The capital of Armenia is called the pink city. Yerevan owes this nickname to pink tuff, from which most of the buildings of the Soviet period were built. The streets and houses look especially impressive at sunset.
Who and why should come to Yerevan
The sights of Yerevan are not limited to the heritage of the country, which has sunk into oblivion. People come here to enjoy the grandeur of the city, which, according to Armenian archaeologists, is older than Rome itself.
Local museums keep rich collections related to the history of Armenia and its outstanding citizens. Such excursions will be of interest to lovers of antiquity and families who come with school-age children.
The temples and churches of Yerevan have a special energy. Religious philosophy, embodied in stone and frescoes, attracts not only pilgrims, but also people who can appreciate the majestic beauty of these unique buildings. Well, the local streets, squares and monumental architecture are of interest to every cultured and simply curious person.
Historical and religious sites
Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator
The most important temple in Armenia was erected in the early 2000s in honor of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity. The ensemble consists of three buildings: the church of St. Queen Ashkhen, the church of St. Tiridates II and the cathedral itself, which can accommodate 1700 believers, which makes it the second largest Christian religious building in Transcaucasia.
Relics associated with Gregory the Illuminator are kept inside. The interior is modest. Its main decoration is a forged chandelier under a giant dome. Behind the cathedral is a beautiful green park with several cafes.
Saint Zoravor Church
Built at the end of the 17th century, this church is the oldest not only in Yerevan, but in all of Armenia. The original architectural feature of the three-aisled basilica is the absence of domes. The walls are decorated with khachkars — stone steles with crosses carved on them. The altar is decorated with an 18th-century fresco depicting the Mother of God with the baby Jesus in her arms. Under the foundation of the church lie the relics of St. Ananias.
The area of the only mosque in Armenia exceeds 7,000 sq.m. It got its name from the blue majolica tiles on the façade. The territory of the complex also includes a library, an exhibition hall and a large green courtyard.
Translated from Armenian, the name of the fortress means “bloody”. The citadel rises on a hill that seems to be covered in blood during the flowering of poppies. Once upon a time, a powerful fortification protected the state of Urartu, which existed here in the 4th-5th centuries. BC.
Now little is left of the majestic city: fragments of the wall, the ruins of city buildings and the ruins of the palace. The fortress offers a panoramic view of the surroundings, Mount Ararat and the modern capital.
Church of St. Anne
Built in 2015, this church does not belong to ancient objects with a rich historical heritage. However, it is worth visiting to get acquainted with the canonical Armenian architecture in its exemplary manifestation.
The walls of St. Ann’s Church are made of travertine and tuff of a rare powdery shade. The facade is decorated with skillful carved ornaments. The temple itself is made in the form of a cross. A pointed dome with sharp corners inscribed in a circle rushes into the sky. The church adjoins the ancient chapel, forming together with it a single architectural complex.
One of the most revered churches in Armenia is located about 40 km from Yerevan at the foot of the biblical Mount Ararat. Tourists are invited to visit the Church of the Holy Virgin, see the monastery buildings of the 7th century, including the dungeon where St. Gregory was kept, and also participate in the ceremony of releasing doves — a symbol of peace and good luck.
Temple of Zvartnots
About 10 km from Yerevan is the ancient pearl — Zvartnots, also known as the Temple of the Vigilant Angels. The structure was buried under a layer of stones and dust for several centuries. It was accidentally discovered during earthworks.
The three-tier temple was built of silvery volcanic tuff, and the height of its walls reached 49 m. A cross of 6 columns was located in the round base. The interior decoration was decorated with frescoes and mosaics, and opposite the altar there was a font with a pool. The ruins are well preserved (as far as possible) and deserve the closest inspection.
A beautiful, wide and elegant avenue stretches for 1.5 km. Being completely pedestrian, it has become a point of attraction for locals and tourists. On both sides of it there are shops, boutiques, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Buildings decorated with tuff and travertine look attractive.
The cozy city park was designed by the Swiss architect Pierre Rembach. Shady alleys invite you to walk, comfortable benches invite you to relax, and quaint statues attract attention. Concerts are held in the summer amphitheater, and ducks are found in a small pond.
The Park of Lovers has its own small cafe. And in the evening, lights are turned on throughout the territory, emphasizing the neat landscape.
Flea market “Vernissage”
Located between Buzand and Aram streets, the flea market can be compared to a museum. Here you can see and buy real rarities, many of which have been preserved in a single copy. Collectors come here to “hunt” for treasures. It is likely that a real masterpiece was lost between the paintings of unknown authors, and a rare stone among the jewelry. If you don’t like anything, just buy souvenirs from local merchants as a keepsake.
A beautiful and well-maintained zoo appeared in the Armenian capital in 1941, and since then it has grown significantly. More than 400 species of birds and animals from all over the world live on an area of over 25 hectares. The main feature of the zoo is a realistic imitation of natural habitats and spacious safari-type enclosures without fencing. For younger visitors, there is a small petting zoo on site.
Brandy factory “Ararat”
There is a thematic museum at the cognac factory. Its expositions tell about the evolution of cognac, and unique photographs and documents are presented on the stands. Of particular interest is the hall with bottles of various shapes, into which alcoholic beverages were previously poured.
Tourists are invited to visit the workshops, where they can see for themselves how cognac ripens and is stored. At the exit, they will visit a tasting room and a souvenir shop.
