Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Children of the Armenian Mother
Family climbs the staircase at the base of the statue of Mother Armenia.
about the plan
The monument to Alexander Tamanian, the planner of Yerevan, author of several of its grandiose buildings and squares.
Bici & Alex
Monument to Alexander Spendiaryan, author of the opera shown at the opening of the Opera and Ballet Theater in the Armenian capital.
Elderly person passes by a bar in a Yerevan garden.
after the wars
A woman arrives out of nowhere and parks a white Mercedes SLK next to exposed war material at Mother Armenia's feet.
Panoramic 2
Couple admires the houses of Yerevan and Mount Ararat in the background, already in Turkish territory.
Panoramic 2 II
Couple make out on the edge of Parque da Vitória, with the sun setting to the west and coloring the distant Mount Ararat.
Yerevan at twilight
House of Yerevan and the shape of the double peak of Mount Ararat at dusk.
atrocious memory
Memorial dedicated to the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
Jesus Armenian
Saleswoman displays a picture of Jesus Christ.
between rugs
Vendors surrounded by rugs at Yerevan's Vernissage street market.
semi-underground Yerevan
Pedestrians crossed an intermediate entrance to the city's subway.
Choice of faith
A painting saleswoman displays a religious painting of the Virgin Mary to a potential client.
Armenian Mother, bronze symbol of Armenian power and resilience.
duo photo
Camera sellers at a Vernisage street market stall.
Golden Yerevan
Yerevan autumn scenery with the factory of brandy Ararat high above the grove.
eminent cold
Mistress takes care of her bonnet stand at the Vernisage market in Yerevan.
No sign of balconies
Austere lines of Soviet architecture from the period when Yerevan was one of the many capitals of the USSR.
soviet lines
The entrance to a small shopping center, with architecture from Soviet times in Armenia.
Golden Yerevan II
Section of Praça da República, gilded, at dusk. Republic Square contains the most important architectural ensemble of Yerevan and Armenia.
Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.

We contemplate the houses that fill the valley below the hill of Haghtanak, site of the Park of Victory of Yerevan. A dense morning mist triumphs over the sun and rounds the edges of the yellowish buildings. It makes the silhouette of the brother summits of Mount Ararat more distant and diffuse.

A couple at the fence that closes the park's balcony share a committed embrace and, in that embrace, a view over the urban heart of the motherland.

Couple in Parque da Vitória, Yerevan, Armenia

Couple admires the houses of Yerevan and Mount Ararat in the background, already in Turkish territory

From behind, 51 meters high, the bronze warlike figure of Mother Armenia watches over us all: us, the couple and the million children who, at that hour, were getting ready to dispute the capital.

Like all cities and nations, Yerevan has followed again and again down paths he has repented of. As a capital in the vast universe of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, it admitted a monumental statue of Stalin that celebrated the supremacy of the USSR in World War II.

Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia

Family climbs the staircase at the base of the statue of Mother Armenia.

When Armenian Mother Dethroned Stalin

Five years later, the despotic brutality of Stalin made it persona non grata. In Yerevan, shortly after the dictator's death, it was decided that an Armenian Mother would take his place. In the process, a soldier died. Several workers were injured. The comment that “even in his grave Stalin it made victims”.

The original statue was once considered a masterpiece by sculptor Sergey Mercurov. Rafael Israyelian, the artist in charge of designing the original pedestal – which is the current one – resorted to common sense: “aware that the glory of the dictators is temporary, I built a simple three-nave Armenian basilica.”

Vitoria Park threshold, with Mount Aratat in the background, Yerevan, Armenia

Couple make out on the edge of Parque da Vitória, with the sun setting to the west and coloring the distant Mount Ararat.

Israyelian's work could only please. Armenia was the first state to enact Christianity as an official religion in the early fourth century. The overwhelming majority of its population is part of the Armenian Apostolic Church. This millenary belief does not prevent the faithful from engaging in the conflicts in which they have seen the nation involved.

