Sites & cities that bear the name of Stepanakert


Today in : Azerbaijan
First trace of activity : ca. 13th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Վարարակն, Vararakn, Ստեփանակերտ, Step'anakert, Khankendi, Xankəndi

Description : Stepanakert (Armenian: Ստեփանակերտ, romanized: Step'anakert), or Khankendi (Azerbaijani: Xankəndi), is the de facto capital and the largest city of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, though the city is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. As of 2015, the population of Stepanakert is 55,200. According to medieval Armenian sources, the settlement was first mentioned as Vararakn (Վարարակն, meaning "rapid spring" in Armenian), a name that remained in use until 1847, when it was renamed Khankendi. In 1923 Khankendi was renamed Stepanakert (meaning the city of Stepan in Armenian) by the Soviet government to honor Stepan Shahumyan, leader of the 26 Baku Commissars, and, since the Shusha pogrom had resulted in major destruction at Shusha, the former regional capital, Stepanakert was made the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO). In time, Stepanakert grew to become the region's most important city (a status it received in 1940). Its population rose from 10,459 in 1939 to 33,000 in 1978. In 1926, municipal authorities adopted a new city layout designed by Alexander Tamanian; two additional designs for expansion were approved in the 1930s and 1960s, both of which retained Tamanian's initial plan. Several schools and two polyclinics were established, and an Armenian drama theater was founded in 1932 and named after Maxim Gorky. Stepanakert served as Nagorno-Karabakh's main economic hub, and by the mid-1980s there were nineteen production facilities in the city.

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