The Color of the Cranes

For several years now, Yerevan, my absolutely most favorite city on earth, has turned into a big construction ground. While the government reports growth in the tourism sector year over year, I can’t help but wonder – what do all those tourists come here for, there’s not much to see except the construction grounds!?
OK, my guess is – the cranes. You can see them all over the city, different colors, sizes and shapes. Well – why not? I find them… ahem, quite charming at times, don’t you? 🙂

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. I like the new buildings better than the Soviet era. Too bad the historical buildings were torn down for that. There should have been a solution that kept the old buildings and built the new ones as well. I think there is an example of that in Yerevan that is a hotel.

  2. […] speculates that the reason more and more tourists are coming to Yerevan is to see all the colorful cranes. Share […]

  3. Soviet-era apartment blocks were built with the same haste as these “elite” buildings. My concern is that these new buildings may not withstand the potential earthquake or other natural hazard, as they are built with the sole purpose of profit first and foremost.
    I also lament the loss of historical architecture to ruthless business mobsters.

  4. Rhyne – this is where I will disagree. When I see the quality of construction I am simply amazed: these guys are putting serious bucks into construction, and because this is all private money, not Soviet money, there is serious quality control as far as I can see.
    In fact if I could forget for a moment, that much of this construction has resulted in people being thrown out of their houses to clear space for new buildings, I would applaud all this construction going on in the city.

  5. Observer, I like the monolyth construction method as well. When you look at the load carrying walls, it’s amazing. They are built like they could withstand a nuclear blast. When it’s you own building, you care about its longevity.
    The Soviet era buildings were built with fingers crossed. They put the concrete blocks on top of each and if they didn’t collapse at that time then everything was OK. It was like a house of cards – one small breach and the whole thing could come down.

  6. Old Yerevan definetely had its charms as well as its shortcomings. We’re talking 25-35 years ago. Today, in retrospect, its also a mixed bag of good and bad. BUT THEY DESTROYED WHAT WAS GOOD TO LAUNDER THEIR ILL GOTTEN GAINS!!!!

  7. Well, you might actually ask the government about the nationality of those tourists. I bet the 90% are Armenians who just come every year as a way to keep their roots connected with the country and showing their foreign born children what is it that they should call a homeland.

  8. I don’t believe the buildings in Central Yerevan are being constructed well at all. I think the materials being used are poor quality. Slapping some thin tuf or granite tiles on a cement high-rise facade that is already crumbling is shoddy building. Not to mention that none of these buildings seem to be able to withstand an earthquake, which supposedly will be hitting Yerevan not very long from now.

  9. Tigran – you have a point there! 🙂

  10. When I visited Washington, D.C. last year, I’ve noticed a small cozy early-20th century house with a backyard when walking along M Street in Georgetown. I was amazed and became envious of how caringly the municipal authorities have preserved this sole piece of “old” Washington.
    It’s all about the level of maturity, public-spiritedness, open-mindedness, and artistic culture of the national elite. What can we possibly expect from a ruling provincial karabakhi clan and their nouveaux rich brown-nosers in Armenia? Of course, Europhile concrete glass buildings untypical for the whole panorama and unique architectural style of Yerevan that are being built on the sites of destroyed old buildings. For narrow-minded municipal and state rulers, demolition is easier, and less costly, that preservation. And the destruction of the Yerevan Youth Palace, so dear to every Yerevantsi’s heart has accentuated the sheer idiocy, intrinsic provincialism, and unruly wealth hunger of these unelected, anti-popular elites.
    I believe that one day, with God’s help, they too will be demolished the way they desecrate the beautiful face of my city.

  11. I must say, that I could not agree with you in 100%, but that’s just my IMHO, which indeed could be wrong.
    p.s. You have a very good template for your blog. Where have you got it from?

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