Yerevan – a photo essay

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It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a segment in our Magic of Cities series. Well, wait no more. Enjoy these Yerevan photos.

I utterly enjoyed this curious city in the Caucasus and it quickly climbed up the list of my favourite cities in the world. Yerevan is all about colour, water, music, life… it’s a city that makes you want to dance. And you can, of course. Every night between 9 and 11, Republic Square becomes a lively meeting place for friends and families and the occasional tourist – all there to watch the fountains dancing, with water and lights, to the rhythms of Armenian folksongs, classical music, jazz, pop and rock. Seeing the fountains perform to the Ride of the Valkyries is spectacular against the backdrop of the neoclassical buildings on the square.

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Architecture

Yerevan

Armenia was part of the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century, and that past is still visible in the city’s architecture. The railway station (below), which I quite like, once had a hammer and sickle on top of the spire.

Railway station, Yerevan

Another example of the Sovietesque style is the Moscow cinema, built on the site of a Stalin-demolished church. There has been talk of demolishing the cinema to rebuild the church, but luckily, the cinema has many die-hard supporters. I think it’s a beautiful building.

Yerevan

Kaskad – and public art in Yerevan

Kaskad, Yerevan

However, the prize for the most remarkable Soviet Era structure in Yerevan goes to this stairway known as Kaskad, the Cascades. After the collapse of the USSR, Kaskad has been taken over by an Armenian-American, Gerard Cafesijan.

While in Armenia, I became oddly obsessed with Mount Ararat. When I was told this mountain of legend and lore was best seen from the top of Kaskad in the morning, I naturally wandered up the many stairs – again and again. Such a wonderful climb, surrounded with quirky sculptures and fountains, all part of the private collection of said Cafesijan.

In the sculpture garden at the foot of Kaskad are three works by Colombian sculptor Botero, including the sensual smoking woman:
sculpture, Yerevan

Jaume Plensa, who is responsible for the work Conversation in Nice has a few of his thought-provoking shadow sculptures here as well:

I loved these vivid, wacky trees against the cityscape backdrop…

Art, Kaskad, Yerevan

… and this giant teapot. Relieves stress just looking at it, doesn’t it?

teapot, Kaskad, Yerevan

But public art isn’t limited to Kaskad, oh no; you’ll stumble upon it all round town. This sculpture is known as Men, and is from a local 1970s comedy film:

The Men - sculpture, Yerevan

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Art doubles as playground equipment:
Park, Yerevan

And finally, just a wee bit about Armenian food…

As you know, food is not my forte, despite having attended a cooking course or two. Suffice it to say, Armenian food – and wine – is delicious and inexpensive.

Have you been in Yerevan? Curious about the Caucasus?

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17 Responses to “Yerevan – a photo essay”

  1. Muza-chan 27 March 2014 0742 #

    Great pictures :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..Sakura tea

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2049 #

      Thanks :)

  2. zof 27 March 2014 1252 #

    My place in the world!:-)
    zof recently posted..One Day in the Rila Mountains

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2051 #

      You are from Armenia, then? Lovely country.

  3. Leigh 28 March 2014 0337 #

    I’ve never even heard of the place but what a find. I love the stairs, and the art is fantastic – especially the teapot.I recognized Botero from my trip to the Botero Museum in Bogota.And I’d love to see Mt.Ararat.
    Leigh recently posted..A Kayaking Trip on the Georgian Bay, Ontario

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2052 #

      You’d enjoy hiking in the Caucasus mountains, too, I’m sure, Leigh :)

  4. Corinne 28 March 2014 1052 #

    Sophie, I have yet to make it to Armenia….but I’m getting closer and your photos encourage to do this!
    Corinne recently posted..Where to Eat in Singapore – More Hawker Stall Goodness

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2057 #

      Thank you :)

  5. Vera Marie Badertscher 28 March 2014 1709 #

    Honestly you come up with so many magical unknown places that I’m tempted to think you are making them up.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Part II: Where The Authors Are: Tucson Festival of Books 2014

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2056 #

      Yerevan is real. Promise :)

  6. Lisa Goodmurphy 28 March 2014 1730 #

    What a charming looking city – and to think that I had never heard of it until now! Love all the public art – especially the trees with the glass decorations. I would love to spend an evening in Republic Square to see the dancing – what a fantastic idea!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..Instagramming Toronto Architecture

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2100 #

      A very, very charming city indeed.

  7. Mike 29 March 2014 1951 #

    This is great, Sophie and I would most want to see the Kaskad! :)
    Mike recently posted..Top 10 Tom Cruise Movies, Show Me The Money!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2101 #

      Glad you like it :)

  8. Mary @ Green Global Travel 30 March 2014 2052 #

    This really looks like a majestic city! I really love the picture of Kaskad. It is just so beautiful. The artwork and sculptures are breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2104 #

      Thanks for reading, Mary :)

  9. Can’t believe I’ve never heard of it. The public art is great.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Chasing Ice

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