YSMU YEREVAN – the Capital of Armenia – YSMU

YEREVAN – the Capital of Armenia

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia as well as one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial centre of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia, and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain. The city also serves as the seat of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese; the largest diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and one of the oldest dioceses in the world. Yerevan is known as a rosy-coloured city, as its buildings and monuments are built of Armenian tufa. That amazing pink stone exists in all its shades created by the super-strong heat of volcanoes of the omnipotent Nature. Yerevan is a city of Christian cathedrals, modern airports, theatres and museums, universities and academies, parks and recreational centres, squares and industrial sites and finally, of art loving people. Its vast squares, wide streets and avenues, green parks and gardens, blossoming with colours of apricot and cherry trees in springtime, give the city a special charm. Yerevan is also known as the ‘City of Fountains’. It’s refreshing fountains offer coolness in the hot summer days. Yerevan is a more beautiful city by night. Hundreds of indoors and outdoors cafes with life music, concert halls and theatres, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets make downtown a favourite place both for city hosts and tourists. Yerevan has a well-developed public transit system with metro, city buses, trolley buses and mini-vans operating. Most people in the capital use public transit. Taxis and private cars are also available and very affordable. Yerevan was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO. The capital city is an associate member of Eurocities.

 

 

Republic Square

Designed by architect Alexander Tamanyan as the focal point of his 1924 urban plan for the city, the square’s construction started in 1926 and continued until 1958, when the last of its Stalinist-style edifices was completed. The stone pattern in the centre of the square references an Armenian carpet, and the famous musical fountains are the city’s most endearing attraction; these operate between sunset and 10pm in summer. The pink tufa buildings on its northeastern, northwestern and southwestern edges were all purpose-built as government offices and remain so today. Other buildings include the Armenia Marriott Hotel on the southwestern corner and the National Gallery of Armenia/History Museum of Armenia at the northern (top) edge.

Matenadaran- The Institute of Ancient Manuscripts

Standing at the top of Yerevan’s grandest avenue, this cathedral-like manuscript library is a source of enormous pride to all Armenians. The first matenadaran (book depository) for Armenian texts was built by St Mesrop Mashtots at Echmiadzin in the 5th century, and held thousands of manuscripts. Invasions over the centuries led to enormous losses through looting and burning, but 1800 exquisitely illustrated and bound manuscripts survived. These form the base of the stunning collection here.

The collection of manuscripts of Matenadaran is one of the biggest in the world. The depository contains over 17300 manuscripts, 450 thousand archive documents, and 3000 ancient books. Over 14200 manuscripts kept in SRI are in Armenian, the rest ones are in foreign languages – Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Old Slavonic, Ethiopic, Japanese and others. Among these are works by Aristotle, Eusebius of Caesarea and many others. Unique examples of translation are kept here, the origins of which weren’t saved.

Matenadaran was founded by Mesrop Mashtots and Sahak Partev in 405, in royal settlement of Vagharshapat. In 1920 Matenadaran became national. In 1939 Matenadaran was replaced to Yerevan. The construction of the building by the project of Mark Grigoryan began in 1945, but in 1947-1953 it was stopped. In 1953 the construction was started again and in 1959 it was over. In the same year Matenadaran turned into a science-research institute and placed in the newly constructed building.

At the base of the purpose-designed building is a statue of Mashtots teaching his alphabet to a disciple. Six other statues of great scholars and writers stand by the door. The outdoor gallery has carved rock tombs and khachkars brought here from ancient sites around Armenia.

The History Museum of Armenia

The History Museum of Armenia is a museum in Armenia with departments of Archaeology, Numismatics, Ethnography, Modern History and Restoration. It has a national collection of 400,000 objects and was founded in 1920. 35% of the main collection is made up of archaeology related items, 8% of the collection is made up of Ethnography related items, Numismatics related items make up 45%, and 12% of the collection is made up of documents. It is regarded as Armenia’s national museum and is located on Republic Square in Yerevan. The state financially supports the museum and owns both the collection and the building. The museum carries out conservation and restoration work and publishes works on Armenian architecture, archaeology, ethnography, and history. They also have published a series of reports on archaeological excavations since 1948. The museum carries out educational and scientific programs on Armenian history and culture as well.

The National Gallery of Armenia

The National Gallery of Armenia is the largest art museum in the Republic of Armenia. Located on Yerevan’s Republic Square, the museum has one of the most prominent locations in the Armenian capital. The NPGA houses significant collections of Russian and Western European art, and the world’s largest collection of Armenian art. Highlights include works by Hakob Hovnatanian (1806–81), Martiros Sarian (1880–1972) and Vardges Surenyants (1860–1921). Of these, the paintings by Surenyants are the most impressive. Depicting scenes from Armenian fairy tales and various historical events, they are colourful and delicately detailed, with an Orientalist feel.

