Gyumri is the second-largest city after Yerevan. Its original name is Kumayri. After the visit of Russian emperor Nikolay I in 1837, the city was named Alexandrapol after his wife Alexandra Feodorovna. In Soviet times it was named Leninakan (Lenin’s). This district badly suffered because of the earthquake in 1988. Later it was partly reconstructed. The city was renamed Kumayri in the post-Soviet period, later it became Gyumri.
Since ancient times Gyumri was considered as a city of craftsmen known for their skills and craftsmanship. Today the city is the peculiar cultural capital of Armenia. Let’s see what 10 attractions should you visit in Gyumri!
Vartanants square is the main square of the city. Here you can see the monument to national hero St Vardan Mamikonian who laid down his life for the Armenian nation and Christianity. The square is also decorated with “singing fountain”.
Holy Savior Church and Holy Mother of God Church
These two churches are located in the square. The Holy Mother of God church is also known among people as the church of “Seven wounds” (“Yot verk”).
This street is a part of the historical district “Kumairi” which is a perfect example of the old city during its best times. The buildings on Abovyan street are built with black tuff. The distinctive architecture gives a unique charm to this street. Windows, walls, and main entrances are decorated with elaborate and skillful carvings on the stones that convert every house into a particular work of art.
The Gallery of Aslamazyan Sisters
The Gallery of Aslamazyan sisters is located in one of the oldest houses on Abovyan street. The building of the gallery has great architectural value. The exhibition consists of more than 620 canvases, which were given to the gallery by prominent Aslamazyan sisters.
The black fortress located on the hill has maintained its majestic and formidable shape. This construction was erected by the Russian government in 1834. The fortress was a strong fortification for the city which was located near the border with Turkey. The citadel inspired fear with its strong position.
Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life
You can see many curious exhibits as well as feel the spirit of the old city in this museum. That is accompanied with re-created interior and unique models that seem to be scenes from the daily life of Alexandapol and Kumayri.
Gyumri Central Park
The Central park of Gyumri is a chill oasis in the city center. Here you always can have a rest and spend a good time with your family.
The brewery was established in Gyumri in 1909. Unfortunately, it was nearly destroyed because of the earthquake in 1988 but later it was reconstructed and got its original historic appearance. The brewery became a local place of interest. Guided excursions are organized at the brewery, the program includes beer tasting.
Alley of Khachkars
The alley of crosses (khachkars) is a parkway with more than 20 reproductions of khachkars that were devastated in Jugha. Here you can see many works standing out with their unique grace and stone ornaments.
The chapel was built in the years 1879-80. Burial services of Russian soldiers were held here. People named the church “Plplan” (shining) because of its extraordinary metallic dome which always shone brightly in the sun.