Kapan (Armenian: Կապան); also known as Kafan, Zangezur and Madan, is the capital of the Syunik province (marz) at the south of Armenia. The city which forms an urban community (municipality) is located 316 km from the capital Yerevan.
The National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (ARMSTAT) reported its population was 45,488 in 2010, down from 45,711 at the 2001 census. Kapan is the most populous city in Syunik province and southern Armenia.
The word Kapan originates from the Armenian verb kapel (կապել), which mean "to lock," and points to an old Armenian geographic term for valleys surrounded by interlocked mountain chains.
The area around Kapan was first mentioned in the 5th century. In the 10th century, the ruler of Syunik, Prince Smbat II, moved here and founded the Syunik, or Bahkskoe kingdom, proclaiming himself king in 970. The city is associated with Davit Bek, an 18th century Armenian leader whose wars against the Turkish and Persian Muslim invaders were fought around Syunik. His liberation campaign with a handful of brave men began in 1722, and attracted thousands of patriots who liberated Syunik. Near to Kapan is the castle in which Bek died in 1728.
Kapan, as a city, formed in the 19th century from the merger of several villages.
With a population of around 45500, Kapan is struggling to cope with the realities of post-Karabakh war and post-Soviet society. However, there are signs of growth and development. Kapan is primarily a mining city, hence its Persian name of the Qajar time معدن (Ma'dan, meaning "mine"). Kapan's industry is dependent on the newly privatized polymetallic deposit, though additional operations have developed including mining support services, commercial scale animal husbandry, and an expanding retail sector. The furniture and textile industries have grown in recent years.
Kapan was and remains a center of production of many non-ferrous metals. Commercial development of the local deposits began in 1890. Armenian entrepreneurs and French mining engineers obtained concessions to the copper mines and a copper-ore processing plant was built in the city.
Geography and climate:
Kapan is the largest city in southern Armenia. Located in the east of Syunik Province in the Voghji valley it lies on the south-eastern slopes of the Zangezur Mountain Range between its spurs, the Bargushatskim and Meghri ridges. To the south of the city is Mount Khustup (3201 m).
- Vahanavank monastery
- Baghaberd and Halidzor Fortresses.
- Tatev Monastery - This monastery, situated northwest of Kapan was founded in the ninth century in the place of an ancient tabernacle well-known in ancient times. It is located strategically, overlooking a deep river gorge.
- Monument to David Bek.
- Kapan College of Music
- Kapan Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum
- Kapan Theatre
The city is connected to Iran by road. In late 2008, the road was redeveloped between Kapan and Kajaran-Meghri. From the city is only the nonoperating railway line Kapan-Kovsakan-Midzhnavan.
Prior to the Karabakh war, a small airport was used to accommodate the aircraft YAK-40 and AN-14 cargo.
The other nearest airport is located 62 kilometers to the north.
- Gandzasar FC - football club
- Lernagorts Kapan FC - football club
- Karen Sargsyan - Principal choirmaster of the Armenian Opera Theater
- Tatoul Markarian - Armenian ambassador to United States