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Yerevan

Yerevan (, ; sometimes written as Erevan, Erewan, Ayrivan, and Erivan; former names include Erebuni, Ereun) is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. It is situated on the Hrazdan River, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital of Armenia since 1918 and the twelfth in the history of Armenia.

The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extremity of the Ararat plain.[1] After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the Democratic Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide settled in the area. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century when Armenia became one of the fifteen republics in the Soviet Union. In fifty years, Yerevan was transformed from a town of a few thousand residents during the first republic to the principal cultural, artistic and industrial center as well as becoming the seat of the political institutions of the country.

With the growth of the economy of the country, Yerevan has been undergoing a major transformation as construction sites have appeared all over the city since the early 2000s. Today, the appearance of new buildings, roads, restaurants, boutiques, quarters etc. have started to erase the traces of 70 years of Soviet dominance.

In 2007, the population of Yerevan was estimated to be 1,107,800 people with the agglomeration around the city regrouping 1,245,700 people (official estimation[2]), more than 33% of the population of Armenia.

Contents


Etymology and symbols

Early Christian Armenian chroniclers attributed Yerevan's origin to having been derived from an expression exclaimed by Noah, in Armenian, while looking in the direction of Yerevan, after the ark had landed on Mount Ararat and the flood waters had receded: "Yerevats!" ("it appeared!").[3] Another theory on the origin of the name is that the city was named after the Armenian king, Yervand IV (the Last), the last leader of the Orontid Dynasty and founder of the city of Yervandashat.[3] However, it is likely that the city's name is derived from an Urartian military fortress called Erebuni (Էրեբունի), which was founded on the territory of modern-day Yerevan in 782 B.C. by Argishti I.[3] As elements of the Urartian language blended with that of the Armenian one, it eventually transformed into Yerevan; scholar Margarit Israelyan notes these changes when comparing inscriptions found on two cuneiform tablets at Erebuni:

The principal symbol of Yerevan is Mount Ararat of Turkey which is visible from any area in the capital. The seal of the city is symbolized by a crowned lion on a pedestal with the inscription "Yerevan" with the head turned back and holding a scepter with the right front leg, which is the attribute of power and royalty. The symbol of eternity is on the breast of the lion with a picture of the Ararat in its upper part. The emblem has a form of a rectangular shield with the blue border line.[4]

On 27 September 2004, Yerevan adopted a hymn, "Erebuni-Yerevan", written by Paruyr Sevak and composed by Edgar Hovhanissian. It was selected in a competition for a new hymn and flag that would best represent the city. The chosen flag has a white background with the seal in the middle surrounded by twelve small red triangles that symbolize the twelve historic capitals of Armenia. The flag shows the three colours of the Armenian National flag on itself. The lion is on the orange background with blue edging.[5]

History

Early history

The remains of the Erebuni Fortress, which was built by king Argišti in 782 BC. The origin of the name Yerevan is unknown. The territory of Yerevan was settled in the fourth millennium BC, fortified settlements from the Bronze Age include Shengavit, Tsitsernakaberd, Teishebaini, Arin Berd, Karmir Berd and Berdadzor. Archaeological evidence, such as a cuneiform inscription[6], indicates that the Urartian military fortress of Erebuni (Էրեբունի) was founded in 782 BC by the orders of King Argishti I at the site of current-day Yerevan, to serve as a fort and citadel guarding against attacks from the north Caucasus.[3] Yerevan is thus one of the most ancient cities in the world.

The cuneiform inscription found at Erebuni Fortress reads:

“By the greatness of god Khaldi, Argistis, son of Menuas, built this mighty stronghold and proclaimed it Erebuni for the glory of the country of Biainili and for holding the enemies country’s in awe, by the greatness of god Khaldi, Argistis, son of Menuas, mighty king, king of the country of Biainili, ruler of the town of Tushpa

Between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, Yerevan was one of the main centers of the Armenian satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. During the height of Urartian power, irrigation canals and an artificial reservoir were built on Yerevan's territory. In 585 BC, the fortress of Teishebaini (Karmir Blur), thirty miles to the north of Yerevan, was destroyed by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians.

Due to the absence of historical data, the timespan between fourth century BC and third century AD is known as the "Yerevan Dark Ages." The first church in Yerevan, the church of St. Peter and Paul, was built in the fifth century and was demolished in 1931 to build the Moscow Cinema.

Persian and Ottoman rule

An illustration of Yerevan by the French traveler Jean Chardin in 1673. In 658 AD, Yerevan was conquered, during the height of Arab invasions. Since then the site has been strategically important as a crossroads for the caravan routes passing between Europe and India. It has been known as "Yerevan" since at least the seventh century AD. Between the ninth and eleventh centuries, Yerevan was a secure part of the Armenian Bagratuni Kingdom, before being overrun by Seljuks. The city was seized and pillaged by Tamerlane in 1387 and subsequently became an administrative center of the Ilkhanate. Due to its strategic significance, Yerevan was constantly fought over and passed back and forth between the dominion of Persia and the Ottomans.