Every 9th of May, thousands of people climb the Haghtanak Hill to leave flowers at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a tribute to the Armenian martyrs of World War II.

Armenian Genocide, World War II and Nagorno-Karabak

With the event of the Nagorno-Karabak War - enclave that Armenia played with the Azerbaijan from 1988 to 1994 – much fresher in his memoirs, a section of the park was donated to evoke this war.

From her perch above, recharged daily by the glorious Caucasus sun, Mayr Hayastan, as she is referred to in the national dialect, oversees the life of the capital. It also seems to peer into Mount Ararat, long claimed by Armenia but situated just across the border from the nation's other arch-enemy, the Turkey.

A Turkey – or rather the Ottoman Empire of the time – is, in fact, the executioner of a slaughter of more than a million Armenians during and after the 1st World War, from 1914 to 1923, that the victimized nation does everything to make it known as the Armenian Genocide .

Whatever its name, the resentment and hatred generated by such a slaughter ran through successive generations. We prove it whenever, for one reason or another, we mention the Turkey and guide Cristina Kyureghyan and driver Vladimir react with undisguised hurt and disgust.

In 1967, the Armenian Genocide merited a solemn memorial-museum erected on the hill of Tsitsenakaberd, endowed with a 44-meter stele symbolizing the rebirth of the Armenian nation and another eternal flame dedicated to the victims.

Memorial dedicated to the Armenian Genocide, Yerevan, Armenia

Memorial museum dedicated to the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

At the feet of suffering Mother Armenia now lie military relics. An anti-aircraft missile, a wheelless fighter, two tanks and some other large items.

Behind it, a short distance away, is the Haghtanak amusement park where a colorful Ferris wheel turns every evening, loaded with children and teenagers.

Missile, missile launcher and Mercedes SLK at the base of the statue of Mother Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia

A woman arrives out of nowhere and parks a white Mercedes SLK next to exposed war material at Mother Armenia's feet.

The Soviet and War Legacy of Yerevan

Despite the contrasts and inconsistencies, Yerevan thrives. The woman who arrives out of nowhere and parks her flamboyant white Mercedes SLK right next to the tanks and the missile, leaves us with no doubts.

Like the fleet of relics Lada that, without complexes, competes for the capital's roads with more modern and luxurious rivals; the discos, nightclubs and upscale shops that bolide owners frequent, as opposed to the tea houses and retro boutiques that fuel a range of old-fashioned Armenian fashions and inspire the growing local hipster current.

Another key place in the city's commercial dynamics and customs is the Vernissage Market, located along Hanrapetutyun and Khanjyan streets.

Camera sellers, Vernisage market, Yerevan, Armenia

Camera sellers at a Vernisage street market stall.

There we find a little bit of everything from traditional Armenian, from dolls to hand-woven rugs, but also countless leftovers from Soviet times, including shopgirls with proud looks. babushkas.

Remnants of the Soviet era at the street market in Vernissage, Yerevan, Armenia

Remnants of Soviet-era Armenia at Yerevan's Vernissage street market

Since 1988, Republic Square in Yerevan has been the scene of massive demonstrations (some with more than 1 million protesters) that challenged the excessive Russification and corruption in which the nation found itself, demanded democracy and a liberation that, thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev and the Glasnost and Perestroika reforms did not take long.

Post-USSR Bipolar Armenia

Following independence on September 21, 1991, shaky about an amateur transition to a market economy, Armenia's finances collapsed. To the point where, until the mid-90s, the supply of gas and electricity was insufficient and inconsistent.

Real estate speculation has taken hold of Yerevan. Despite the opposition of a large part of the population, new and modern projects led to the destruction of numerous older buildings in the capital, some from the time of the Russian Empire.

As we walk through its streets, old housing relics are rare. We find the exceptions on Avenida Mashtots – comparable to Lisbon's Avenida da Liberdade and on Abovyan and Aram streets.

