A Day Spent in Yerevan, Armenia

There was still a lot to see in Yerevan before the trip ended. First up was the Matenadoran, one of Armenia’s most historic museums, filled with thousands of manuscripts, fragments of books, ancients records and documents in Georgian, Greek, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew and Latin.

And a visit to the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum. Pre-World War I, the Armenians and Turks had lived together in relative harmony, but the War gave Turkish extremists dictatorial control. It was they who masterminded the plan to eradicate the Armenian race to fulfill their dreams of a new Pan-Turkic empire. ‘…able-bodied men were then “drafted” to help in the wartime effort. These men were either immediately killed or were worked to death. Now the villages and towns, with only women, children, and elderly left were systematically emptied.’ The Armenians were led on death marches across Anatolia – raped, starved, murdered and kidnapped.

April 4, 1915 is commemorated worldwide by Armenians as Genocide Memorial Day. A visit to the Memorial was sad but important that we pay our respect to the 1.5 million Armenians who died during this terrible time.

The lighter note of the day was the Vernisage weekend market (a flea market) selling everything from “antiques,” old coins, military medals and pharaphernalia, homemade dolls, food, individual beads – a huge array but I liked the Tbilisi weekend market better.


Vernissage weekend market, Yerevan, Armenia

Second to the last “Monastery” trip (outside Yerevan) was to Ananuri, a 16th century fortress complex. After admiring the different complexes, I walked down the hill where this old woman was sitting on a bench. When she found out I was an American, she insisted on presenting me with a little bouquet of flowers.


making friends in Armenia

What a wonderful note to end a bittersweet day on….

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One Response to A Day Spent in Yerevan, Armenia

  1. Simon Philips says:

    Whilst I appreciate that your comments echo the official Armenian campaign view that several centuries of Armenians and Turks co-existing suddenly came to an end because the Ottomans wanted to establish a Pan-Turkic empire, it might be worth considering the Armenian uprising may have had something to do with the deportation order that led to so much death and suffering.
    Even if you do not wish to spend a great deal of time conducting independent research, common sense would tell us that the raising of an army of some 200,000 (according to Armenian figures), taking major cities (Van) and destroying over a hundred villages – killing every inhabitant they could get hold of in the process and otherwise trying to open the path for the invading Russian forces might have have provided just a little bit of motivation for the removal of Armenians from that region.
    The notion that in amongst a catastrophic war on all fronts that from the very start looked certain to bring the empire crashing down the Ottomans were harbouring any notion of setting up a new Pan-Turkic empire is without evidence and sounds really rather silly.

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