country with a modern and vibrant capital city, Dilijan has begun to restore its former glory. Its potential for development is wide and progress is being made rapidly. In recent years it has been identified as a development zone by the Armenian government, which moved a part of the Central Bank of Armenia to Dilijan in 2013 and developed new infrastructure to accommodate a number of expected new investors.

During recent years the town claimed its rightful place on the Armenian map as the worthy successor of its historical heritage. TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies and AYB School provide access to high-grade education for children from Dilijan and neighbouring villages and towns: their educational approach gives the children an opportunity to develop their interest in specific fields and consider future career opportunities.

Dilijan Community Centre is another vital project for the development of the town. Established in 2014 as Dilijan Youth Centre, the organisation provides an opportunity for local children to participate in diverse afterschool activities and obtain new skills in the areas of their interest.

Owing to the new educational and cultural initiatives emerging here, Dilijan has been transforming into a vibrant city. With its current development plan and perspectives, Dilijan is currently the fastest-growing urban settlement in Armenia.