On these routes, some facades display meticulous and secular masonry works that illustrate the Armenian past in a solitary but dignified way.

Shopping center entrance, Yerevan, Armenia

The entrance to a small shopping center, with architecture from Soviet times in Armenia.

To compensate, Yerevan is full of green spaces. As long as the climate permits, outside the inclement winter of the Caucasus, its people enjoy the parks and terraces. Residents feed the season of khoravats (barbecues) accompanied by oghee (fruit vodka), wine or beer.

As we explore the capital, autumn is about to close. Still, we are contemplated by sunny days, without wind. We almost only feel cold after sunset. The visit thus brings us to an unexpected winter season.

Cristina Kyureghyan and Vladimir take us to traditional taverns and restaurants. There, they fill us with irresistible gastronomic specialties and then present us with new emblematic corners of the capital.

An Elegant Cascade of History

On another of these occasions, we approached the Cascade de Yerevan, a huge limestone staircase at the base of Parque da Vitória. At the entrance, the monument to Alexander Tamanian – the capital's planner, author of several of its grandiose buildings and squares – shows the neoclassical architect examining a plan.

monument to Alexander Tamanian, Yerevan, Armenia

The monument to Alexander Tamanian, the planner of Yerevan, author of several of its grandiose buildings and squares

There are several bronze sculptures swollen by the artistic whim of the Colombian Fernando Botero: “Woman smoking a cigarette","cat"and "The Warrior”. Couples of lovers, mothers and grandmothers with children spend the afternoon in the bosom of these eccentric characters.

Nearby, the sight of a black and maroon Citroën 2 Horses at the base of elegant pink buildings and autumn-leaf trees gives us a Parisian impression.

At a glance, the passage of two soldiers in camouflage with an obvious Eastern Bloc style brings us back to the post-Soviet reality of Cascade itself. Erected, mouthwashed, from 1971 to 2009, from 2000 onwards, it was handed over to the American/Armenian magnate and collector Gerard Cafesjian. This one, renewed it, provided it with art, events and public.

We check into the complex. We come across a long escalator interrupted on each floor so that the visitor can admire the works of art. Part of them appears inside.

Another part, in the large outdoor courtyards, the higher, with better views of Yerevan and Mount Ararat. But never as unobstructed as those on Soviet Armenia's 50th Anniversary monument above, or by the towering Armenian Mother.

Yerevan, Armenia

House of Yerevan and the shape of the double peak of Mount Ararat at dusk.

Between West and East

96 years have passed since the Bolsheviks annexed Armenia to the USSR, as they did neighboring Georgia and the enemy. Azerbaijan.

Today, officially in control of its destiny, Armenia is far from freeing itself from the Kremlin's yoke. The historic enmity with the Azerbaijan and Turkey forces it to rely on Russian military power and admit that the Russia maintain a military base near the border with the Turkey.

But submission to the Big Bear goes further. Like the other former Soviet republics, Armenia is at the mercy of Siberian oil and natural gas and of commercial speculation imposed by Moscow.

It is also dependent on Russian management and maintenance of the Metsamor nuclear power plant, just 36 km from Yerevan. This is an old-fashioned plant located in a highly vulnerable seismic zone.

And it suffers from Russian manipulation by the country's corrupt oligarchs and politicians, several at the head of private or state-owned companies. Together, these front men have diverted many millions of drams (national currency) from the Armenian people to Russian bank accounts, but not only.

Yerevan: a capital in a kind of political twilight

Afternoon gives way to evening. As daylight fades, artificial lighting gilds the pink tuft of the five main buildings on Republic Square of Yerevan, another of Alexander Tamanian's sumptuous works that we soon explored.

Republic Square, Yerevan, Armenia

Section of Praça da República, gilded, at twilight. Republic Square contains the most important architectural ensemble of Yerevan and Armenia

The twilight generates a resplendent gold. Pedestrian columns crisscross what is considered Yerevan's supreme civic space, its most majestic architectural ensemble.

