Along with many ancient and medieval sights, many modernist monuments from the Soviet era have been preserved in Armenia.
Soviet modernist monuments of Armenia and their condition
Some monuments and buildings from the times of the USSR are fully functioning to this day, however, there are those that have been partially or completely dismantled, or are in a forgotten and half-abandoned state. Let’s find out about the main Armenian monuments of the times of Soviet modernism, some of which have already become a “visiting card” of various cities and regions of the country.
One of the most significant sights of the Armenian capital can rightly be considered a monument to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
The memorial complex of Tsitsernakaberd (“Fortress of the Swallow”) was erected in 1965, after a popular demand to perpetuate the memory of the victims of the greatest tragedy of the Armenian people. The monument consists of 12 basalt slabs bowed, as if in a mournful bow, and a 44-meter stele directed to the sky, symbolizing rebirth. Every year, on the Day of Remembrance on April 24, thousands of Yerevan residents and guests of the capital come here.
“Mother Armenia” monument
One of the most interesting tourist sites in Yerevan is the “Mother Armenia” monument located in the Victory Park. The 22-meter statue rises on a massive pedestal, whose height is more than 30 meters.
It is noteworthy that right inside the pedestal there is a museum dedicated to the victory in the Great Patriotic War. Initially, this place was a statue of Joseph Stalin, later it was replaced by a collective image of a woman-mother, symbolizing Armenia.
International airport “Zvartnots”
Another building that is considered the “face” of Yerevan and a local landmark is the old building of the international airport “Zvartnots”. The original structure is a building in the form of a circle, in the center of which rises a control tower. After the construction of the new airport building, the fate of the old “Zvartnots” was in doubt, but it was decided to keep it as an architectural monument.
In the 1960s and 70s, the so-called “concave cinema” theme was very popular in Soviet architecture. One of the striking examples was the Yerevan cinema “Rossia”, which includes two such auditoriums. At present, the cinema building has been partly built and modernized; a shopping center with the same name operates in it.
Unfortunately, not all monuments have survived to this day in their original form. For example, the Iron Fountain, one of the symbols of the city of Gyumri, has not been functioning for a long time. However, even in such a half-abandoned form, it looks very impressive.
The building of the local railway station in Gyumri
Another interesting attraction of Gyumri is the building of the local railway station. Erected in 1979, the building uniquely combines the features of true Soviet modernism and Armenian medieval architecture.
House of Creativity of the Union of Writers in Sevan
The House of Creativity of the Union of Writers of Armenia in Sevan, designed in 1932, can rightly be called a local landmark and an original monument of Soviet modernism. The building has an unusual shape, its semicircular protruding part seems to hover above the ground. Currently, the building is not in the best condition and needs a full renovation.
The Yerevan “House of Youth” was also once one of the “visiting cards” of the capital. Unfortunately, in 2006 the original building had to be dismantled due to the fact that by that time it was in poor technical condition.
Telescope of Paris Heruni
Of great interest is the unique telescope of Paris Heruni, which was first used in 1986 and allowed to make more than one scientific discovery. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the telescope has ceased to be used, remaining a kind of monument to science and technological progress, however, there are plans to restore it in the future.
Other significant buildings that are considered the legacy of Soviet modernism
Among other significant buildings that are considered the legacy of Soviet modernism are the Sports and Concert Complex named after Karen Demirchyan, an unusual building in the city of Sisian, erected on an outstanding hill, the Yerevan Chess House, the building of the railway station, the Yeritasardakan (Youth) metro station.