The Cascade

The Cascade is a giant stairway made of limestone in Yerevan, Armenia. It links the downtown Ketron area of Yerevan with the Monument neighborhood. Designed by architects Jim Torosyan, Aslan Mkhitaryan, and Sargis Gurzadyan the construction of the cascade started in 1971 and was partially completed in 1980.

Inside the Cascade, underneath the exterior steps, are seven escalators that rise along the length of the complex. There are also exhibit halls connected to some of the landings along the escalators which compose the Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art.

The exterior of The Cascade features multiple levels adorned with fountains and modernist sculptures from the Cafesjian collection. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat. At the base of the Cascade is a garden court yard with statues by contemporary sculptures such as Botero.

There are a number of cafes and restaurants on both sides of the Cascade frequented by locals and tourists. Classical and jazz concerts often take place at the Cascade during spring, summer and early autumn, with spectators sitting on the steps.

Cafesjian Center for the Arts

Housed in a vast flight of stone steps known as the Cascade, this arts centre is one of the city’s major cultural attractions. Originally conceived in the 1920s by Soviet architect Alexander Tamanyan as part of his plan to modernise Yerevan, work on the monumental structure finally commenced in the 1980s but stalled after the 1988 earthquake. Eventually, Armenian-American philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian came to the rescue, funding its completion and transformation into a multi-level contemporary arts space.

The centre’s two external garden galleries and five exhibition halls are accessed via an internal escalator that operates from 8am to 8pm daily. Next to the escalator are platforms where artworks from Cafesjian’s personal collection of 20th-century and contemporary sculpture and furniture are displayed. There’s a decidedly quirky theme at work here, with pieces such as Studio 65 for Gufram’s Marilyn ‘Bocca’ Lip Sofa,Giogio Laveri’s Lipstick and Richard Cresswell’s Butterfly Seat three of many works catching the eye on the trip up and down. They and the garden galleries, which feature recessed fountains, modern khachkars(stone steles featuring carved crosses) and contemporary sculptures, can be visited free of charge. Visitors must have an admission ticket to enter the internal galleries.

On the ground floor, the large gift shop is one of the best places in the city to source quality souvenirs. There’s also a welcoming and well-stocked art library with a small children’s section.

In front of the Cascade, a sculpture garden features three huge bronze works by Colombian-Italian sculptor Fernando Botero: Cat, Roman Warrior and Woman Smoking a Cigarette. These sit alongside a whimsical wrought-iron teapot by Joana Vasconcelos, a bright blue kiwi by Peter Woytuk and plenty of other works. The two streets edging the park are home to cafes, bars and restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating.

The park complex has numerous alleys, a picturesque pond, numerous cafes and various amusements and rides. From the park there is a panoramic view to the downtown Yerevan.

Sergei Parajanov Museum

The museum was founded in 1988 after the first exhibition of Parajanov’s works held in People’s art Museum of Armenia. In the same year Sargis Parajanyants was allotted two adjacent constructions for dwelling and for the museum in “Dzoragyugh” ethnic quarter. The museum was opened in 1991. The main part of the collection are Parajanov’s works: drawings, texts for films, dolls, hats, as well as his furnishings and personal items brought from his house in Tiflis on his own free will when he was alive. The letters of the director written to Lily Brik, Tarkovsky, Nikulin and to other workers of culture are kept in the museum. 700 works of art are included in the exhibition. Certain segments of Parajanov’s homes in Tiflis and Kiev were restored in the two halls of reminiscence.The majority of his works were created in the years of his imprisonment.

The museum organized 56 exhibitions in Cannes, Salonika, Moscow, Rome, London, Los Angeles, Tehran, Beijing, Paris and other places.

Tsitsernakaberd

The Armenian Genocide memorial complex is Armenia’s official memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, built in 1967 on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd in Yerevan. Every year on April 24—the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day—thousands of Armenians gather at the memorial to commemorate the victims of the genocide. The people who gather in Tsiternakaberd lay fresh flowers out of respect for all the people who died in the Armenian genocide. Over the years, a wide range of politicians, artists, musician, athletes, and religious figures have visited the memorial.

Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum

In April, 1953 at Moskovyan 40 in Yerevan by the project of architect Grigor Aghababyan the museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan, who is considered the National Poet of Armenia, was opened, where more than 18000 exhibits are kept carefully. One of the greatest values of the museum – Hovh.Toumanyan’s personal exceptional and various library consisted of about 8 000 volumes – is kept in a separate hall on the second floor. The copy of Tiflis «Vernatun» impresses greatly. One of the attractive corners of the museum is the panorama of « Lori gorge», the view of which is accompanied by the music from «Anoush» opera.