Military buses are installed in the square's parking lot. In a flash, dozens of agents disembark and renew their intimidation.

In recent months, the Armenian people seem to have lost patience once again. He returned to the demonstrations, with redoubled determination.

Part of a reaction dubbed the Velvet Revolution, several civil and political groups led by Nikol Pashinyan of the Civil Contract party organized anti-government protests against the intention of now former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan to extend a third term. At times, these protests reached over 100.000 participants.

Sargsyan resigned. On April 28, 2018, all opposition parties announced that they would support Pashinyan's candidacy, which, in the first instance, the Republican Party managed to defeat. THE Russia has been monitoring and trying to maneuver events.

Still, on 8 May, Pashinyan was elected the new Prime Minister of Armenia. With this result, Armenia took a giant step away from its Soviet and Russian-phile past. In the direction of the democratic West.


More information about Armenia and Eravan on the Armenian Tourism website

Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Alaverdi, Armenia

A Cable Car Called Ensejo

The top of the Debed River Gorge hides the Armenian monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat and terraced Soviet apartment blocks. Its bottom houses the copper mine and smelter that sustains the city. Connecting these two worlds is a providential suspended cabin in which the people of Alaverdi count on traveling in the company of God.
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Upplistsikhe e Gori, Georgia

From the Cradle of Georgia to Stalin's Childhood

In the discovery of the Caucasus, we explore Uplistsikhe, a troglodyte city that preceded Georgia. And just 10km away, in Gori, we find the place of the troubled childhood of Joseb Jughashvili, who would become the most famous and tyrant of Soviet leaders.
lake sevan, Armenia

The Bittersweet Caucasus Lake

Enclosed between mountains at 1900 meters high, considered a natural and historical treasure of Armenia, Lake Sevan has never been treated as such. The level and quality of its water has deteriorated for decades and a recent invasion of algae drains the life that subsists in it.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

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Rabat, Malta, Mdina, Palazzo Xara
Rabat, Malta

A Former Suburb in the Heart of Malta

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Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Gothic couple

Matarraña to Alcanar, Spain (España)

A Medieval Spain

Traveling through the lands of Aragon and Valencia, we come across towers and detached battlements of houses that fill the slopes. Mile after kilometer, these visions prove to be as anachronistic as they are fascinating.

4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Goiás Velho, Legacy of the Gold Fever, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

A Gold Rush Legacy

Two centuries after the heyday of prospecting, lost in time and in the vastness of the Central Plateau, Goiás esteems its admirable colonial architecture, the surprising wealth that remains to be discovered there.
Dunes of Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
bazaruto, Mozambique

The Inverted Mirage of Mozambique

Just 30km off the East African coast, an unlikely but imposing erg rises out of the translucent sea. Bazaruto it houses landscapes and people who have lived apart for a long time. Whoever lands on this lush, sandy island soon finds himself in a storm of awe.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

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Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Traveler above Jökursarlón icy lagoon, Iceland
Natural Parks
Jökursarlón Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

The Faltering of Europe's King Glacier

Only in Greenland and Antarctica are glaciers comparable to Vatnajökull, the supreme glacier of the old continent. And yet, even this colossus that gives more meaning to the term ice land is surrendering to the relentless siege of global warming.
UNESCO World Heritage
Hungduan, Philippines

Country Style Philippines

The GI's left with the end of World War II, but the music from the interior of the USA that they heard still enlivens the Cordillera de Luzon. It's by tricycle and at your own pace that we visit the Hungduan rice terraces.
Zorro's mask on display at a dinner at the Pousada Hacienda del Hidalgo, El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle

El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Back to Danny Boyle's The Beach

It's been 15 years since the debut of the backpacker classic based on the novel by Alex Garland. The film popularized the places where it was shot. Shortly thereafter, the XNUMX tsunami literally washed some away off the map. Today, their controversial fame remains intact.
Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Chamarel waterfall

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.