At different times Dilijan was called Delijan, Dili, Old Dilijan, Small Tili, Silijan. It has become an urban area in 1938. The name Dilijan is quite new, although it’s impossible to find the roots of its origin. Some people relate it’s origin to the azerbaijanian word “deli” (that means crazy) and “jan” (that means soul, heart), while the others relate it to a prince named Dilijan. According to the folk etymology, “Dili jan” means “sweet language”. According to another version, the mane of the city is related to a man, called Dilijan, who was devoured by the wolves and the relatives looking for him cried for a long time “Dili jan”.
The shepherd Dili was in love with his master's daughter. However, her father was against it and wanted to kill the shepherd. For many long and dark days, the sorrowful mother was mourning, searching for her only son all over the area and desperately crying, "Dili jan, Dili jan .. " (Jan is a term of endearment added to the name of a friend or family member). According to the legend the area was later named after him.
Did you know?
- That Dilijan is a home to a center for composers, where many famous ones such as Aram Khachaturian, Arno Babajanian and Dmitri Shostakovich lived and worked on their masterpieces?
- That Dilijan is full of spas and sanatoriums, where tuberculosis is successfully treatable thanks to Dilijan’s unique air and climate?
- That Dilijan’s Rotondo was once a meeting place of local aristocracy, which was visited by many notable people such as Yegishe Charents?
- That in Dilijan itself there are no churches preserved, while the town is surrounded by nearby churches and monasteries hidden in the deep forests of Tavush, such as Matosavank, Jughtakvank, Haghartsin and Goshavank?