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.
Generations
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.
Mater
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 website of Armenia Tourism

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.
Armenia

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.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Safari
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2nd - Chame to Upper PisangNepal,

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Pisang.
by the shadow
Architecture & Design
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Adventure
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Tiredness in shades of green
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
Registration Square, Silk Road, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Cities
Samarkand, Uzbequistan

A Monumental Legacy of the Silk Road

In Samarkand, cotton is the most traded commodity and Ladas and Chevrolets have replaced camels. Today, instead of caravans, Marco Polo would find Uzbekistan's worst drivers.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi
Meal
Singapore

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.
Djerbahood, Erriadh, Djerba, Mirror
Culture
Erriadh, Djerba, Tunisia

A Village Made Fleeting Art Gallery

In 2014, an ancient Djerbian settlement hosted 250 murals by 150 artists from 34 countries. The lime walls, the intense sun and the sand-laden winds of the Sahara erode the works of art. Erriadh's metamorphosis into Djerbahood is renewed and continues to dazzle.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Sport
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Traveling
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
Ethnic
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
History
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Vesikko submarine, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland
Islands
Helsinki, Finland

Finland's once Swedish Fortress

Detached in a small archipelago at the entrance to Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built by the Swedish kingdom's political-military designs. For more than a century, the Russia stopped her. Since 1917, the Suomi people have venerated it as the historic bastion of their thorny independence.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Literature
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Dead Sea, Surface of Water, Lower Land, Israel, rest
Nature
Dead Sea, Israel

Afloat, in the Depths of the Earth

It is the lowest place on the surface of the planet and the scene of several biblical narratives. But the Dead Sea is also special because of the concentration of salt that makes life unfeasible but sustains those who bathe in it.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Natural Parks
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Ruins, Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
UNESCO World Heritage
Discovering Tassie, Part 2 - Hobart to Port Arthur, Australia

An Island Doomed to Crime

The prison complex at Port Arthur has always frightened the British outcasts. 90 years after its closure, a heinous crime committed there forced Tasmania to return to its darkest times.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Characters
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Sesimbra, Vila, Portugal, castle
Beaches
Sesimbra, Portugal

A Village Touched by Midas

It's not just Praia da California and Praia do Ouro that close it to the south. Sheltered from the furies of the West Atlantic, gifted with other immaculate coves and endowed with centuries-old fortifications, Sesimbra is today a precious fishing and bathing haven.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Religion
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal,

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
cowboys oceania, rodeo, el caballo, perth, australia
Society
Perth, Australia

The Oceania Cowboys

Texas is on the other side of the world, but there is no shortage of cowboys in the country of koalas and kangaroos. Outback rodeos recreate the original version and 8 seconds lasts no less in the Australian Western.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Wildlife
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
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.
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