Handaberd Fortress is located 1 km east of Knaravan village of Shahumyan region of the Republic of Artsakh, on the right bank of the Lev River. The fortress is located at an altitude of 1665 meters above sea level on the top of an impassable wooded mountain. The fortress is surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs. A mighty wall rises above the head of the natural barriers of the mountain, the height of which reaches 8 m, and the thickness is 1.3 m. Handaberd was first mentioned in 854. 

Eight hundred meters to the east of the fortress are the ruins of the Handaberd Monastery. In the first half of the IX century, the Prince of the northern possessions of Artsakh Atrnerseh Smbatyan built all the necessary means for safe and long-term protection. According to the inscription on the khachkar preserved in Dadivank, in 1142-1182 the fortress belonged to Prince Verin Khachen Hasan Vakhanganyan. A fortress called Handaberd is also mentioned by Kirakos Gandzaketsi.