Vanadzor (vah-naht-zor) was established as Pasadena’s fourth sister city in 1991. Previously known as Kirovakan, it is located in the northwestern region of the Republic of Armenia, about 80 miles north of the capital city, Yerevan. Vanadzor is the administrative center of Lory Marz (region). With a population of about 175,000, it is the third largest city in Armenia. The city was rapidly growing in size before the tragic earthquake in December 1988. Seventy percent of the city’s buildings were either completely destroyed or became uninhabitable.
It is located in a mountainous region of Armenia, at an altitude of about 6,500 ft (2,000 m) above sea level (similar to Big Bear). The climate is seasonal, sub-zero during the winter and in the 80’s and 90’s (27ºC to 32ºC) in the summer.
Vanadzor is widely known for its wonderful “Lory” mineral water, clean running springs, green hills, and snow-capped mountains, visible in all directions. The city is now in the process of rebirth and change. Owing to its beauty and rich culture, Vanadzor is called The Beauty of Lory, Sanatorium City, City of Music, and Masters City. Vanadzor is also known for its light industry, chemical plants, and the production of fine cognac, jewelry and precious metals.
Above all, it has been a leading city in the textile industry, using the latest technological equipment in the garment industry. It is the home of two institutions of higher education: The Polytechnic Institute and The Teacher Training Institute. The people of Vanadzor are very hospitable and welcome sister-city visitors to their beautiful city.