Bala Mazra

Bala Mazra is a village in the Novo-Bayazid uezd of the former Iravan governorate, later in the former Basarkechar (Vardenis) district, and currently in the Gegharkunik province. The provincial centre lies 92 km to the southwest of the town of Kavar (Gavar), by the Mazra River, and at a height of 1,930 m above sea level. It was marked as “Mazra” in “The Iravan Province Review Book”, and as “Bala Mazra” on the five-verst map of the Caucasus. Another name for the village was Gulu aghali.

The village was inhabited by 227 Azerbaijanis in 1831, 675 in 1873, 978 in 1886, 1,200 in 1897, 1,658 in 1908, 1,731 in 1914 and 1,375 Azerbaijanis in 1916. In 1918 the Azerbaijanis were massacred or ousted from the village by Armenians. The surviving Azerbaijanis managed to return to the village following the establishment of Soviet power in the present-day Armenian territory. The village was inhabited by 359 Azerbaijanis in 1922, 653 in 1926, 912 in 1931, 1,092 in 1959, 1,652 in 1970, 1,831 in 1979 and 2000 Azerbaijanis in 1987. In late November 1988 the Azerbaijanis were driven out from their historical-ethnic land by the state of Armenia. Presently, Armenians live in the village. There is a 10th-12th century Alban church and 4th-7th-century Oghuz cemetery in the territory of the village.

The toponym was formed on the basis of the word “mazra” (mazru) which means “a plowed place, field sowed and planted with seeds” in Arabic. “Bala” is a word denoting a distinguishing feature. It has been used as “Pokr Mazra” in Armenian through calque.

According to the law “On the administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia” dated 7 November 1995, it was integrated into the administrative area of the Gegharkunik province.

Geographic coordinates: latitude: 40°15′ N., longitude: 45°43′ E.