Tour to the Sights of Gyumri

1 Day
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Prices for Walking Tours in Yerevan *
3 persons 4-5 persons 6 and more persons
38000  AMD / 65  30000 AMD / 50  20000 AMD / 35 

 Tour rates are indicated in drams(AMD) and euro (€) per person

Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia. All the roads lead to Gyumri, whose inhabitants have a wonderful sense of humor. The first residents settled here in the vicinity in the 6th century BC. However, about the real population, it is mentioned only in the 8th century, when the rebellion began with the aim of getting rid of the Arabic government. At that time, this city was named Kumayri. In the Middle Ages, it became a large settlement that developed and expanded year by year. In the middle of the 16th century, Kumayri became part of Persia. At the beginning of the 19th century a war started between Russian and Persian peoples, which lasted for ten years. The Russians came to the Armenian city. In the 1930s, a Russian fortress was built here, after which Nikolai came here and renamed it Alexandrapol. Gyumri was recognized as a city after the visit of the Russian Emperor. Due to the fact that at the end of the 19th century this city had begun to build and expand railway lines, the city was great importance and began to develop rapidly in socio-economic and cultural spheres. In 1924, Alexandrapol went under Soviet rule and became known as Leninakan. Only after independence, the city was given its modern name. Liberty Square in Gyumri is a favorite place for citizens and visitors. There are interesting and ancient historical monuments there, such as St. Hakob church, Amenaprkich, and Mariam Astvatsatsin churches.
Kumayri’s historical preserve is one of the best examples of trade and craftsmanship of post-revolutionary Armenia. Even in the 1980s, it was planned to turn it into a historical-architectural reserve, but the earthquake broke these plans. Kumayri has around 1,000 houses built from the 1800’s to the 1920’s. Initially, houses were built in combination with red and black tuff, from the second half of the 1880s the red tuff was over and white gypsum was used in the black tuff rows to form the fronts. Particular attention is drawn to some later buildings of the XX century, which are dwelling houses, decorated with half-rounded arches and latticed windows. These are interesting examples of converting traditional Armenian architecture.
The district is located in the center of the city, between Shahoumyan street and the Central park. The main streets are Abovyan, Gorki and Zhvani streets. Across to the “Seven wounds” church, there is a map of the area with dozens of historic buildings.
There are no significant places in the Central Park, but it seems that nothing has changed there since the 1950s. There are telephone booths of the Soviet Union times and a fountain with a girl’s sculpture.
The Russian chapel – The chapel of St. Michael Archangel was built in 1879-1980 in the Hill of Honor and served in Alexandrapol as a liturgy chapel. Here were held the funeral services of the Russian soldiers killed during numerous attacks of the Turkish army on the fortress of Kars. The monastery in the yard of the chapel was named Hill of Honor. The structure of the chapel is very unusual. The quadrangle is reinforced with strong crutches and turns into a galvanized dome. Armenians called it Plplán (sparkling), because the dome reflects the sun’s shining.
Arseni Serbs’ Cathedral (Cossack church) – It was built in 1910 as an Orthodox military church in Russian style, which was rarely encountered for these places. During the twentieth century earthquakes, it lost the dome and the whole decor, but in 2014, many funds were collected for its recovery.
The earthquake victims’ memorial – A monument dedicated to the disaster in Armenia was built in memory of the victims of the Spitak earthquake in Gyumri in 1988. After that, Almost 30 years passed after that day, but Armenia has not been completely restored after this catastrophe. For example, destroyed buildings are being reconstructed in Gyumri, but the city is not in its best shape yet. There are many ruins, abandoned houses, even in the center of the city. There are many old and new buses and cottages in the streets that serve as shelter for those who could not save their homes (this monument is located at Liberty Square).
Charles Aznavour’s monument in the square, is dedicated to this great singer. Charles Aznavour’s music is pride of Armenian people. He initially won the magic France with his talent, and then the whole world.
“Mother Armenia” is a monument built in honor of the long-awaited victory in the Great Patriotic War. It is easy to find this monument, as it is located in the center of the city, at Liberty Square. It is a magnificent statue of a strong woman, which is the symbol of the homeland.
Sergei Merkurov’s house-museum – Sergei Merkurov is a Soviet sculptor known for creating the masks of the most famous people living in the first half of the 20th century, including Lenin, Tolstoy and more than 300 others. The exhibition is interesting but it’s for amateurs. There are pictures on the gold wall and masks on pedestals. PAying 2500 AMD you will be provided with an exciting tour of Captain’s style. “Look to the left, this is Lenin’s mask.” Unfortunately, everything is written in Armenian, but if you know Frunze and Sverdlov, you can miss the tour.
Hovhannes Shiraz House-Museum – Classical Soviet Armenian Poet was born in Alexandrapol, but he did not lived there long. If you are not interested in Armenian poems, look at the wonderful house from outside (1886).
The Aslamazyan Sisters House-Museum presents the works of well-known Soviet artists Mariam and Yeranuhi Aslamazyans, who were known throughout the world.
Mher Mkrtchyan House-Museum – The cinema hall is located on the first floor and the personal belongings of the actor are on the second floor – clothes, pictures of films and more. Not far from the museum, the mounument to Mher Mkrtchyan stands in the theater square (Sayat-Nova street), where you can see his face on funny and tragic masks.

