The Smbataberd defense complex of the 10-11th centuries is located in the Vayots Dzor, to the east of the Artabuynk village. It has high and wide (2-3 m) pyramid type fort-walls built with large bazalt stones, and protected by the Artabuni and the Yeghegis Rivers and deep canyons. The fort is divided by a wall on both the northern and southern sides, where the ruins of the middle-fort dwellings and water-pools have been preserved.
The water originated from the natural springs and canals of the Tsaghats Kar’ monastery nearby. According to legend, the Turks compelled the fort’s surrender by employing a thirsty horse to sniff out the pipeline.
The road leading up to Smbataberd is very narrow and steep, with barely enough space for one car only and a sheer cliff on one side.