The fortress was built by the Urartian King Rusa I (735-713 BC). In the Urartian times, when the water level of Sevan Lake was considerably higher, the settlement was deemed to be located on an island which was later destroyed by lava streams. In the ruins, remains of the walls and a gate are still visible.

Carved into the rock is an ancient cuneiform inscription written by of King Rusa. It states that the fortress was built in dedication to Teisheba, god of storm and thunder. It also speaks of twenty-three nations to have been subjects of Rusa I.

Odzaberd is considered as the best-preserved Urartian fortress in the Sevan valley. It is one of the most important archaeological sites.