Yerevan: City History
Main part of prehistoric culture of Armenia was discovered on the territory of the capital- Yerevan. With recorded name in inscriptions It becomes a city in the times of Van Kingdom, which in Assyrian sources is known as the state of Urartu. Argishty I – King of the ancient state of Urartu, built a fortress on the Arin-Berd hill and named it Erebuni. Later the fortress gave its name to the city, that was built around it. Erebuni – Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world, which is considered to be as old as Rome and Babylon. During 2750 years, Yerevan, due to its geographical location on the Ararat valley and various trade routes has achieved not only prosperity but also experienced periods of decline.
In 1918, Yerevan (Erivan) became the capital of the First Armenian Republic. In 1924, for the global reconstruction of the city was used the project that was designed by architect Aleksander Tamanyan. His developed style entirely consisted of national Armenian coloring and combined the elements of church architecture and traditional material – pink tufa. This is the reason why Yerevan was named “Pink City”. During long historic period of development the area of the city has changed a lot. After numerous transformations Yerevan supplemented by numerous architectural structures that represent the features of the city.
Yerevan: National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater
One of the main attractions of the city is the building of National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. The project was awarded the “Grand Prix” at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1937.
One of the most important constructions in Yerevan is Matenadaran- the Institute and Museum of ancient manuscripts. There has been created the optimum temperature, humidity conditions in repositories, which protect manuscripts from damage. There are over sixteen thousand Armenian manuscripts collected in Matenadaran. The first created collection dates back to the V century and is associated with the name of Mesrop Mashtots (ok.361-440), the creator of the Armenian alphabet. In the ensemble of Matenadaran are widely used various sculptures, murals, mosaics, which enrich the strict architecture of the building.
The integral part of the city is Tsitsernakaberd (literally ” swallow’s fortress “) – the memorial complex, which was built in 1966 and dedicated to the victims of Armenian Genocide in 1915. The genocide memorial is located on the Tsitsernakaberd hill.
Yerevan: Other Buildings
“Hahgtanak” (Victory) bridge, the building of Armenian National Academy of Science, the house-museum of Sergey Parajanov and the building of Armenian National Gallery are also significant architectural works.