Yerevan’s lost cultural heritage

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I must confess, that I like the modern image of Yerevan, its Northern Avenue and the shiny buildings.

I am aware, of course, of Northern Avenue’s bitter history of the past 5-6 years, when old buildings occupying an area of 80 hectares were demolished, while the local residents were forcefully drawn out, getting as compensation half the money necessary to buy housing in the center. And the process went on, despite years of protests by the residents…

Still, when I look at the new buildings, the cheerful street and the modern designer boutiques, I say to myself – hell, why not! This is a modern city…

Everything changed after a friend sent me photos of priceless Yerevan buildings, which have been demolished, some in Soviet times, some in more recent history.

Looking at beautiful constructions, earlier feelings about modern image of Yerevan and shine and optimism went away. Compared to the heartless brick and mortar trolls that are sitting on Northern Avenue today, these old buildings look like crown jewels, each a symphony made of stone and soul.

Legacy lost… such a pity…

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4 thoughts on “Yerevan’s lost cultural heritage

  1. any sovietakan remnants I’m happy to see demolished and replaced with modern architecture and design.
    however, I did not grow up in my beautiful precious wonderful Yerevan, but I’ve seen enough photos of the old Yerevan and I must admit to see some of the culturalistic buildings built by hands of our forefathers be demolished all to erect new structures/neighborhoods for this profiteering evilmafiya regime and their oligarch slaves its quite disturbing to see the transformation. I would have enjoyed to grow up in Yerevan in my precious homeland and see/experience the transformation physically. I think anyone who’s living/growing up there experiencing this new-age modernization of the city such as the elders in their 50-80’s has to be some what traumatizing on their memories of old Yerevan

  2. The way it was done was barbaric. It was possible to preserve the heritage – chosen buildings of special historical/architectural significance and build new ones. Instead what seems to have happened is that everything was razed to the ground, regardless of whether it was of any value, and replaced with new buildings – in my opinion of questionable architectural and national value…

  3. Not all buildings should serve the oh-so-noble virtue of “architectural” and “national” value. Buildings first and foremost should represent comfortable (and clean) places for living, and convenient places for work and production. Personally, I enjoy the modern touch in the heart of Yerevan. Yes, I would like to see more individualism in the architecture of each building, an independent try to make them more convenient and suited to live and work. But holding on to old buildings that have crumbled inside and no one who could afford to live elsewhere would like to live at just because they have a nice outside? No, thank you. Not for me. And I welcome every couragous (couragous because of the vastly still-Soviet mindset of Armenia resisting any such endeavor) attempt at building something more useful instead.

  4. I have a whole book of old Yerevan pictures… you cannot possibly compare what we had then and what we have now…

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