Must-Visit Attractions in Yerevan
Government House on Republic Square in Yerevan | © Dan Lundberg / Flickr
Armenia’s capital Yerevan might not be on your radar of the places to visit in 2018. Yet, the country’s largest city contains some rather interesting monuments you might want to check out. Yerevan is also one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities, therefore history and archeology buffs will enjoy their time here. But don’t worry if you don’t like visiting museums, because the city tries to satisfy each of its visitors by offering various parks, art museums, historical sights, and even a brandy factory.
Cascade Stairway and Museum
Library, Art Museum
Located in the very center of Yerevan
, this immense staircase is a beautiful creation with many terraces encompassed by artsy statues and sculptures, impressive floral ornaments, and some of the city’s best cafés, bars, and restaurants. Climb up the stairs for stunning views of the city and Ararat Mountain, or visit Cafesjian Center for the Arts
to learn more about local art and artists.
Freedom Square, or Liberty Square as it is also often called, is a town square situated in the central district of the city. It is part of the Yerevan Opera Theater complex, located between Swan Lake and the Opera Park. Freedom Square, along with the Republic Square, is one of the main squares in the center of the capital bordering four streets: Mashtots Avenue, Sayat Nova, Tumanyan Steet, and Teryan Streer.
Mother Armenia Monument
Aviation Museum, History Museum, Park
Mother Armenia is a female representation of Armenia itself, located in Victory Park overlooking the capital. The statue is situated on a high pedestal and is 51 meters (167 ft) high in total. The monument symbolizes peace through strength and looks like a guardian of Yerevan. Every year, on May 9, thousands of Armenians come here to commemorate Armenian victims of World War II by laying flowers at its base. And if you are into military history, the pedestal of the statue is home of the Military Museum of the Ministry of Defense, where much of the exhibition space is dedicated to the Nagorno-Karabakh
War of 1988-94.
The opening of the Erebuni Museum in 1968 coincided with the 2,750th anniversary of the city. Standing at the foot of Atin Berd hill, you can explore the museum and the Urartian Fortress Erebuni that sits atop it, which has been turned into an outdoor museum. According to the inscription, the area was built by the King of Urartu, Argishti I, in 782 BCE. Most parts of the fortress were built from raw bricks, while the castle was surrounded by strong walls. Archeologists have found a large collection of artifacts, jars, everyday items, bronze bracelets, agate beads, and glass items, among other things.
Ararat Brandy Factory
Those of you who like trying locally produced alcoholic beverages will enjoy the tour of the Ararat Brandy Factory and its museum. You will learn about the factory, the production process, distilling, and bottling, as well as getting a chance to try some of the varieties of the brandy.
Sergei Parajanov Museum
Sergei Parajanov was a Soviet director and artist of Armenian origin. The house museum represents his artistic and literary heritage, and was founded in 1988 when Parajanov moved to Yerevan and started the construction project for it. Due to socio-economic problems and the 1988 earthquake, the museum was opened only after his death, in 1991. Being one of the cultural centers of the capital, the museum is known for its publications, exhibitions, and honorary receptions. Wander through two floors showcasing around 1,400 items, including drawings, hats, Parajanov’s memorabilia, original posters, festival prizes, unpublished screenplays, and his various artworks.
The Armenian Genocide Museum
Memorial, History Museum
As the name suggests, the museum is devoted to the Armenian Genocide of 1915
by the Ottoman government, who exterminated 1.5 million Armenians during and after World War I in two phases. The museum in Yerevan is a sobering walk back through history, where visitors can learn about the pre-genocide era, see the heart-wrenching interviews, observe the reports, and watch films that testify to the emotional distress of the survivors.
Yerevan Great Blue Mosque
This beautiful Blue Mosque is a Shia mosque built in the 18th century. Much like any other religious buildings, the mosque stopped its service during Soviet rule. However, after Armenia gained its independence, the mosque was renovated with support from the Iranian government. Being the only mosque in the whole country, Blue Mosque is a fascinating architectural site with its colorful design both inside and out, as well as its dome that attracts the eye from a distance.
History Museum of Armenia
History buffs will enjoy a visit to the History Museum of Armenia, which has departments of numismatics, ethnography, archaeology, and modern history. With its national collection of 400,000 objects, the museum is regarded as Armenia’s national museum. Here, you can find a large collection of bronze items dating back to the 3rd-2nd millennia BC, the historical-cultural heritage of Urartu, a collection of gold, silver, and copper coins of different countries and kingdoms, just to name a few.