Travel Stories

The Phantom Country: Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). Photo Reportage

The Phantom Country

Have you ever heard about the Republic of Artsakh? Known as Nagorno Karabakh is a disputed territory located between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Since the fall of URSS, there has been a war for the independence of the territory from Azerbaijan.
The following photos are part of the photo reportage The Phantom Country. A collection of photos that will try to document life and tourism in a country with a frozen conflict and not officially recognised by the United Nations.

Shushi Cathedral, the “biggest” icon of the Christianity of the country.
Small butcher shop in the central market of the city.
Abandoned school in Stepanakert.
Life in the streets of Stepanakert.
“Homemade” recreational centre a few steps away from the centre of Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh.

Stepanakert is the biggest city in the country with 55.000 people living in it. Here life and the time are going slow. The conflict just out there is frozen but the marks on the people are still hot.

The Presidential Palace of Stepanakert.
The stadium of Stepanakert, the biggest of the country, that hosted the finals of the Unrecognised Country Football World Cup in summer 2019.
Clothes hanging out. A touch of colour between the grey soviet blocks.
Abandoned playground in the centre of Stepanakert.

Going around the cities you’ll find many unusual elements that are defining the character of this phantom country.

Stepanakert’s Airport, the only airport in the Artsakh Republic. Completed in 2011. It never became operative due to security reasons.
The iconic abandoned cinema of Martakert, the closest city to the frontline with Azerbaijan.
Details of the abandoned panoramic wheel.
Interns of the Martakert cinema, built during the Soviet Union, it still preserves symbols of the propaganda.

Only a few people can claim to have visited a phantom country. Despite the conflict, the Republic of Artsakh is safe and easily accessible from Armenia. Here you will find a guide on how to reach it (soon online).

 

 

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