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{Armenia} Music rising from the ruins

November 21, 2012

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Armenia has some pretty impressive architecture. I’ve already mentioned the very beautiful 4th century Echmiadzin Cathedral. Alas, another beautiful cathedral that we we were introduced to, this time from the 7th century, was destroyed, probably by an earthquake, in the late 10th century. Its ruins were discovered and excavated in the early 20th century, and the “Zvarnots Historical and Cultural Museum Reserve” tells its story. Beginning with a gallery about the archaeological excavations. and the architectural structure and construction techniques of Zvarnots Cathedral, visitors are […]

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{Armenia} Treading on Holy Ground

November 14, 2012

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I’ve introduced you to a couple of wonderful museums from Yerevan now, but during the ICOM-CECA Conference we also had the opportunity to go on a day trip and see some more of the country. We had a choice of four different options, and I chose the one with the main focus of visiting Echmiadzin in Armavir Province, Central Armenia, about 20km from Yerevan. Echmiadzin is home to Echmiadzin Cathedral, also known as the ‘Mother Cathedral of Holy Echmiadzin – the central cathedral of the […]

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{Armenia} The Yerevan ‘Cascade’

November 12, 2012

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Yerevan Cascade

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is an interesting city. It expanded rapidly during the 20th century, evolving from a town of a few thousand residents to Armenia’s cultural and industrial centre with a population of over 1 million. Even in the 21st century it has continued to undergo major transformations. The result is a mixture of wide avenues reminiscent of Parisian boulevards, interspersed with sleepy little lanes, the magnificent opera house sits in the middle surrounded by open air cafes and restaurants that seem to […]

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{Armenia} Ravished Armenia

November 7, 2012

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Armenian Genocide Museum - Ravished Armenia

The most emotional visit during my trip to Armenia has to be to the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial. If, like me, you knew little of this rather grim episode of 20th century history, I will try and summarise it: The Armenian Genocide is defined as the atrocities committed against the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Although the government of the Ottoman Empire had already previously decided to deport all Armenians from what was Western Armenia (Eastern Turkey), it […]

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{Armenia} Yerevan History Museum

October 31, 2012

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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 […]

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{Armenia} “Matenadaran” – Ancient Manuscript Museum

October 29, 2012

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So, 4 days in Armenia, 8 wonderful museums. I thought I would start with Matenadaran, which means “depository of manuscripts” in Armenian, and had to be the obvious choice to host a conference on museums and written communication. 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. The collection holds about 17,000 manuscripts, including 2,500 illuminated […]

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