Must See in Gyumri
The northern Armenian town of Gyumri situated 126 kilometers north of the capital city of Yerevan is the second largest city in Armenia and the capital of Shirak Province. Gyumri, a disaster zone since 1988, after a huge earthquake pummeled the city, is currently reviving and turning into an appealing city with hope for a new life in the nearest future.
Photo by VP Photography
/ In Antiquity and the Middle Ages the city was called Kumayri, then Gyumri until 1837. It was called Alexandropol since 1837 to 1924, Leninakan between 1924 and 1990, and Gyumri since 1990. /
Gyumri is one of the most important sights to visit while visiting Armenia. Here are our recommendations about the must-sees in Gyumri:
Merkurov House Museum
Sergey Merkurov (1881-1952), one of the most important Soviet sculptors, is an author of more than 300 death masks and monumental memorials of renowned people. His house museum was opened in Gyumri in 1984. Currently, the exhibition of the only original death mask of Lenin and post-mortem masks of 59 Soviet leaders and famous people are on view in the museum.
The historic district of Kumayri is considered to be an open-air museum full of traditions and authentic urban Armenian architecture. Walk in this oldest area of Gyumri to find more than one thousand 18th and 19th century original buildings made of red or black tuff.
This is the central square of the town, which is a short walking distance from the historic old town. Here you can see the building of Gyumri City Hall built in 1933, the 19th century Church of Holy Saviour and the 19th century Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God.
Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life
Culture lovers will enjoy a visit to this museum, which represents public and cultural life of old-time Gyumri. The museum was founded in 1984, however the building of the museum dates back to 1872. Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00am to 5:00pm.
/ In 1875, Bronze Age artefacts were found in Gyumri and, in 1908, artefacts from 10 century BC. First serious archeological excavations were held in 1928, during which remntants of such animals as an elephant, dawn horse, bull, camel were found. In 1941, mammoth ribs were found… /
Sev Berd, translated from Armenian «սեւ բերդ», is interpreted as Black Fortress in English language. This big and round Russian fortress (19th century) sits on top of a hill overlooking the town of Gyumri. From here you can also see the statue of Mother Armenia.
We recommend you also see Saint Arsenije Russian church built in 1910 and known as Kazachi Post among the locals.
There is much more one can experience in Gyumri: extremely hospitable and humorous people despite the experienced hardships over time, plenty of spotless culture and traditions. You will sure come back with a bag of anecdotes told by the locals.
Leave a comment to let us know which one is your favorite?