At the height of the Turkish-Persian wars, the city changed hands fourteen times between 1513 and 1737. In 1604, under the order of Shah Abbas I, tens of thousands of Armenians (including citizens of Yerevan) were deported to Persia. As a consequence, population became 80 percent Muslim (Persians, Turco, Kurds) and 20 percent Armenian. Muslims were either sedentary, semi-sedentary, or nomadic. Armenians lived in Erevan or the villages. The Armenians dominated the various professions and trade in the area and were of great economic significance to the Persian administration.[7] The Ottomans, Safavids and Ilkhanids all maintained a mint in Yerevan. During the 1670s, the Frenchman Jean Chardin visited Yerevan and gave a description of the city in his Travels of Cavalier Chardin in Transcaucasia in 1672-1673. On 7 June 1679, a devastating earthquake razed the city to the ground. During the Safavid Dynasty rule, Yerevan and adjacent territories were part of the Čoḵūr Saʿd administrative territory. This lasted until 1828 when the region was incorporated into Russian Empire.

The coat of arms of the Erivan Governorate.

Russian rule

The Parliament of Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1920) During the second Russian-Persian war, Yerevan was captured [3][8][9] by Russian troops under general Ivan Paskevich on 1 October 1827. It was formally ceded by the Persians in 1828, following the Treaty of Turkmenchay. Tsarist Russia sponsored Armenian resettlement from Persia and Turkey; by the turn of the twentieth century, Yerevan's population was over 29,000, of which 49% were Azerbaijanis (then referred to as Azerbaijani Tatars), 48% Armenians and 2% Russians.[10] It served as the seat of the newly-formed Armenian Oblast and subsequently the Erivan Governorate.

View from old Yerevan The city began to grow economically and politically, with old buildings torn down and new buildings in European style erected in their place. In 1829, Armenian repatriates from Persia were resettled in the city and a new quarter was built. By the time of Nicholas I's visit in 1837, Yerevan had become a uyezd.

The first general plan of the city was made in 1854, during which time the women's colleges of St. Hripsime and St. Gayane were opened and the English Garden built. In 1874, Zacharia Gevorkian opened Yerevan's first printing house and in 1879 the first theatre, sited near the church of St. Peter and Paul, was established. Two years into the twentieth century, a railway line linked Yerevan with Alexandropol, Tiflis and Julfa, the same year Yerevan's first public library opened. In 1913, a telephone line with eighty subscribers became operational. The early twentieth century saw the governorship of Erivan province by Louis Joseph Jérôme Napoléon (1864-1932), grandnephew of Napoleon I.[11]

Brief independence (1917–1920)

At the start of the 20th century, Yerevan was a small town with a population of 30,000.[12] In 1917, the Russian Empire ended with the October Revolution. In the aftermath, Armenian, Georgian and Muslim leaders of Transcaucasia united to form the Transcaucasian Federation and proclaimed Transcaucasia's secession.

The Federation, however, was short-lived and on 28 May 1918, Yerevan became the capital of the newly-independent Democratic Republic of Armenia and therefore became the center of independent Armenia. On 29 November 1920, the Bolshevik 11th Red Army occupied Yerevan during the Russian Civil War. Although nationalist forces managed to retake the city in February 1921, the city once again fell to Soviet forces on 2 April 1921.

Soviet Yerevan

The Parliament House, formerly was the central headquarter of the Communist Party of Armenia Armenian Opera Theater in Yerevan was built between 1926 to 1953, as part of architect Alexander Tamanian's plans to redesign the city. Yerevan became the capital of the newly formed Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. The Soviet era transformed the city into a modern industrial metropolis of over a million people, developed according to the prominent Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian's designs. Yerevan also became a significant scientific and cultural center.

Tamanian incorporated national traditions with contemporary urban construction. His design presented a radial-circular arrangement that overlaid the existing city. As a result, many historic buildings were demolished, including churches, mosques, the Persian fortress, baths, bazaars and caravanserais. Many of the surrounding districts around Yerevan were named after former Armenian communities that were decimated by the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide. The districts of Arabkir, Malatya-Sebastia and Nork Marash, for example, were named after the towns Arabkir, Malatya, Sebastia, and Marash, respectively. Following the end of the Second World War, German POWs were used to help in the construction of new buildings and structures, such as the Kievyan Bridge.

In 1965, during the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Yerevan was the center of a 24-hour mass anti-Soviet protest, the first such demonstration in the Soviet Union, to demand recognition of the Genocide by the Soviet authorities.[13] In 1968, the city's 2,750th anniversary was commemorated.

