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Bjni Fortress

Fortresses

The fortress of Bjni, which can only be reached from the village of Bjni, was built in the 9th to 10th centuries by the royal Pahlavuni family of the Bagratuni Dynasty.

48.9 km

​Bjni Fortress is a castle located in the village of Bjni in the Kotayk Province of Armenia. It sits upon the top and along the sides of a rocky plateau that nearly divides the village in half. The larger portion of the fortress is located west of this mesa and curves south, while a smaller portion is east. The walls of the fortress may only be seen from the western side of the village, and are easiest reached via a narrow dirt road that forks (take the left fork) and goes up the side of the hill past some residences. Portions of the exterior fortification walls at Bjni have survived and follow the sides of the mesa. 

At the plateau, there are sections of battlements that remain in relatively poor condition. Traces of several structures that fell long ago are indicated by depressions in the ground at various areas. There is also the stone foundation of a church of the 5th century, a medieval structure that is still partially standing (currently being rebuilt as of 2009), two cisterns one with the remains of intact vaulting, and a covered passage that led to the river in the event of a siege. 


​The fortress of Bjni, which can only be reached from the village of Bjni, was built in the 9th to 10th centuries by the royal Pahlavuni family of the Bagratuni Dynasty. For years the fortress was the primary fortification of the province of Nig, and as such it protected and guarded Bjni. The fortress is protected by rocks to the south, east and partially, to the west. As for the north and west, the fortress was surrounded by now ruined walls. The ruins and traces of various building-structures can be seen in the fortress. 

The commander of Bjni, Lord Vasak Holum Pahlavuni (the Pahlavid), reconstructed the fortress. The 12th century Armenian historian Matteos Urhayetsi wrote in part 1 of the “Chronicle” covering the late 10th to early 11th centuries, of the invasions of mercenary Turkish soldiers of the Daylamis at Bjni in 1021 who went to raid and plunder villages and towns. It was then that Vasak learned that the entire district of Nig was enslaved. This realization was followed by the battle near the River of Qasagh. After which an exhausted Vasak decided to rest at a mountain and while asleep the commander was slain and thrown off of a rock.