The modern Lori region (Lori Marz) covers the eastern part of the ancient Gugark, which, according to the seventh-century sources was the 13th province of Greater Armenia, an empire that extended to the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas. The medieval history of region was shaped by the changing fortunes of the Bagratuni, Zakarian and Orbelian ruling families, as well as that of the Seljuk Empire and the resurgent kingdom of Georgia. Part of the Bagratuni Gugark region, the area revolved around its capital Lori (Berd), founded in 989 by David Anhoghin. In 1555 the region became part of Persia to be annexed by the Russian Empire in 1801. In 1918 Armenia became an independent nation to be incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1992. The territory of the modern Lori Marz includes Gugark, Tashir, Spitak, Stepanavan and Tumanyan regions of Armenia.
Bounded on all sides by rugged mountains and cut by sheer gorges, Lori is above all a place of forests, with more native forest land than any other province of the country. The region entirely occupies the Debed river basin, the main waterway of the district with its Dzoraget, Pambak and Martzaget tributaries. Lori is famous for its wonderful mild climate: the chain of mountains prevents the penetration of cold winds from the north. Thr summer months in Lori are generally cool and moist, while winter is snowy yet sunny. With a wide variety of habitats Lori is home to over 3,000 species of plants and some 350 species of birds and offers an immense range of opportunities to nature lovers.
Once a powerful industrial center, the Lori Marz still has great potential for economic development. The leading branches of economy are agriculture and industry, particularly mining industry (such as the copper mining operations in Akhtala), production of grain, potato, as well as animal husbandry products. One of the most beautiful touristic destinations and home to most significant cultural sites in all of Armenia, Lori has also launched important programs to develop tourism.
Adm.center Vanadzor Area 3798 km² Population 234700 Total number of comminities 113 Urban communities 8 Rural communities 105 Urban population 58,46%