Archbishop]] Rowan Williams at the Armenian Genocide memorial in Yerevan. Yerevan played a key role in the Armenian national democratic movement that emerged during the Gorbachev era of the 1980s. The reforms of Glasnost and Perestroika opened questions on issues such as the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the environment, Russification, corruption, democracy, and eventually independence. At the beginning of 1988, nearly one million Yerevantsis engaged in demonstrations concerning these subjects, centered on Theater Square.[14]

Post-USSR independence

Following the downfall of the USSR or Soviet Union, Yerevan became the capital of the Republic of Armenia on 21 September 1991. Maintaining supplies of gas and electricity proved difficult; constant electricity was not restored until 1996. Also in the last five years, central Yerevan has been transformed into a vast construction site, with cranes seemingly outnumbering trees. Officially, the scores of multi-storied buildings are part of large-scale urban planning projects. Roughly $1.8 billion was spent on such construction in 2006, according to the national statistical service. Prices for downtown apartments have increased by about ten times over the last decade, realtors say. However, some experts have voiced their opinions, and have asserted that many of the new edifices violate urban planning and earthquake safety requirements.

Northern Avenue
Northern Avenue

Political demonstrations still occur in Yerevan, usually as a result of disputed election results. In 2008, unrest in the capital between the authorities and opposition demonstrators led by ex-President Levon Ter-Petrossian occurred after the 2008 Armenian presidential election. The events resulted in ten deaths[15] and a subsequent 20-day state of emergency declared by President Robert Kocharian.[16]

Geography

Yerevan from space.

Topography and location

Yerevan is located in Eastern Armenia to the center-west of the country in the north-eastern extremity of the Ararat Valley. The upper part of the city is surrounded by mountains on three sides while to the south it descends to the banks of the river Hrazdan, a tributary of the river Arax. The Hrazdan divides Yerevan in two within a picturesque canyon. The city's elevation ranges between 900 to 1,300 m (3,000 to 4,300 ft) above sea level.

As the capital of Armenia, Yerevan is not part of any marz ("province"). Instead, it borders the following marzer: Kotayk (north), Ararat (south), Armavir (southwest) and Aragatsotn (northwest).

Climate

Khor Virap mountains

The climate of Yerevan is relatively continental, with dry, hot summers and cold and short winters. This is attributed to the fact that Yerevan is located on a plain surrounded by mountains and to its distance to the sea and its effects. The summers are usually very hot with the temperature in August reaching up to 40 °C (104 °F), while winters generally carry snowfall and freezing temperates with January being often as cold as -15 °C (5 °F). The amount of precipitation is small, amounting annually to about 350 mm (14 in). The city has an annual period of sunshine of approximately 2,700 hours.[17]

Government and politics

Capital

Yerevan has been the capital of Armenia since the independence of the First Republic in 1918. Situated in the Ararat plain, the historic lands of Armenia, it served as the best logical choice for capital of the young republic at the time.

When Armenia became a republic of the Soviet Union, Yerevan remained as capital and accommodated all the political institution of the republic. In 1991 with the independence of the Third Armenian republic, Yerevan remained the political center of the country and became the location of all the national institution: the Azgayin Zhoghov, ministries, the presidential palace, public organisms and judicial institutions.

Municipalities

The Armenian Constitution, adopted on 5 July 1995, granted Yerevan the status of a marz (region).[18] Therefore, Yerevan functions similarly to the other regions of the country with a few specificities.[19] Great Wall Safe police vehicles in Yerevan. The administrative authority of Yerevan is thus represented by:

The last modification to the Constitution on 27 November 2005 turned the city into a "community" (hamaynk); since, the Constitution declares that this community has to be led by a mayor, elected directly or indirectly, and that the city needs to be governed by a specific law.[23] This law is currently in preparation in the Armenian parliament that adopted its first draft in December 2007 and should do the same in the second draft in spring of 2008.[24] The project on the law envisions an indirect election of the mayor.[25]

Artashes Geghamyan was the last mayor of the Armenian SSR and Hambartsoum Galstyan, the first mayor of the Third Republic. Since 1991, there have been eight mayors of Yerevan. The current mayor is Gagik Beglaryan.[26] In addition to the national police and road police, Yerevan has its own municipal police. All three bodies maintain law in the city by cooperating.

Districts

The twelve districts of Yerevan Yerevan is divided into twelve "neighborhood communities" (թաղային համայնքները), commonly translated as "districts"[27], each with an elected community leader. Each district is divided into neighborhoods (թաղամաս). A district can have up to seven neighborhoods.