It is a research center and a museum at the same time, whose name literally means “ancient manuscripts”. The most valuable books, scrolls, manuscripts and other written documents of great value for the culture of the Armenian people are stored here. It is believed that Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet, founded the Matenadaran in the 5th century.
Sergei Parajanov Museum
The famous director of Armenian origin was born and lived all his life in Tbilisi. In their historical homeland, in Yerevan, a house was built and presented to the master, but he did not live in it. In 1991, after the death of Parajanov, the house was turned into a museum. Within its walls are more than 1,500 artifacts associated with the name of the director, as well as his artwork.
Historical Museum and Art Gallery of Armenia
A beautiful building on the main square is shared between an art gallery and a historical museum. The museum has permanent exhibitions: archaeological, numismatic and ethnographic.
The exhibits date back to different times — from the Stone Age to the beginning of the 19th century. The gallery exhibits works by Rubens, Levitan, Repin, Bush, Aivazovsky and Tintoretto.
Dalan Art Gallery
The unusual gallery exhibits the works of Armenian and foreign authors, working on the verge of classics and avant-garde. Each painting or installation has a philosophical meaning, which everyone can try to comprehend.
The main thing is not to stop creative imagination. In addition to permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions are also held here, where you can get acquainted with the creations of progressive local artists.
The gallery has a large souvenir shop, a restaurant, a cafe and a tea house.
House Museum of Aram Khachaturian
In Armenia, they are kind to their outstanding fellow citizens. The house where composer Khachaturian once lived has been turned into a museum. The expositions tell about the musical path of the maestro, his personal belongings, photographs and important documents are stored here. In one of the rooms there is a piano behind which immortal creations were written.
This carpet factory belongs to the Megerian family. Carpets have been woven and restored here for several generations.
A small workshop appeared on a narrow street in Yerevan in 2002 and soon grew into a large-scale production. Under him, a thematic museum appeared, which contains the rarest specimens, including a carpet woven in the 17th century. A creative workshop is also located here, where those who wish are taught how to make carpets and take orders for the manufacture of exclusive products.
The museum, workshops and master classes in weaving carpets are available to both local residents and tourists. A nice addition is a small cafe in the courtyard of the factory, where they serve spicy dishes of Armenian cuisine.
House Museum of Martiros Saryan
The master of landscapes, bizarre scenery, expressive still lifes and poignant literary illustrations, Martiros Saryan worked in a special technique that he invented himself. She made him famous and glorified throughout the post-Soviet space.
On the first floor of the house-museum of the artist, his graphic sketches, sketches of theatrical scenery and drawings are exhibited. The second shows the main works of Saryan — about 50 masterpieces in total. The artist’s studio with unfinished paintings has been preserved on the top floor.
Architectural landmarks and monuments
The majestic building with columns and a spire was built in 1956, immediately becoming the hallmark of the Armenian capital.
The ensemble is made of volcanic pink tuff. The rich exterior decor draws attention. Porticos are decorated with juicy bunches of grapes — a national ornament. On the square in front of the station there is a monument to David of Sasun, the hero of the Armenian epic.
The main square of Yerevan was founded in the middle of the 20th century. It owes its appearance to the architect Tumanyan. Along the perimeter, he placed buildings of cultural and national value: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Main Post Office, the Historical National Museum and the Government Building (it can be recognized by the flag and chimes). But the main decoration of this square is the fountains.
A unique complex of gigantic dimensions is located on the Kanaker Hills. It consists of flower beds spread out in a fancy carpet, fountains, flights of stairs, viewing platforms, terraces, arches and statues. At the top of the composition there is a memorial — a reminder of the victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915. If you don’t want to walk up, you can use the escalator.
The monument was erected in honor of the victory in the Great Patriotic War. The height of the copper statue is 22 m, and the granite base is about 54 m. The composition stands on the top of a hill in Victory Park (Hakhtanak). The gigantic building can be seen from almost anywhere in Yerevan. In the evening, in the rays of illumination, it looks especially solemn.
Charles Aznavour Square
Shakhnur Aznavourian, better known as Charles Aznavour, was born into a family of Armenian immigrants in France. To perpetuate the memory of the popular chansonnier and actor, the Armenian authorities renamed the square near the Moscow cinema in his honor. Aznavour attended the solemn event in 2001.
The semicircular building of the cinema with columns and mosaics, as well as the fountain, organically complement the city landscape.
Opera and Ballet theatre
The Academic Opera and Ballet Theater was founded in 1932, but it received a separate building only 8 years later.
The two-tier structure resembles an amphitheater. The architect O. Tumanyan, who was assigned to lead the project, was inspired by the constructivist style that was dominant at that time. The result was a monumental building that has not lost its relevance to this day.
On the square in front of the theater there are monuments to A.A. Spendiarov, whose name the theater bears, and O. T. Tumanyan himself. A little further there is a cozy square with a decorative pond “Swan Lake”, reminiscent of Lake Sevan in shape.
A massive building made of basalt bricks and tuff is the dominant feature on Republic Square. The facade is decorated with a series of arched columns, in the center there is a tower with chimes. The architecture of the building combines several styles: classicism, neo-gothic and medieval Armenian architecture. Some halls are open to tourists — they host exhibitions and significant events.
Sculpture “Smoking Woman”
The original sculpture is a gift to Yerevan from the outstanding Colombian artist Fernando Botero, who works in the technique of figurative art. The composition represents a magnificent lady lying on her stomach with a cigarette in her right hand. The copper statue received mixed reactions from the townspeople, but it has definitely become a favorite place for photo shoots and selfies.