Abovyan (Armenian: Աբովյան) (Persian, Arabic and Urdu: آبوویان) is a city in Armenia in the province of Kotayk. It is located 15 km northeast of Yerevan and 36 km southeast of the province centre Hrazdan. In 2009, the estimated population of the city was 46,000, down from 59,000 at the 1989 census. The city covers an area of 7.08 km².
With a motorway and railway running through it that connects the capital with the areas of the northeast, Abovyan is considered a satellite city of Yerevan. Therefore, Abovyan is sometimes referred to be the "Northern Gate of Yerevan".
Abovyan was founded in 1963. Until 1961, the small village of "Elar" (part of present-day Abovyan) was the only settlement of that area. According to the Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian of the 13th century, Elar was awarded to Liparit Orbelian, a nobles of Orbelian Dynasty, by prince Atabek Ivane. In 1961, the village of Elar was renamed Abovyan in the honour of the Armenian writer Khachatur Abovian, and 2 years later, the city was formed at the same pitch.
During his researches in 1960, historian "Mesrop Smbatiants" found king Argishti I's Urartian cuneiform which narrates about the conquest of Daran (pre-Urartian name of the present-day Abovyan area) of Ulusan country. Excavations and found materials proved that the area was inhabited since the end of the 4th century BC. During the excavations, the remains of a fortress, a cemetrey and old shelters were also found with several objects and remnants of three stages of the Bronze Age.
The Surb Stepanos (Saint Stephen) medieval church (renovated in 1851) lies on a nearby hill in Elar district. A small Kurdish community lives in Abovyan.
Abovyan is built on Kotayk plateau between the rivers of Hrazdan, Azat and Getar at a height of 1450 meters above sea level. It is surrounded with Geghama mountain range from the northwest, Hatis and Gutanasar mountains from the north, Hrazdan gorge from the west and the heights of Nork from the south. The climate is continental and dry with relatively hot summers and cold winters. There is a small lake in the city called "Akna". Arzni town-resort is located only 6 km west of Abovyan.
Abovyan is a rather industrialized city. It has many well-developed factories among which are the factories of concrete construction, stone processing and chemical productions. The city is home to one of the leading beer producers in the Armenian market, "Kotayk Brewery" which is owned by Castle Group since 1997. Several companies in Abovyan export the entire volume of their industrial output.
Education and Sports:
Abovyan has 10 public education schools, 9 kindergartens and 2 state intermediate colleges. The city hosts 2 significant institutions of science in Amrneia: The Republican Hospital of tuberculosis and the Institute of Biological Microbes of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.
Many cultural centres operate in the city, such as the cultural palace of Abovyan, the community creative centre of children and teenagers, the musical school, the art school, the public library and the museum of Abovyan.
FC Kotayk Abovian is one of the oldest clubs in Armenia. Like other football teams in Armenia, FC Kotayk was forced to default from the Armenian football league and consequently from professional football since 2005, due to financial crisis. There is an improved sport school-complex in the city.