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Dilijan, Armenia

Khanjian Villa

The luxurious circular mansion built for a Communist leader now lies abandoned.  

In the hills overlooking the city center of Dilijan, Armenia, lie the ruins of a circular villa built in 1936 for Aghasi Khanjian, an important political figure of the time.

Khanjian was the first secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia and held the post for six years. He was a popular figure in the country.

Dilijan, which has a favorable climate and forested surroundings, was, and still is, one of the country’s most sought-after resort areas. Khanjian, too, was taken by its beauty and had this villa built as a summer house. It was designed in the Armenian modernist style of the early 20th century.

Unfortunately, the same year that it was built, Khanjian died during an interrogation. The details surrounding his death are foggy, but some believed it was ordered by prominent Georgian party leader Lavrenti Beria, who saw Khanjian as a threat to his power.  

The mansion built for for the Armenian leader lies in shambles today, but the distinctive circular design can still be seen.