The National Museum of Architecture and Folklore, built in 1872, is one of the best examples of Gyumri’s pre-revolutionary architecture, which presents photographs, household items, and local history exhibits belonging to the Alexandrian era.

Seven wounds / St. Astvatsatsin Church was built at the place of a 17th-century chapel, in 1873-1884. In 1988, it also became a victim of an earthquake. In 2001, when it was celebrated the 1700th anniversary of Christianity’s adoption in Armenia, the church was largely restored, but there still remain the original fragments of the dome, which was damaged during the natural disaster. The interior of the church is decorated with frescoes. The peculiarity of this church is that it is the only Armenian church with an illustrated altar.
The Saint Amenaprkich Church decorates the southern part of the square. It was built in 1860-1873 and is considered to be the most beautiful and historic value of Gyumri. The temple was built by Tadevos Andikyan from the design of the Ani Cathedral, which is situated in Turkey nowadays. It is a very luxurious building with rich ornaments that skillfully decorate the facade and the interior. Under the domination of the Soviet power, the bell tower of the church was blown up and it began to serve as a concert hall. In 1988, during the earthquake, the temple was almost completely destroyed. Today it is recovering, but the process is slowing down, as the building is literally being pasted like a broken vase trying to use all the fragments saved. Over the past 30 years, it has been almost managed to return the church its former appearance. The architects have gone to Turkey to visit Ani and make accurate measurements so that the Gyumri temple corresponds to its prototype. There is a square on the eastern side of the temple, where copies of old cross-stones (carved cross-stones and ornaments) have been erected in the ancient medieval cemetery of Jugha.
The Black Fortress is located in the western district of Gyumri, which was the center of the city in the XIX century. A cylindrical gray structure made of black tuff stone stands on the hill. This height was considered a strategically important place for a long time and when the territories of Armenia became part of the Russian Empire, the construction of Black Ghoul began. It was intended to protect the borders from Persian and Turkish threats. It is a well-preserved and semi-round barracks where the remains of the Cossack post and settlement have also remained. Ancient artifacts were discovered under the Black Fortress during the archeological works, which shows that the building was built in the place of older buildings. From the wall of the fort, a wonderful view opens to the landscape of Gyumri, and at the back, you can see the border with Turkey and the copy of the Mother Armenia Memorial.

 

Notes
  • Free of charge for children up to six years without a seat (in the lap of parents)
  • Children from 7 to 12 years old – 30% discount
  • Lunch: 7000 AMD or 1000 rubles. Calculation for one person (pure value)
  • The tour program can be edited at the guests’ request
DEPARTURE TIME Tour start time is variable and depends on the season. The exact time of the trip is coordinated on the spot with the guide
INCLUDED
Access tickets for museums and historical-cultural centers A professional English speaking guide
Excursion service Water
Transport

 

NOT INCLUDED                 
Food: lunch or dinner during the excursion. We can arrange for food service in advance or can recommend a good restaurant
alcoholic beverages
Insurance

 

 

1.  Gyumri- city 

2. The National Museum of Architecture and Folklore

3. Seven wounds / St. Astvatsatsin Church

4. The Saint Amenaprkich Church

5. Kumayri historical preserve

6. The Black Fortress

 

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