Stepanakert (Named after Stepan Shahumian, leader of the 26 Baku Commissars) is the capital of this small country, which is reflected in its small size. There is not much to see or do here, but it makes a good base for day trips with its central location and choice of hotels. There is a small museum, all of the ministries of the country, and a shuka (market) which will keep you supplied for your day trips to the restaurantless regions. The hotel by the city square is good for low to medium budget travelers (Lux rooms come with their very own bathrooms, otherwise the shared bathrooms are not pretty), Hotel Nairi and the Lotus Hotel are good for fussy travelers, and there are a few choices in between. On the outskirts of town lies the monument sculpted by A. Baghdasaryan, "We Are Our Mountains", more commonly known as Mamik and Babik* (Grandmother & Grandfather). These two huge stone sculptures of an elderly Karabakh couple symbolize the union of the people with the mountains they inhabit. On the road heading NE to Aghdam, at 15 km you pass right through the Mayraberd or Askeran Fortress =50= (39 56.59n x 046 49.87e). Across the valley to the right you can see the other remaining part of this 18th century fortress built by Panakh Khan that once extended 1.5km all the way across the valley.
Several schools are reconstructed in Askeran by the Armenian Educational Foundation.