07 January 2014

Cavorting in the Caucasus: Downtown Yerevan

Contrasting the capital cities of both Armenia and Georgia seems to be the favorite topic of conversation between travelers that pass through the region. When I was in both Yerevan and Tbilisi, I have heard travelers remarking how different downtown Tbilisi was from downtown Yerevan. They said that Tbilisi looked more pretty, more European, and so forth. I agree that it looks more European, but the fact that Yerevan was just a totally different beast made it more attractive for me, in my opinion.

First of all, Yerevan's nickname is The Pink City. This is because of the pink limestone that is used very often in its buildings. You will see this fact in my pictures below. But first, let me show you the interesting very cubist architecture.

I am not particularly sure what this building was, but I think it was the Yerevan City Hall. Behind this was housed the Museum of the City of Yerevan, which I visited. Unfortunately, photographs were not allowed in that museum, so I am not posting any here.

Monuments and statues seem to be a big thing here. Almost every corner and park has one. Since I have a bad grasp of Armenian history, I have no idea who these people are that are commemorated by the statues.

The rest of the pictures I am showing you here are all taken from the Republic Square. This is a huge square, octagon in shape, and most majestic buildings are here. You can notice the bright pinkish hue of the bricks used to make these buildings. This square is also a very high-pedestrian-traffic square. Armenians strut their stuff here, and is perhaps the place to be seen. Or maybe in Opera Square, which is a little to the north. Yerevan is a late city; it's already midnight and people are still walking the streets. And yes, squares like these are still crowded.

Overall, Yerevan is small, it is not like Paris, but it has its own charm. There are plenty of cafes that one can hang out in, and watching the people walk by is also a very good pastime. Man, I felt under-dressed while I was there the whole time.

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