To reach this museum, situated on the eminence in the center of Yerevan you should surmount 54 stairs – this number symbolize the years of life of the greatest Armenian writer.

Yervand Kochar Museum

Yervand Kochar museum was opened in 1984 in the place of Maestro’s workshop. The museum gives full information about the whole creative life of the artist: paintings, graphics, sculptures of “Tiflis”, “Paris”, “Yerevan” periods, models of monument sculptures, videos. Kochar’s prospective works of art, considered to be an achievement of modern art, are kept in “Pompidu” center in Paris and in Yervand Kochar museum. Rare documents telling about Kochar’s relations with the great representatives of avant-garde are also displayed in the museum. Yervand Kochar museum is an important center of studying and spreading of historical avant-garde in the region. The works of Armenian artist were exhibited beside the ones of such famous artists as Picasso, Braque, Arp, Brancusi, Leger, de Chirico and others. Together with them, as well as with Duchan, Miro, Kandinski, Moholy-Nagy, Delauney in 1936 he signed “Dimansionism manifesto”, which was the herald of the newest aesthetic principles of the time.

Opera and Ballet Theatre

The Opera and Ballet Theatre is one of the outstanding landmarks of the country. Located in the heart of Yerevan it was designed by the architect Alexander Tamanian who connected two auditoriums in a uniform semicircular building in unusual manner. While building this temple of art Tamanian used the best traditions of medieval Armenian architecture stylizing traditional national ornament.

The theater part of the building was finished in 1939. In 1963 the big hall of the philharmonic society was added. The building in its present condition appeared after the reconstruction of 1980. The theatre capacity is 1,260 people; the philharmonic society hall – 1,400. Both halls have the shape of an amphitheatre and are distinguished by magnificent acoustics. The project was awarded the “Grand Prix” at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1937.The square in front of the Opera building are decorated by the sculptures of the poet O.Tumanian and the composer A.Spendiarian. There is a swan lake near the square. Numerous cafes giving special color to the adjoining district are very popular with Yerevan youth.

Erebuni Historical & Archaeological Museum-Reserve

“Erebuni” historical-archeological reserve-museum was opened on October 21st, 1968 on the occasion of 2750th anniversary of Erebuni-Yerevan fortress-town foundation. This ancient site is a historical-archeological reserve-museum with a surface of 60 hectares. The architect of the building of «Erebuni» museum is Shmavon Azatyan, the sculptor – Ara Harutunyan. The reserve-museum has 2 branch museums: an early agricultural settlement of Shengavit situated on the bank of lake Yerevan and a town-fortress of Teyshebaini (Karmir blur), built by Rusa II in the middle of the VII century BC, which is located in the southwest suburb of Yerevan, on the bank of the Hrazdan river. There are 10936 archeological items in the depositories of the museum, but only 662 ones are exhibited. The museum has science-research, funds preservation, excursion and mass arrangement departments, laboratories of rehabilitation and anthropology. Annually 15000 tourists visit the museum. To set up a center of Urartology on the basis of «Erebuni» museum courses of the Urartian language are held at the museum.

Modern Art Museum of Yerevan

The Yerevan Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1972 by the efforts of Henrik Igityan, Yerevan Mayor G. Hasratyan and the best Armenian painters. As a specialized museum of modern art this establishment was the first not only in the former Soviet Union, but also in the whole socialist block. Within the following 20 years the museum kept its uniqueness. The first exhibition of the museum completely consisted of the works of the Armenian artists of the 1960s granted to the museum by them. The main exhibits of the museum are the works of Minas Avetisyan, Ashot Hovhannisyan, Martin Petrosyan, Hakob Hakobyan, Gayane Khachatryan, Vruyr Galstyan, the Elibekyan brothers, Harutyun Lakents, Rudolph Khachatryan, Ashot Bayandur and other outstanding artists. In 2007 a new building was allocated to the museum where the works of the artists of middle and younger generation are exhibited.

Martiros Sarian Museum

This museum preserves the studio and some of the works of 20th-century painter Martiros Sarian, known for his colour-saturated canvases.

Today, this three-storey building displays nearly 250 items, including paintings from across Sarian’s career. Many of these celebrate Armenia, and the Armenian landscape, a source of inspiration to the artist from his first visit there in 1901. Alongside paintings, the collection also includes thousands of drawings and watercolours, and the museum hosts a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions. Adjoining the museum, the studio is preserved and displayed as Sarian left it, with his brushes and working clothes still on the table.

St. Sarkis Vicarial Church

Standing up on the upper part of Dzoragyugh Village and facing the old Yerevan fortress on the left bank of the River Hrazdan, a hermitage-monastery was functioning since the earliest Christian era. This spacious complex, surrounded by a high, fortified wall, was made up of the St. Sarkis, the St. Gevork and the St. Hakob churches, of the buildings of the patriarchal offices and school, of an orchard and of other buildings.

