Yerevan (/ˌjɛrəˈvɑːn/; Armenian: Երևան [jɛɾɛˈvɑn], listen (help·info)), is the capital and largest city of Armenia, and one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center 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 history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by kingArgishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain.Erebuni was "designed as a great administrative and religious centre, a fully royal capital." After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the First Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire settled in the area. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century as Armenia became part of the Soviet Union. In a few decades, Yerevan was transformed from a provincial town within the Russian Empire, to Armenia's principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, as well as becoming the seat of national government.
With the growth of the economy of the country, Yerevan has been undergoing major transformation as many parts of the city have been the recipient of new construction since the early 2000s, and retail outlets such as restaurants, shops, and street cafes, which were rare during Soviet times, have multiplied.
As of 2011, the population of Yerevan was 1,060,138, making up to 35.1% of the total population of Armenia.
|Nickname(s): "The Pink City" (վարդագույն քաղաք vardaguyn k'aghak' , literally "rosy city")|
|Coordinates: 40°11′N 44°31′E|
Yerevan has an average height of 990 m (3,248.03 ft), with a minimum of 865 m (2,837.93 ft) and a maximum of 1,390 m (4,560.37 ft) above sea level. It is located on to the edge of the Hrazdan River, northeast of the Ararat plain (AraratValley), to the center-west of the country. The upper part of the city is surrounded with mountains on three sides while it descends to the banks of the river Hrazdan at the south. Hrazdan divides Yerevan into two parts through a picturesque canyon.
Historically, the city is situated at the heart of the Armenian Highland, in Kotayk canton (Armenian: Կոտայք գավառ Kotayk gavar, not to be confused with the current Kotayk Province) of Ayrarat province, within Armenia Major.
As the capital of Armenia, Yerevan is not part of any marz ("province"). Instead, it is bordered with the following provinces:Kotayk from the north and the east, Ararat from the south and the south-west, Armavir from the west and Aragatsotn from the north-west.
Yerevan is home to dozens of museums, art galleries, and libraries. The most prominent of these are the National Gallery of Armenia, the History Museum of Armenia, the Cafesjian Museum of Art, the Matenadaran library of ancient manuscripts, and the Armenian Genocide museum. Others include the Modern Art Museum, the Children’s Picture Gallery, and the Martiros Saryan Museum. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening every year, featuring rotating exhibitions and sales.
Constructed in 1921, the National Gallery of Armenia is Yerevan's principal museum. It is integrated with the History Museum of Armenia. In addition to having a permanent exposition of works of painters such as Aivazovsky, Kandinsky,Chagall, Théodore Rousseau, Monticelli or Eugène Boudin, it usually hosts temporary expositions such as Yann Arthus-Bertrand in 2005 or the one organized on the occasion of the Year of Armenia in France in October 2006. The Armenian Genocide museum is found at the foot of Tsitsernakaberd memorial and features numerous eyewitness accounts, texts and photographs from the time. It comprises a Memorial stone made of three parts, the latter of which is dedicated to the intellectual and political figures who, as the museum's site says, "raised their protest against the Genocide committed against the Armenians by the Turks. Among them there are Armin T. Wegner, Hedvig Büll, Henry Morgenthau, Franz Werfel,Johannes Lepsius, James Bryce, Anatole France, Giacomo Gorrini, Benedict XV, Fritjof Nansen, Fayez al-Huseini". This place of remembrance was created by Laurenti Barseghian, the Museum's director, and Pietro Kuciukian, the founder of the "Memory is the Future" Committee for the Righteous for the Armenians. This Memorial hosts the ashes or fistfuls of earth from the tombs of the Righteous and of those non-Armenians who witnessed the genocide and tried to help the Armenians. Here, people also celebrates living characters who stand out for their pro-memory engagement.
The Matenadaran is a library-museum regrouping 17,000 ancient manuscripts and several bibles from the Middle Ages. Its archives hold a rich collection of valuable ancient Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, Hebrew, Roman and Persian manuscripts. It is located on Mashtots Avenue at central Yerevan.
Next to the Hrazdan river, the Sergey Parajanov Museum that was completely renovated in 2002, has 250 works, documents and photos of the Armenian filmmaker and painter. Yerevan has several other museums like the museum of the Middle-East and the Museum of Yerevan.