Districts and neighborhoods of Yerevan
District
(Համայնք)
Population Area Neighborhood (Թաղամաս)
Ajapnyak
Աջափնյակ
125 800
25 km²
Ajapnyak, Norashen (16 taxamas), Nazarbekian (17 taxamas), Silikian (2-rd gyux), Lukashin, Vahakni, Anastasavan, Cheryomushki
Arabkir
Արաբկիր
150 200
12,35 km²
Nor Arabkir (Komitas), Aygedzor, Mergelyan, Raykom, Kanaker-GES
Avan
Ավան
50 400
8,37 km²
Avan (Varujan, Duryan, Charenc, Isahakyan, Hovhannisyan, Sayat-Nova, Bryusov, Tumanyan), Avan-Arinj, Aghi Hanq
Davtashen
Դավթաշեն
50 500
6,71 km²
Davtashen (gyux, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th block), Huysi Avan
Erebuni
Էրեբունի
126 200
48,41 km²
Erebuni (massiv), Nor Aresh, Saritagh, Vardashen, Mushavan, Verin Jrashen, Kayaran (Vstrech), Butania
Kanaker-Zeytun
Քանաքեր-Զեյթուն
102 700
8,10 km²
Kanaker, Nor Zeytun, Mounument
Kentron
Կենտրոն
179 100
14,20 km²
Pokr Kentron, Noragyugh, Nor Kilikia, Aygestan, Kond
Malatia-Sebastia
Մալաթիա-Սեբաստիա
158 700
25,80 km²
Nor Malatia, Bangladesh (HAT B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, A-1, A-2, A-3 block), Shahumian, Araratian, Haghtanak
Nork-Marash
Նորք-Մարաշ
14 600
4,60 km²
Nork, Nor Marash
Nor Nork
Նոր Նորք
132 100
14,47 km²
Nor Nork (1-9th block), Jrvezh, Bagrevand
Nubarashen
Նուբարաշեն
9 300
18,11 km²
Nubarashen
Shengavit
Շենգավիթ
146 100
4,05 km²
Nerkin Shengavit, Verin Shengavit, Nerkin Charbakh, Verin Charbakh, Noragavit, Aeracia, 1st block, 3rd block (Hayrenik, Cereteli, Yonjlakh, Khrer)

Demographics

Originally a small town, Yerevan became the capital of Armenia and a large city with over one million inhabitants.

Until the fall of the Soviet Union, the majority of the population of Yerevan were Armenians with minorities of Russians, Kurds, Azeris and Iranians present as well. However with the breakout of the Nagorno-Karabakh War from 1988 to 1994, the Azeri minority diminished in the country in what was part of population exchanges between Armenia and Azerbaijan. A big part of the Russian minority also fled the country during the 1990s economic crisis in the country. Today, the population of Yerevan is mainly Armenian.

Like the rest of the country and all other ex-Soviet republics, a lot of people fled their countries (mostly to Europe and North America) due to economic crises. The population of Yerevan fell from 1,250,000 in 1989[17] to 1,103,488 in 2001[28] and to 1,091,235 in 2003.[29] However, the population of Yerevan has been increasing since. In 2007, the capital had 1,107,800 inhabitants.[30]

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Sources : Municipality of Yerevan, ArmStat

Culture

Museums and Libraries

National Gallery of Armenia

Yerevan is home to dozens of museums, art galleries, and libraries. The most prominent of these are the National Gallery 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 principal museum. It is integrated with the Armenia's History Museum of Armenia. In addition to having a permanent exposition of works of painters such as Aivazovsky, Kandinsky, Chagall, Theodore Rousseau, Monticelli or Eugene Boudin,[33] 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.[34]

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 Bull, Henry Morgenthau, Franz Werfel, Johannes Lepsius, James Bryce, Anatole France, Giacomo Gorrini, Benedict XV, Fritjof Nansen, Fayez el Husseini". 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 in the center of the city on Mesrop Mashdots avenue.

Next to the Hrazdan river, the Sergey Parajanov Museum that was completely renovated in 2002, has 250 works, documents and photos[35] of the Armenian filmmaker and painter. Yerevan has several other museums like the museum of the Middle-East and the Museum of Yerevan.[36]

Here is a list of Yerevan's most important museums:

Erebuni Fortress and Museum The museum was founded in 1968 nearby the Erebuni fortress which is commonly known as Arin Bert.
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 ancinet manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots.
Gerard L. Cafesjian Museum of Art Museum of modern arts, is still under construction, located on the top of the cascade.
Museum of Folk Art of Armenia Founded in 1978 and located on teh Abovyan street.
Armenian Genocide Museum Part of Tsitsernakaberd memorial complex.
House-Museum of Andranik Ozanian Opened in 1995 near Komitas Pantheon. Renovated and reopened in 2006 on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of independent.
House-Museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan Opened in 1953. Contains a large number of objects belonged to poet Hovhannes Tumanyan along with his personal library.
House-Museum of Yeghishe Charents Opened in 1964 and located on the Mashtots Avnue.
House-Museum of Avetik Isahakyan Opened in 1963 and located on Baghramyan street.
House-Museum of Alexander Spendiaryan Opened in 1967 and located on Nalbandian street.
House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian Opened in 1984 and contains more than 18,000 valuable items.
House-Museum of Yervant Kochar Opened in 1984 and dedicated to the famous Armenian artist Yervant Kochar.
House-Museum of Martiros Saryan Contains the works of the famous painter Martiros Saryan.
House-Museum of Khachatur Abovian The home of writer Khachatur Abovian in Kanaker was turned into museum in 1939.
House-Museum of Painter Minas Avetisyan Located on Nalbandian street.
House-Museum of Writer Derenik Demerchyan Located on Abovian street.
Sergei Parajanov Museum Opened in 1991 and exhibits the works of Sergei Parajanov and other film directors.
State Museum of Nature of Armenia Contains samples of animal and botanic life in Armenia.
The War Museum "Mayr Hayastan" Located in the Victory Park and dedicated to the World war II and Karabakh Libaration war.
Museum of Russian Art Founded in 1984 and located on Isahakyan street. It contains a number of paintings of Russian artists.
Museum of Children's creative work Gallery located on Abovyan street and exhibits some talents of Armenian children.
Geological Museum of Armenia Located on Abovian street.
Museum-Institute of Zoology Institute and research centre located on Sevak street.
Charents Museum of Literature and Arts Located on Arami street.
ARF History Museum Displays the history of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and of its notable members.
Museum of Middle East Dedicated to the Middle Eastern civilisations and cultures. Located on Arami street.
Museum of Sculptor Ara Sargsian and Painter Hakop Kodjoian Located on Mashtots street.
Museum of History of Yerevan Founded in 1931. In 2005 the museum settled in the newly built building of the City Hall of Yerevan.
Museum of Wood Craft Opened in 1977 and located on Paronyan street.
National Museum of Architecture named after Alexander Tamanyan Contains a research centre and samples of Tamanyan's works. Located on Hanrapetutyan street.

Cinemas, Theatres, Opera and Concert Halls

Baronian]] Musical Comedy Theater Arno Babajanian Concert hall on Abovian street The city of Yerevan possesses a number of operating cinema halls; among them the famous Moskva cinema. Most of the world's hit movies are available to watch at the same time of their release elsewhere. Most of the movies that are shown in the cinemas are Russian.

Since 2004, Moskva hosts each year the Golden Apricot international film festival. The last edition of the festival presided by Atom Egoyan was held from 9 July to 14 July 2007 with the Golden Apricot going to the film Import/Export from Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl.[37]

The Opera Theatre of Yerevan hosts the Aram Khatchaturian concert hall, the national theatre of opera and the Alexander Spendiarian ballet. The numerous theatres have permitted attendance to a multitude of various pieces and the some spectacle rooms, of which the big one Karen Demirchyan Hamalir, sometimes offer some concerts even if the temperate Armenian summers allow the organization of the bulk of the concerts to be held outside.

Amusement Parks and Zoo

Waterworld

The Yerevan Zoo was founded in 1940. After a period of difficulty during the 1990s, the zoo is in better economic shape today. The zoo hosts elephants, eagles, bears, camels and 260 other animal species.[38]

Waterworld is a water park in Yerevan.[39] It has several pools, toboggans, bars and restaurants. The park used to close from October to May but construction of an indoors section called Aquatek has permitted the water park to be open all year. The indoors section has jacuzzis, pools, hammams, fitness rooms, restaurants and a hotel.[40]

On the road to Lake Sevan, there is an amusement park called Play City that has a bowling arena, a cinema, paint-ball, karting and video-game rooms.[41]

Tourism

Best Western Congress Hotel Republic Square Tourism in Armenia has been developing every year and the capital city of Yerevan is one of the major tourist destinations. The city has the majority of hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the country. Zvartnots airport has also conducted renovation projects with the growing number of tourists visiting the country. Two major tourist attractions are the Opera House, the ruins of an Urartu fortress and a Roman fortress. The Armenia Marriott Hotel is situated in the heart of the city at Republic Square (also known as Hraparak).

Transportation

Air

Zvartnots International Airport's new terminal. Yerevan is served by the Zvartnots International Airport, located 12 km west of the city center. It is the primary airport of the country and the hub of Armavia, national air carrier company. Inaugurated in 1961 during the Soviet era, Zvartnots airport was renovated for the first time in 1985 and a second time in 2002 in order to adapt to international norms. It went through a facelift starting in 2004 with the construction of a new terminal. The first phase of the construction ended in September 2006 with the opening of the arrivals zone. A second section designated for departures was inaugurated in May 2007.[42] The entire project costs more than $100 million USD.