The St. Sarkis Church was the official seat of the Patriarch, whereas the monastery was the patriarchal inn for the guests.

The St. Sarkis Church, together with the hermitage-monastery, was destroyed by the big earthquake of 1679. It was, however, rebuilt on the same site during the rule of His Holiness Edesatsi Nahabet Catholicos (1691-1705). The present St. Sarkis Church was rebuilt once again during the period 1835-1842.

With its interior and exterior architectural features this church was the least good-looking among all the churches of the Old City of Yerevan. Its unsightly look did not correspond to its significance as the seat of the Araratian Patriarchal Diocese. During the rule of His Holiness Vazken I Catholicos of Armenians, the church underwent basic renovations and improvements. Based on a plan drawn up by architect Rafayel Israelian in 1972, the reconstruction works of the St. Sarkis Church began and the character of the old building of the church was basically preserved. The fa硤e was covered with Ani orange tufa rocks and engraved with of triangular niches. After R. Israyelian?s death, the construction works were taken over and continued by the co-author, architect Ardzroun Galikian. During the years 1971-1976, the interior look of the church was significantly improved. On the eastern part of the church, a gallery was added for the church choir. As a result of such additions, it was found necessary to remove the old dome and the old drum and to replace them by a much higher dome with polyhedral fan-shaped spire. The construction of the bell tower of the St. Sarkis Vicarial Church was completed in 2000.

The rebuilding of the St. Sarkis Church was made possible by the donation of the benefactors Sarkis Kurkjian and his children, residing in London.

Katoghike

Built to celebrate 1700 years of Christianity in Armenia and consecrated in 2001, this is the largest cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the world. The complex, which has a prominent location atop a hill on the eastern edge of the city centre, consists of three churches: the cathedral, the Chapel of St Tiridates the King, and the Chapel of St Ashkhen the Queen. These two royal figures supported St Gregory in converting Armenia to Christianity.The cathedral was constructed by the initiative of Catholicos Vazgen I. Its construction started on April 7th, 1997 with a ground blessing service conducted by Catholicos Karekin I. The church complex was designed by the architect Stepan Kurkchyan and the construction was completed in 2001.The cathedral houses the relics of Saint Gregory the Illuminator and the Holy Remains of St. Gregory that were brought from Naples, Italy. Shortly after the consecration of the cathedral, Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the cathedral

Katoghike

Built to celebrate 1700 years of Christianity in Armenia and consecrated in 2001, this is the largest cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the world. The complex, which has a prominent location atop a hill on the eastern edge of the city centre, consists of three churches: the cathedral, the Chapel of St Tiridates the King, and the Chapel of St Ashkhen the Queen. These two royal figures supported St Gregory in converting Armenia to Christianity.The cathedral was constructed by the initiative of Catholicos Vazgen I. Its construction started on April 7th, 1997 with a ground blessing service conducted by Catholicos Karekin I. The church complex was designed by the architect Stepan Kurkchyan and the construction was completed in 2001.The cathedral houses the relics of Saint Gregory the Illuminator and the Holy Remains of St. Gregory that were brought from Naples, Italy. Shortly after the consecration of the cathedral, Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the cathedral

Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral

The tiny 13th-century chapel incongruously known as the Katoghike (Cathedral) nestles beside the recently constructed Surp Anna Church. It has a fascinating history: the only Yerevan church to survive a devastating earthquake in 1679, it was incorporated into a new basilica in the 17th century and narrowly escaped being demolished when the Soviets pulled that building down in 1936. A public outcry – highly unusual for that time – led to its preservation.

Yerevan Water World

Yerevan water world is one of the best recreational attractions in the region offering fun and entertainment. It has a large complex of pools and slides that keep the children and adults glued to it. Spread over a huge area of 2.5 hectares, this water zone is best for families, couples, friends as well as children. During winters, its more fun as the largest pool is converted into an ice rink for skating. There is also an indoor water park with several children’s pool that come along with water slides, geysers and jets.

Victory Park

On the green space of Norksk height is located the Victory Park or “Akhtanak” Park dedicated to the victory of the USSR in the Second World War. It is one of favorite places Yerevan citizens. There is the monument called “Mother Armenia” personifying the eternal readiness of Armenia to protect its people. “Mother Armenia” is a sculpture of a woman with a sword in hands and shield at her feet personifying the image of the Native land.The total height of the monument is 43.5 m. The pedestal host the museum dedicated to the victory in the Second World War. In front of the statue on the granite platform burns the eternal flame in the memory to the victims of the Second World War. Round the statue you will see the samples of military vehicles.

Inside the monument there is the military museum of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia . Near the monument stands the tomb of “unknown soldier» as the gratitude to those who died in the struggle against fascism.