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preto de Verin Artsvazhayrr, Tavush (አርሜኒያ)
Mount Tesilk is located to the east of the village of Gandzakar in Tavush Province and is part of the Varag Mountain system, one of the branches of the Miapor Mountain Range. The mountain peak is clearly defined, has an altitude of 1,372 m, and can be seen quite clearly when one looks towards Gandzakar from the city of Ijevan. There used to be a fortress at the top of Mount Tesilk with a wonderful view of the Aghstev Valley. The walls of this ancient Armenian fortress were quite extensive (enclosing several hectares of land), and were divided into three rows and in places the walls were 3 m thick, lined with large, rough stones without any cement binding (in other words, they were dry stone walls). The fortress is similar in layout and construction to Cyclopean fortresses found elsewhere in the region.
The walls extend for 213 m along the northern side of the fortress; two rows of walls, three meters in height, protect the eastern side, and the fortress is protected by an inaccessible cliff from the western side. Some sections of these ancient defenses are still standing today.
Domestic livestock would be hidden from the view of marauding invaders on the steep southern slopes of the fortress where it was impossible to build homes. The walls of dwellings and other buildings can be seen in the northern part of the fortress instead. Two 2-3-meter-wide entrances have been preserved on the southern side of the fortress.
The Tesilk Cave is located on the eastern side of the mountain. Sunlight enters the cave from two openings in the large main hall, and locals recount that the cave used to serve as the fortress’ hospital and that wounded soldiers were treated here.