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Jewish Cemetery of Yeghegis

Yeghegis, Armenia

Cultural Treasure

Tucked away on the eastern outskirts of Yeghegis, a tiny village in the Vayots Dzor region of Armenia, across the river, lies a mysterious Jewish cemetery. Mysterious in that no written records or memories exist of a Jewish population in this region. However, in 1997, gravestones in Hebrew and Aramaic were discovered, proving that at one point a sizeable Jewish community existed here. The earliest tombstone dated to 1266 while the latest in 1346. Where they came from and where they went remains unknown, but visiting is a unique experience in this remote village.

An instruction on the earliest tombstone (1266 A.D.) reads: “May the merciful God pity the soul of the girl, the diva of Michael Ester. Let her peace be United with the holy soul of our mother Sara, with her purity and holy body: As it is said, the charm may be deceptive; beauty may be vain for the woman who fears God. Let him in. Let him be sanctified.”

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On the eastern side of the village of Yeghegis in Vayots Dzor Province, 18 km to the north of Yeghednadzor.


All the tombstones date between 1266 through 1346 A.D., spanning 70 years.


A burial place for the once Jewish community of Yeghegis, the only known example from medieval Armenia,


A peacful place to visit in Yeghegis, made possible by recent restorations and a nice path to access the site.

Our Visit

It is a pleasant walk through Yeghegis, taking in the simple village life, and being awed by the unique mountains. Walking to the Jewish cemetery added another layer to this historically packed town. Not one other person was encountered once the gravel path toward the cemetery was taken. Frogs, birds, lizards and an owl greeted us only. The cemetery is well kept with a newly constructed stone wall around it and two informational boards. I think it is an important visit as even though the Jewish community mysteriously existed, their legacy lives on through a simple visit.


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