Museum City Guide: My Top 5 in Yerevan

August 19, 2013

Armenia

We’ve almost come to the end of my summer ‘Museum City Guide’ series. Only two more cities to go. This week’s penultimate guide is devoted to fascinating Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia which I had the privilege of visiting last year.

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1. The Yerevan “Cascade”

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The most impressive sculpture park I’ve ever come across has to be the ‘Cascade’ in Yerevan. It’s easy to see where it gets its nickname – at a 15 degree incline and over 570 steps, a series of plateaus and fountains which stretch along the length of the staircase literally cascade down the hillside and continue into the park at the bottom. There are both steps and escalators (inside) leading to the top, from which you have fantastic views of the city!

Read the full post on the Yerevan Cascade.

2. “Matenadaran” – Ancient Manuscript Museum

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Matenadaran means “depository of manuscripts” in Armenian. It holds one of the world’s richest collection of medieval manuscripts and books. Subjects span a broad range, from history, philosophy and art to geography, cosmography and medicine, not only in Armenian but also in many other languages.

Read the full post about Matenadaran.

3. Armenian Genocide Museum

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It covers a rather grim episode of 20th century history, but to gain an understanding of Armenia and its people, the Armenian Genocide Museum is not to be missed. Be prepared for an emotional visit.

Read the full post about the Armenian Genocide Museum.

4. Aram Khachaturian House Museum

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Aram Khachaturian (1903 – 1978) is often listed as one of the three great names in Soviet music alongside Prokofiev and Shostakovich, so if you’re even slightly interested in classical music, you should include the Aram Khachaturian House Museum on your itinerary. It includes an exhibition devoted to the composer’s creative output and personal artifacts, as well as the original rooms where he resided.

Read the full post about the Aram Khachaturian House Museum.

5. Yerevan History Museum

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For a good introduction to the city of Yerevan, look no further than the Yerevan History Museum. The main exhibition includes archaeology, ethnography, numismatics, fine arts, written records, photography and more. In some ways Yerevan History Museum is just like any other local history museum, the main difference being it’s about Yerevan. If you’ve never been to the Yerevan or Armenia before, it’s definitely a good place to start before diving into the rest of the city’s cultural life.

All that museum visiting making you hungry?

Since I was in Armenia for a conference, we were mostly catered for and I didn’t really explore the cafes and restaurants in Yerevan or eat at any of the museums. However, you should definitely take the chance to spend an evening in one of the open air cafes or bars based around the Opera, Freedom Square and Swan Lake. I’d also absolutely recommend trying some fresh pomegranates and persimmons, they were the best I’ve ever eaten. And for drinks, the beer is cheap but you might want to try a glass of the famous Ararat brandy instead. For a non alcoholic drink, the thyme tea sounds unusual but is quite refreshing.

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