{Armenia} Yerevan History Museum

October 31, 2012

Armenia

Yerevan is the largest city in Armenia and also the country’s capital since 1918 (prior to Yerevan becoming the capital, there were 11 other historical capitals of Armenia). It’s therefore not surprising that there is a museum dedicated to the history of the city. The ICOM-CECA Conference opening reception actually took place at the museum. Alas, my plane arrived too late to take part, but I managed to sneak away one afternoon to see it.

The Yerevan History Museum was founded in 1931 as the Communal Museum.It has been housed in various different buildings throughout the city, and has been in its current location next to the Yerevan Municipality building since 2005. The main exhibition, which includes archaeology, ethnography, numismatics, fine arts, written records, photography and more, is spread across three floors.

The ground floor takes us right back in time to Yerevan in Ancient Periods and the Middle Ages. A central model of the city is surrounded by archaeological exhibits including arrows and axe heads, jewellery, pottery, coins and even an ancient burial.

The second floor is dedicated to Yerevan in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. There is a series of room settings with period furniture and furnishings, including a study, bedroom and dining room.

A further series of shop settings, including a photographer’s studio and a seamstress, gives an insight into historical working life in Yerevan.

Other exhibits include another model of the city and the keys to the city gate, but also e.g. weapons used during the Russian/ Persian wars. Fine art prints dotted around the room depicting scenes from Yerevan at the time give some historical context. There are also some folk art items in display, such as these lovely puppets:

Finally, the top floor looks at Yerevan in its role as capital city. Here you can find the symbols of Yerevan: the flag, the emblem, the hymn. There are maps, coins and medals of the Patriotic War. More fine art paintings of the city and of Mount Ararat – which now lies in Turkey but is still very important to Armenia – sit alongside old photographs showing the industries of the city, e.g. wine, cable and soap factories.

The general topics you would associate with a city are also covered, such as public transport – with a tram model and a report on the opening of Yerevan underground – and a gallery of photos and autographs of Armenian celebrities including singers, musicians and artists. Yerevan also proudly shows of its achievements in other areas, with an array of awards, certifiates and diplomas ranging from architecture to sports to tinned fruit.

In some ways Yerevan History Museum is just like any other local history museum, the main difference being it’s about Yerevan. And if you’ve never been to the Yerevan or Armenia before, you might just want to spend an hour there before diving into the rest of the city’s cultural life, as it gives you a great introduction to the place. Most of the exhibits are labeled in English as well as Armenian, and at only 500 AMD admission price (just under 1 GBP or roughly 1 Euro) there really is no excuse. It’s also one of the few museums in Yerevan open on a Monday.

 

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4 Responses to “{Armenia} Yerevan History Museum”

  1. Theresa Macaulay Says:

    The lighting in your pictures makes it look really inviting!

    Reply

    • jennifuchs Says:

      Thank you Theresa. I think local history museums sometimes get overlooked as there are other more interesting or unique museums beckoning visitors, but they’re a great introduction to a new place.

      Reply

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