The airport serves direct flights to dozens of countries which include France, Russia (most regions), Germany, Greece, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belaruss, Latvia, Iran, Italy, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Switzerland, Georgia etc.[43]

A second airport, Erebuni Airport, is located just south of the city. Since independence of the country in 1991, the airport is mainly used by the military or for private flights. The Armenian Air Force has equally installed its base there and there are several MiG-29s stationed on Erebuni's tarmac.

Bus and Tramway

Yerevan has 46 bus lines[44] and 24 trolleybus lines.[45] The trolleybuses have been operating in the streets of Yerevan since 1949. Old Soviet-era buses are slowly being replaced by new buses. Outside the bus lines that cover the city, some buses at the start of the central road train station located in the Nor Kilikia neighborhood serve practically all the cities of Armenia as well as of others abroad, notably Tbilisi in Georgia or Tabriz in Iran.

The tramway network that operated in Yerevan since 1906 was decommissioned in January 2004. Its use had a cost 2.4 times higher than the generated profits which pushed the municipality to shutdown the network[46], despite a last ditch effort to save it towards the end of 2003. Since the closure, the rails have been dismantled and sold.

Metro

Yeritasardakan metro station Marshall Baghramyan metro station The Yerevan Metro (Երեւանի մետրոպոլիտեն) is a rapid transit system that serves the capital city. It has one 13.4 km (8.37 miles) line and currently services 10 active stations. Its interior resembles that of western former Soviet nations with chandeliers hanging from the corridors. The metro stations had most of their names changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Independence of the Republic of Armenia.

A northeastern extension of the line with two new stations is currently being planned. The construction of the first station (Ajapnyak) and of the one kilometer tunnel linking it to the rest of the network will cost 18 million USD.[47] The time of the end of the project has not yet been defined. Another long term project is the construction of two new lines but these have been suspended due to a deficit in the budget balance.

Train

Sasusntsi Davit metro and train station Yerevan has a single central train station (several train stations of suburbs have not been used since 1990) that is connected to the metro via the Sasuntsi Davit station. The train station is made in Soviet-style architecture with its long point on the building roof, representing the symbols of communism: red star, hammer and sickle. Due to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades of Armenia, there is only one international train that passes by once every two days, with neighboring Georgia being its destination. For example, for a sum of 9 000 to 18 000 dram, it is possible to take the night train to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.[48] This train then continues to its destination of Batumi, on the shores of the Black sea.

The only railway that goes to Iran to the south passes by the closed border of Nakhichevan. For this reason, there are no trains that go south from Yerevan. A construction project on a new railway line connecting Armenia and Iran directly is currently being studied.

Economy

Modern Yerevan The Government House New luxury home in the impoverished Silikyan neighborhood

Industry

In 2001, Yerevan's share of national industrial production was approximately 50%.[49]. Yerevan's manufactures include chemicals, primary metals, machinery, rubber products, plastics, textiles, and processed food. Even though the economic crisis of the 90s ravaged the industry of the country, several factories remain always in service, notably in the petrochemical and the aluminium sectors. Not only is Yerevan the headquarters of major Armenian companies, but of international ones as well, as it's seen as an attractive outsourcing location for Western European, Russian and American multinationals. Yerevan is also the country's financial hub, home to the Armenian National Bank, the Armenian Stock Exchange, as well as some of the country's largest commercial banks.

Yerevan's location on the shores of Hrazdan river has enabled the production of hydroelectricity. Two plants are established on the territory of the municipality.[50] There is also a thermal central station, situated to the city's south, that furnishes equally a little electricity.

Construction

The construction sector has experienced strong growth since 2000.[51] Recently, Yerevan has been undergoing an extensive and controversial redevelopment process in which Czarist and Soviet-period buildings have been demolished and replaced with new buildings. This urban renewal plan has been met with opposition[52] and criticism from some residents. Coupled with the construction sector's growth has been the increase in real estate prices.[53] Downtown houses deemed too small are more and more demolished and replaced by high-rise buildings. Jermaine Jackson has planned to build an entertainment complex in a new 5-star hotel which is being built in the city.

Monuments, movie theaters and other buildings

Matenadaran St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral Yerablur Pantheon

