Yerevan Sights and Landmarks Guide, Armenia
The capital and largest city of Armenia, Yerevan, is best known to be a little time capsule that preserves a tiny fragment of Soviet culture, at least when it comes to architecture. What not many people know is that Yerevan is actually one of the world‘s oldest cities that has been continuously inhabited since its foundation. Despite its long history, Yerevan was not a particularly large or important city before the Soviet rule. In merely fifty years, Yerevan became the cultural, political and economic centre of the country. The Soviet architecture is the city’s most prominent feature, and also a curiosity for most tourists, but for the past decade the appearance of the city has been going through a process of modernization. Yerevan is a great destination for visitors who are on the lookout of historical sites and monuments, and this Yerevan Sights Guide will point out some attractions that you absolutely shouldn’t miss.
Yerevan Sights Guide – Museums and Galleries
As the cultural centre of the country, Yerevan is full of museums, libraries and galleries. The National Gallery of Armenia is located in the Republic Square, and it hosts the largest collection of art in the city. The gallery was founded in the 1920’s, and it displays Russian, Armenian and Western artworks from the Middle Ages to the present. Amateur historians will probably enjoy the Matenadaran, an immense collection of ancient and medieval manuscripts covering different subjects, written in Armenian and many other languages. The collection was gathered from all over Armenia (many manuscripts were brought from Van during the Genocide), but also from across the borders, from example from Tbilisi or Moscow. Erebuni Fortress Museum is an over 2500 years old Urartian fortress whose ruins have been beautifully preserved. Tourists can take a walk on the fortress’ narrow streets, and visit the royal palace whose murals still retains their vivid colors.
Yerevan Sights Guide – Architecture and Other Sights
St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral is a magnificent example of modern religious architecture. The church was completed in 2001, and it houses the remains of St. Gregory the Illuminator, given back to Armenia by the Vatican on the occasion of the church’s consecration. Katoghikeb, a very old and small church in the city centre, is a rare example of Armenian architecture, overshadowed by the Soviet architecture predominant in the city. The Opera House is the city’s most important building, built by Alexander Tamanian, one of the most famous Armenian architects. Numerous cafes and restaurants surround the Opera, so it is the main meeting place of locals. For an amazing bird’s eye view of the city, this Yerevan Sights Guide recommends that you climb the Cascades, a long white stairwell that leads up to a hill in the city centre. In summer and autumn, the stairs are used as seating places for outdoor concerts. The Ararat Cognac Factory is the oldest distillery in the country, where visitors can go on a guided tour of the factory and are offered a free tasting of the distillery’s brands.
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