Sitting on a plateau above the steep-sided gorge of the Dzoragets River, Stepanavan is known throughout the former Soviet Union as one of the birthplaces of Armenian communism. Students of Soviet history will find the town's museum interesting, but there is no cogent reason for other visitors to head this way, especially as there were major construction works at and around the Gogovan border crossing into Georgia at the time of writing, meaning that it was best avoided.
An early cell of the Bolsheviks led by local lad Stepan Shahumian operated from hideouts and caves in this region before the revolution. Shahumian died in a lonely corner of the Turkmenistan desert with the other 26 ‘Baku Commissars’ in 1918, and all 26 were later sanctified in countless memorials across the region. (The Baku Commissars were Bolshevik leaders in the Caucasus in the early days of the revolution.)