Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia. The city has very long and ancient history: in 782 BC King Argishti I founded the Erebuni fortress at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. During the centuries the fortress was constantly inhabited, it became to play more and more important role in Armenia's life and finally expanded to what we know today as Yerevan. Modern city's population is around 1,060,000 people. In Soviet epoch, Yerevan was rapidly growing: a lot of new buildings were constructed and with Alexander Tamanian's brilliant design Yerevan turned into one of the most beautiful capitals in USSR.
It remains the same today. With its active nightlife, jazz-music festivals, warm climate and hospitable people modern Yerevan has a lot to offer. Armenia's capital is full of interesting museum and great monuments. We especially recommended you to visit Cascade complex and Cafesjian Center for the Arts, History Museum of Armenia, Sergei Parajanov museum and Surb Grigor Lusavorich Cathedral.
Ararat Brandy Company
Ararat Brandy Company (Yerevan Brandy Company) was founded in 1887 by a first guild merchant Nerses Tairyants and his cousin Vasily Tayrov. Together they began to distill brandy inside the former fortress in Yerevan. In 1898 Nikolay Shustov, Russian vodka and liquor producer bought the company. It took 55 years for the Ararat Brandy Company to be separated from Yerevan Wine Company: a new building on a high plateau at the other end of the Victory Bridge was constructed for the production of brandy in 1953. Today Ararat Brandy Factory is owned and operated by the French company Pernod Ricard.
Erebuni is an ancient fortified city located in the present day Yerevan. It was founded by urartian King Argishti I in 782 BC on the top of a high hill called Arin Berd (meaning "fortress of blood" in Armenian). Soon enough Erebuni became one of the most important political and cultural centers of Urartu. During the reign of other urartian kings like Sarduri II and Rusa I the fortress was also used as a stage for new conquering campaigns. Erebuni stayed put and inhabited throughout centuries and eventually branched out to become what is now know as modern Yerevan. In fact, the very name of Armenia's capital has originated from word "Erebuni".
The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, or the Matenadaran, is altogether a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and a museum located in Yerevan. It was built in 1957. In 1962 Matenadaran was named after Surb Mesrop Mashtots, creator of the Armenian alphabet. Later in 1960's large statues of famous Armenian scholars like Toros Roslin, Anania Shirakatsi, Movses Khorentasti, Mkhitar Gosh and Firk were placed on the left and the right sides of Matenadaran's entrance. Today, the Matenadran is in possession of an impressive collection of nearly 17,000 manuscripts and 30,000 other documents.
Mother Armenia Monument
Mother Armenia is a 51 meters height statue placed in the Victory Park in Yerevan. This female personification of Armenia was designed by Ara Harutyunyan. The monument itself is made of hammered cooper, while the pedestal is of basalt. Mother Armenia was installed in the park in 1962 replacing the statue of Joseph Stalin. This impressive statue symbolizes "peace through the strength" and refers to many important female figures in the history of Armenia. Because of its location on a high hill overlooking to Yerevan, Mother Armenia looks like a guardian of the city.
Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex
Tsitsernakaberd (meaning "swallow's fortress" in Armenian) is a memorial complex dedicated to the victims of Armenian Genocide. The complex is located on the high hill of the same name in Yerevan. The story behind this memorial's construction is actually very dramatic. In 1922 Armenia became a part of Soviet Union and for more than 30 years Armenians had to forget about their tragedy, keeping it in their hearts, but never speaking aloud. This hurtful situation changed in when Yakov Zarobyan became the 1st Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia. Zarobyan was born Arvin, in 1915 together with his family he had to escape to Ukraine in order to save his live. Thus, Zarobyan himself knew very well what an awful massacre the Armenian Genocide was. In 1964, when it was one year left till the 50th anniversary of the tragic events Yakov Zarobyan decided that the time had come. The first secretary used all his power and diplomacy in order to convince Moscow to allow Armenians built a memorial. He succeeded. The construction of a memorial began in 1966 and was finished a year after. Tsitsernakaberd memorial was designed by architects Arthur Tarkhanyan, Sashur Kalashyan and Hovhannes Khachatryan. Every year on April 24th thousands of Armenians visit this memorial to commemorate the victims of the genocide.
Yerevan Botanical Garden
Yerevan Botanical Garden was opened in 1935 in the Avan district of Yerevan. Its impressive collection includes more than 200 rare and endemic plants making it a great place to study Armenian flora in a natural environment. Total area of the garden is around 80 hectares. Today Yerevan Botanical Garden is the part of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.
The Yerevan Cascade is a large stairway complex connecting the downtown area of Yerevan with the Kanaker-Zeytun district. The construction of the complex began in 1971, when Armenia was still part of the Soviet Union. In 1980, the first block of the stairway was ready, but further construction was stopped. Twenty years later in 2002 the Cascade complex was handed-over to American Armenian businessman mister Gerard Cafesjian, who completely renovated and restored it. Today, the Yerevan Cascade house The Cafesjian Center for the Arts, a museum famous for its impressive collection of modern art.