1. Republic Square and National Gallery and Armenia History Museum
Here in Armenia, Republic Square is considered to be one of 10 most beautiful squares of the world. Well, unfortunately, I couldn't find the source but I totally agree with the statement. Republic Square is really thrilling. It was constructed from 1924 to 1929. Its architect is a genial Armenian architect - A. Tamanyan who also designed Yerevan in general. The square is surrounded by The National Gallery and The History Museum, The Ministry of Territorial Administration of Armenia, The Government House, The Central Post-Office of Armenia, The Marriott Armenia Hotel, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia. In the night the square is especially beautiful because of the 'Dancing' fountains. The square is the beloved place of Yerevan couples.
One can think that Matenadaran - The Ancient Manuscripts Museum could be a boring place. However, it is just the first and false impression. I am only 22 years old and I can tell that Matenadaran was awesome. Every single book, every single page of the books covers a very interesting story. I will bring just one example. The heaviest book in Matenadaran was around 34 kg. During Armenian Genocide it was carried out from Turkey by two sisters. They cut the book into 2 pieces - 17 kg each and tied to their bodies. One of them died during their escape from Turkey and her piece was lost. The other piece was saved. A few years later the second part was saved by a Russian soldier.
And believe me; other very amazing stories are covered in the walls of Matenadaran. This one was just one of them.
Matenadaran is surrounded by sculptures of the great minds of Armenia and Mesrop Mashtots - the inventor of Armenian alphabet is standing in the middle with his pupil - Koryun.
3. Opera House
Opera House is the other great building by the genial A. Tamanyan. Located in the heart of Yerevan, it is indeed a piece of art from outside and of course it is magnificent inside. It would be enough to say that it is one of few Opera Theatres in the world that were able to perform Aida of Giuseppe Verdi but one should also know that Opera House has held concerts of such artists as Charles Aznavour, John McLaughlin, Emir Kusturitsa and No Smoking Orchestra, Ian Anderson and many others. Opera House is surrounded by the Freedom Square where Armenia has celebrated its independence in 1991. Now it is the beloved place for most Armenians, Couples, Tourists and of course the Protesters!
4. Tsitsernakaberd and Genocide Museum
Tsitsernakaberd is the place where Armenians gather to remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Every April 24 people from Yerevan, other regions of Armenia and even a lot of Diaspora representatives walk to the eternal fire and put flowers in memory of the millions of people died during the tragedy.
For details, photos and other information of the Armenian Genocide people visit the Genocide Museum which is located in 30-40 meters away from the monument.
However, Tsitsernakaberd is a wonderful park too where Yerevan couples love to spend time. It is a huge park with a lot of trees. And as it is very highly located the view is wonderful from there especially at night!
5. Arin Berd or Erebuni Fortress
This is where Yerevan and modern Armenia begin. Being founded in 8th century BC and surviving to our times it is one of the oldest fortresses in the world. And it makes Yerevan one of the oldest cities of the world. Arin Berd in translation from Armenian means Fortress of Blood though it's not so scary. Indeed, this fortress is of a great historical value. So if you are interested in archeology or history, this is the place that you cannot miss!
6. Cascade and Cafesjian Museum
Cascade is my personal favorite. I go there with my friends to drink a cup of coffee and with my girlfriend to walk there. Cascade is just a masterpiece in term of architecture. From the top of cascade you can see the most beautiful panorama of Yerevan and Ararat if you are lucky enough because mostly Ararat is covered with clouds and is invisible. And Cafesjian with the Museum has decorated Cascade in a very beautiful way. There are a lot of original statues there.
And of course don't miss the Museum. It is a very good museum with statues and pictures by local and international artists.
7. Ararat Brandy Factory
Ararat is a symbol of Armenia but so is Ararat Brandy Factory. Any Brandy lover should know that after France the best Brandy in the world is produced in Armenia, but some even prefer Armenian Brandy to French. Ararat Brandy Factory is an old school top quality brandy maker - indeed the best one in Armenia. And it has a very interesting history which is too long to be covered in this article. I recommend you to take the excursion in the factory and do a degustation of the brandy.
8. Northern Avenue
Constructed in 2007 Northern Avenue became another beloved place for Yerevan walkers. Northern Avenue was included in Tamanyan's Yerevan city plan but he wasn't able to construct it.
It connects the 2 Yerevan Famous Squares - The Republic Square and the Freedom Square (where Opera House is located).
Due to time challenges it was modernized and the buildings are far too high compared to Tamanyan's project. Thus, some say that it is changing the city face stating that it is the 'Desert Avenue' due to the lack of trees. Others say that is very modern and they would love to have an apartment there. Anyway, all of them love to take a walk in this Avenue with their beloved, friends, children...
9. Museum of Parajyanov
Until now there are a lot of cinemaddicts that still remember the great Armenian movie director Parajyanov as he is one of the world-renowned geniuses in that sphere... Some greatest directors such as Fellini, Tarkovsky, Vigo, Antonioni, Godard and many others knew and respected Parajyanov as mastermind of his genre.
His Museum is a great one. And one can find illustrations, drawings, dolls and screenplays of the Artist. After visiting you will have a lot of good memories.
10. Museum of Saryan
Well, everybody who explores the world of art, the world of drawings should know Martiros Saryan as he is indeed a great painter. He is famous all over the world because of his ability to show the power of the colors. His paintings are very colorful and very beautiful... It is too hard to transfer that beauty by words.
So you should absolutely see his museum where you can find a lot of his paintings. You won't regret a second of the time spent in his museum.
11. Saint G. Lusavorich Church
Grigor Lusavorich - Gregory the Illuminator is the one who converted Armenians to Christianity from Paganism making Armenia become the first country to be officially Christian in 301 AD. It's our pride to say that even suffering because of being Christian for more than 1700 years we are still Christians.
The Church is constructed in 2001 on the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia. It's a big and amazing church and it is visible from many corners of Yerevan.
12. Surb Sargis Church
Surb Sargis (Saint Sergius) was a brave and noble commander who fought for Old Greece, Old Rome, Armenia and Persia. He always hurried to help the ones who needed and he was fantastically fast. He won all the battles that he participated in. However, he was Christian, and therefore he was not accepted by the countries he fought for except Armenia (Armenia was a Christian country at that time). The leaders of Greece, Rome and Persia tried to kill him and finally Shahpuhr of Persia managed to do so. Many attempts to persuade him to change his belief failed as Sargis was very strong both physically and mentally.
He also managed to marry a Greek girl after converting her family to Christianity.
Surb Sargis is one of the most beloved Saints of Armenians. Armenians think that Sargis connect hearts like Saint Valentine. In fact, Surb Sargis is Armenian match of Saint Valentine.
His church is not the most beautiful and amazing one but it is the most popular church because of the story of Surb Sargis.
Blue Mosque is the only acting Mosque in Yerevan. It was constructed by Persians in 18th century because at that time Armenia was occupied by Persians and was a region of Persia. At the soviet era because of their secularist policy the Mosque stopped its services and became the Museum of Yerevan. However, with the independence of Yerevan and with the help of Iran government the Mosque once again started acting as a Mosque.
It is a very beautiful building from inside and outside. After the restoration all the decorations and architecture were preserved.
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