Here is a list of Yerevan's most important museums:
|Erebuni museum||founded in 1968 near the Erebuni fortress.|
|History Museum of Armenia||opened in 1921, contains more than 400,000 items and pieces of Armenian heritage.|
|National Gallery of Armenia||exhibits more than 25,000 painting samples of Armenian, Russian and European artists.|
|Matenadaran||Library, museum and institute of ancient manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots.|
|Cafesjian Museum of Art||Gerard L. Cafesjian Museum and Art Centre of the Cascade complex, opened on 7 November 2009, showcases a massive collection glass artwork, particularly the works of the Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. The front gardens showcase sculptures from Gerard Cafesjian's collection.|
|Armenian Genocide Museum||Armenian Genocide museum-institute, part of the Tsitsernakaberd genocide memorial.|
|House-Museum ofHovhannes Tumanyan||opened in 1953, home to many personal belongings of poet Hovhannes Tumanyan along with his personal library.|
|House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian||opened in 1984, contains more than 18,000 valuable items.|
|House-Museum ofMartiros Saryan||contains many art works of painter Martiros Saryan.|
|House-Museum ofKhachatur Abovian||the home of writer Khachatur Abovian in Kanaker, turned into museum in 1939.|
|Sergei Parajanov Museum||opened in 1991, exhibits the works of Sergei Parajanov and many other directors.|
|Military Museum||within the Mother Armenia complex at the Victory Park, dedicated to the World War II and Karabakh war.|
|Charents Museum of Literature and Arts||located on Aram street.|
|ARF History Museum||commemorates the history of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and its notable members.|
|Yerevan History Museum||founded in 1931, reopened in 2005 in the new complex of the Yerevan City Hall.|
|Komitas Museum||founded in 2015, located near the Komitas Pantheon.|
On 6 June 2010, Yerevan was named as the 2012 World Book Capital by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Aremnian capital was chosen for the quality and variety of the programme it presented to the selection committee, which met at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on 2 July 2010.
The city is home to many cinema halls; among them the famous Moscow Cinema. Most of the world's hit movies are available to watch there. Since 2004, every year Moscow Cinema hosts the Golden Apricot international film festival. Many other cinema halls characterized with important architectural values are operating in the city such as Hayrenik Cinema, Nairi Cinema, Rossiya Cinema, etc.
The Yerevan Opera and Ballet Theatre consists of two concert halls: Aram Khatchaturian concert hall and the hall of the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Alexander Spendiarian. The Komitas Chamber Music Hall is the home of chamber music in Armenia.
Numerous cultutal centres and halls allow the audience to enjoy a multitude of various shows and performances, such as the modern Complex named after Karen Demirchyan. Other significant theatres include: Sundukyan State Academic Theatre, Paronyan Musical Comedy Theatre, Stanislavski Russian Theatre, Drama and Comedy Theatre named after Edgar Elbakyan, Yerevan State Dramatic Theatre named after Hrachia Ghaplanian, Yerevan State Hamazgain Theatre and the State Puppet Theatre named after Hovhannes Tumanyan.
Tourism in Armenia is developing year by year and the capital city of Yerevan is one of the major tourist destinations. The city has a majority of luxury hotels, modern restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. Zvartnots airport has also conducted renovation projects with the growing number of tourists visiting the country. Numerous places in Yerevan are attractive for tourists, such as the dancing fountains of the Republic Square, the State Opera House, the Cascade complex, the ruins of the Urartian city of Erebuni (Arin Berd), the historical site of Karmir Blur (Teishebaini), etc. The Armenia Marriott Hotel is situated in the heart of the city at Republic Square, while other major chains are also present in downtown Yerevan, such as the Royal Tulip Yerevan Hotel and the Best Western Congress Hotel.
The location of Yerevan itself, is an inspiring factor for the foreigners to visit the city in order to enjoy the view of the biblical mount of Ararat, as the city lies on the feet of the mountain forming the shape of a Roman amphitheatre.
Yerevan has an extensive nightlife scene with a variety of night clubs, live venues, street cafes, jazz cafes, tea houses,casinos, pubs, karaoke clubs and restaurants. The city prides itself on having connections 24/7 as taxis are available at any time of the day or night. The city has played host to many world-famous musical acts.