The Cascade Massive white steps that ascend from downtown Yerevan, through Tamanyan street, towards Haghtanak Park (Victory Park).
Erebuni Fortress and Museum Where the city of Yerevan was first founded in 782 BC by King Argishti I.
Cossack Monument A monument to the Cossacks killed during the Russian-Persian wars in 1826-1827.
Karen Demirchyan Complex or Hamalir, Concert hall and sports complex.
Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. One of the richest depositories of manuscripts and books in the world.
Yerevan Opera House The Armenian National Academic Opera & Ballet Theatre.
Swan Lake The most beloved place for the residents of Yerevan, located in the opera park. It turns to ice skating arena in winters.
Lover's Park (Boghossian gardens) Opened in October 2008 on Baghramyan street and has a very unique design.
Moskva Cinema (Kino Moskva) Famous movie theater.
Mother Armenia A statue located in Haghtanak Park (Victory Park).
Nairi Cinema (Kino Nairi) Famous movie theater.
Komitas Pantheon Cemetery where many famous Armenians are buried.
Sasuntsi Davit A statue dedicated to a famous Armenian hero.
Statue of Hayk Statue of a legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation.
Tsitsernakaberd Monument commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Saint Gregory Cathedral The largest Armenian church in th world
Surb Zoravor Church A 17th century church, one of the oldest churches in Yerevan
Blue Mosque A Persian mosque, is the only one working in Armenia.
Yerablur Cemetery where Armenians that fought in the Nagorno-Karabakh War are buried.
Yerevan Waterworld A modern complex of entertainment and water adventures.
Yerevan Zoo Yerevan zoo.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

From Carrara to Yerevan monument Currently, Yerevan has twenty-seven sister cities.[54][55]

City Country Year
Carrara Italy From 1965
Podgorica Montenegro From 1974
Antananarivo Madagascar From 1981
Cambridge, MA United States From 1987[56][57]
Marseille France From 1992
Athens Greece From 1993
Lyon France From 1993[58]
Stavropol Russia From 1994
Ispahan Iran From 1995
Kiev Ukraine From 1995
Moscow Russia From 1995
Odessa Ukraine From 1995
Florence Italy From 1996
Tbilisi Georgia From 1996
Beirut Lebanon From 1997
Damascus Syria From 1997
Saint-Petersburg Russia From 1997
Montreal Canada From 1998
Paris France From 1998
Volgograd Russia From 1998
Bratislava Slovakia From 2001[59]
Minsk Belarus From 2002
São Paulo Brazil From 2002
Akhaltsikhe Georgia From 2005
Chişinău Moldova From 2005
Rostov-on-Don Russia From 2005
Los Angeles United States From 2007

Education

The European Regional Academy The French University in Armenia Yerevan State University As the capital of Armenia, Yerevan has the biggest number of educational institutions in the country. There are 27 colleges[60] and twelve art schools[61] that are administered by the Minister of Education of Armenia.

The biggest public and private universities of Armenia are located in Yerevan. They attract large numbers of foreign students, notably from India and Iran, because of competitive prices and education of health science in English.[62]

Universities

Universities in Yerevan include:

Institute Official website Date
established
Student
population
American University of Armenia AUA http://www.aua.am/ 1991 268
Cavendish University CUA http://www.cavendish.am 2008 550
Eurasia International University EIU http://www.eiu.am/ 1996
State Engineering University of Armenia SEUA http://www.seua.am 1933 10,000
Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction YSUAC http://www.ysuac.am 11 January 1989
Yerevan State University YSU http://www.ysu.am 16 May 1919 10,450
Yerevan State Linguistic University named after Valery Brusov YSLU http://www.brusov.am 4 February 1935 full time 4,700
Yerevan State Medical University named after Mkhitar Heratsi YSMU http://www.ysmu.am 1930
Yerevan State Musical Conservatory named after Komitas YSC http://www.conservatory.am 1921
Yerevan State Pedagogical University named after Khachatur Abovian YSPU http://www.aspu.am/ 1922
European Regional Educational Academy ERIICTA http://www.eriicta.am/ 4 October 2002
Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts YAFA http://www.yafa.am/ 1945
Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography
Yerevan State Institute of Economy YSINE http://www.ysine.am/ 1975
State Agrarian University of Armenia SAUA http://www.armagrar-uni.am/ 1994
Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture ASIPC http://www.asipc.am/ 1945
Russian-Armenian State University RAU http://www.rau.am 29 August 1997 1,600
Fondation Université Française en Arménie UFAR http://www.ufar.am 1995 700
USEL University USEL http://www.usel.am 1991
Urartu University http://www.urartuuniversity.com 1991
Gladzor University http://www.gladzor.am 1990
Yerevan Haybusak University YHU http://www.haybusak.org/ 1990
Northern University (Armenia) http://www.northern.am/ 1996

Sports

The newly renovated Hrazdan Stadium The most played and popular sport in Yerevan is football. Yerevan has many clubs with six in the 2008 season of the top league.

Club Stadium
FC Ararat Yerevan Abovyan City Stadium FC Banants Banants Stadium Kilikia FC Hrazdan Stadium Ulisses FC Republican Stadium Mika FC Mika Stadium Pyunik FC Republican Stadium

Yerevan has four major stadiums which are Banants Stadium, Mika Stadium, Republican Stadium and Hrazdan Stadium, along with two small ones; Nairi Stadium and Erebuni Stadium. Hrazdan is the main and biggest stadium which also houses a sports complex that is composed of boxing and karate training facilities, swimming pool, basket-ball arena and tennis courts.

