The fortress was founded in the 7th century AD as a possession of the noble House of Kamsarakan. Four centuries later it was purchased by the House of Pahlavuni and rebuilt by Prince Vahram Vachutian Pahlavuni. Vahram fortified the complex with thicker stone walls and added three bastions along the ridge of the Arkhashyan canyon. The domed church was built in 1026 as testified by the inscriptions made on it; it's located between the castle and the edge of hill, looking down on the Arkhashyan river. A bathouse built in the same period and quite unusual for a military installation has also remained moderately intact along with the water supply system. Amberd was overrun in the 11th century by the Seljuk Turks and destroyed by Mongols in the 13th century.