The biggest indoor arena of the city and the whole country is the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, which is mostly used for Figure Skating shows and concerts.

Armenia has always excelled in chess with its players being very often among the highest ranked and decorated. The headquarters of the Armenian Chess Federation is located in the Kentron (central district) in Yerevan and there exists plenty of chess clubs in the city. In 1996, despite a severe economic crisis, Yerevan hosted the 32nd Chess Olympiad.[63] In 2006, the four members from Yerevan of the Armenian chess team won the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin and repeated the feat at the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden. The Yerevan-born leader of this team, Levon Aronian, is currently one of the world's top chess players and is number six on the April 2008 FIDE rankings.

Notable people

Notable people who are from or have resided in Yerevan:

List of notable persons born in Yerevan: People from Yerevan

Cityscape

Panorama of Yerevan (summer)

Panorama of Yerevan (winter)

<gallery heights="90px" perrow=5 caption="Yerevan"> File:Yerevan in mid-May.jpg|Yerevan skyline File:Armenia Matenadaran.jpg|Matenadaran archives File:Mother Armenia, Yerevan, Day.jpg|Mother Armenia File:Cathedrale-erevan003.jpg|St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral File:Yerevansquarea.jpg|National Gallery, Republic Square, Yerevan File:Hraparak fountains02.jpg|Fountains in front of the National Gallery, Republic Square, Yerevan File:Genocide Yerevan memorial1.jpg|Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial File:Kev pic23.jpg|Mashtots Avenue File:Kev pic655.jpg|Yerevan Brandy Factory File:Kev Muni.jpg|The Municipality of Yerevan File:Kev pic4.jpg|View of Yerevan from the Victory Park File:Kev pic6.jpg|The covered food market on Mashtots Avenue File:Kev pic903.jpg|Komitas' statue in the state conservatory park File:Kev pic904.jpg|Komitas Avenue in Arabkir District File:Kev pic911.jpg|Building with traditional Armenian decoration File:Kev pic55.jpg|Minstry of Foreign Affairs File:Kev pic1291.jpg|The Victory Bridge File:pic997akhg.jpg|The way to Opera House through the Noerthern Avenue File:swan lake opera yerevan.jpg|The Swan lake near Yerevan Opera house File:NightOpera.jpg|The Yerevan Opera House illuminated at night File:Viw from cascade2008.jpg|View from Yerevan Cascade File:View from cascade2008-1.jpg|View of Yerevan from the cascade File:Kev_pc_cas1.jpg|The Cascade from Tamanyan street File:Aragast_restaurant.jpg|A restaurant in a park in Yerevan </gallery>
<gallery perrow=6 caption="Historical photographs of Yerevan under Imperial Russia"> File:Erivan1796.jpg|Yerevan in 1796 File:Erivanrussianchurch.jpg|Yerevan's Russian Orthodox Church File:Erivanmosque.jpg|Minaret of the Urban Mosque of Yerevan File:Erivanbluemosque.jpg|The Khan's Mosque in Yerevan. </gallery>

See also

Footnotes

  1. Population of each district in Yerevan according to the city's official website.
  2. a b c d e Baghdasaryan A., Simonyan A, et al. «Երևան» (Yerevan). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. iii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977, pp. 548-564.
  3. Yerevan.am - Symbols and emblems of the city.
  4. CRW Flags - Yerevan (Municipality, Armenia)
  5. Brady Kiesling,
  6. Encyclopaedia Iranica (George A. Bournoutian and Robert H. Hewsen, Erevan)
  7. ''Erivan'' in the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890-1907.
  8. Encyclopædia Universalis France S.A., « Erevan », 1995.
  9. Death Toll in Armenia’s Post-election Melee Rises to Ten", Armenia Liberty ([RFE/RL]), 14 April 2008
  10. Armenia declares emergency rule", BBC News, 1 March 2008.
  11. a b c V. Azatian et T. Hakopian, Երևան Ереван Yerevan, ИПО Parberakan, Erevan, 1989, p. 284.
  12. a b
  13. .
  14. 2001 Census : ArmStat.
  15. .
  16. a b c
  17. The National Gallery of Armenia has equally a collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures issued from German, American, Austrian, Belgian, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Swiss.
  18. Brady Kiesling, Rediscovering Armenia, 2000, Read online
  19. Julia Hakobyan, « Winter Water World: Popular park expands for cold-weather indulgence » on ArmeniaNow, 2 November 2007 Read online
  20. Announcement by Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan during a visit to the network in January 2008.
  21. G. Beglaryan, Atlas of Armenia and adjacent countries, Noyan Tapan, 2007, p. 8.
  22. ArmeniaNow.com
  23. .
  24. Sister Cities of Los Angeles
  25. "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  26. Richard Thompson. "Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister cities'," Boston Globe, 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.

References

External links

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