Yerevan, where to visit and what to try.
The city, which was destroyed many times before the foundation of wars and earthquakes, today is reborn from the ashes like a phoenix. Houses made of pink and gray tuff, cozy cafes in the shade of spreading trees on the boulevards, fountains and small multi-level drinking fountains – all Yerevan.
What to see
The symbol of Armenia – Mount Ararat is 1921 in Turkey, so it is possible to admire only from afar, but it is very convenient. The Ararat valley is almost always fog and outlines of mountains visible through the dense haze, even on a clear day.
Outdoor Dzoragyugh 15/16 is the House-Museum of Sergey Parajanov. By law, say, the director did not have time to live in this house, he died a year before its opening, but took part in its construction and the formation of the museum collection: with him from Tbilisi was brought more than 600 exhibits – personal items, works of art (collages, installations , drawings), photographs, documents and letters. The collection is constantly expanding, today there are already more than 1,500 exhibits collected throughout the world, each of which is a unique work of art. Here you can see fragments of the film “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”, “Sayat-Nova” and “The Legend of the Surami Fortress”, buy a book about the life and work of Sergei Paradjanov, albums and posters with works of film. Sergei Paradjanov is buried in the Pantheon next to Aram Khachaturian.
The culture of winemaking in Armenia more than one millennium and the legendary Ararat brandy is one of the symbols of the country. With a variety of local soil and grape varieties unique climate (over 300 sunny days a year) and farm labor Armenian cognacs are considered special. To verify this, you can visit ARARAT Museum, which is located within the walls of the Yerevan Brandy Factory. Here you will learn about the history of wine-making, will show the entire production process – from the manufacture of special oak barrels before bottling magic potion bottles and, of course, hold a tasting of the best cognacs with legends and traditional toasts.
Armenian cuisine lovers must visit the Central Market Hall Street Khorenatsi, which locals call the GUM. It is open year round from early morning to late evening. Here you can find everything salty cheeses, sweets (fruit pastes, churchkhela Alan), spices, dried fruits (halves of apples and peaches, tangerines, lemons) and vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants), fresh cakes and a refreshing yogurt, jams and pickles. All you can touch and taste – sellers love to talk about their product, and to treat them.
Within an hour’s drive from Yerevan on the hill slope of the gorge of the river Arpa is the XIII century monastery complex of Noravank. Once upon a time Noravank was a cultural and religious center, later became the ancestral burial place, where buried outstanding figures of the Armenian culture, history and church. Here you can see the unique cross-stones – fishnet “carpets” of stone famous master sculptor of the Middle Ages Momik and his disciples. Khachkars, dedicated to Our Lady, are the guardians of foci and mothers, and the Saviour of passage, relieves pain and various diseases. The road to the two surviving churches runs through the gorge, and in some places and at all dangerous serpentine.
30 km from Yerevan, in the valley of the Azat river, there is another picturesque place – the village of Garni. There remained only one pagan temple of the Sun God, built in the I century BC However, it was partially rebuilt in Soviet times, but in conjunction with the local nature makes extraordinary impression. Even here you can see the ruins of the palace of the Armenian king Trdat, ruins that surrounded the palace and the Roman baths.
In Garni, like any tourist destination in Armenia, launched a brisk trade in souvenirs and traditional sweets – churchkhela, pastes and jam. For those who are very hungry and want to relax, always covered tables in the cozy Apricot outdoor garden. This garden is located on the street Alekyan, in the yard of a private house number 2, owned by the hospitable family Gabrielyan. Here you can spend the night if necessary.
What to try
Pita. In Armenia, they are literally everywhere, because they are baked in the tandoor, which are arranged directly in the ground. Every time the hostess puts or takes out of the tandoor pita bread, as if it gives a nod land-nurse. Pita bread is usually eaten with him wrapped in herbs and cheese. This snack is called “Burum”.
Alani. Dried fruits and vegetables, stuffed with pounded walnuts with the sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Outwardly, they look like the fruit, whole cooked in syrup, but is actually hiding inside a delicious dessert. For its preparation used prunes, figs, tomatoes, cherries, peaches and apricots. Often Alani collapses in coconut or sprinkle with nuts and some creative hostess makes them intricate designs.
Matsun – a thick fermented milk product is a cross between yogurt and yogurt. It is made from sheep’s or cow’s milk, which acidify or a small part of yesterday matsun or milk clot formed during the fermentation of milk. Matsun summer can be diluted with water – a drink quenches thirst. The most delicious matsun – Strained called it Kamatz-matsun.
Leave Armenia without a bottle of cognac – bad form. The last work of art YBC brandy – 30-year-old Ararat Erebuni, named after the ancient fortress, the site of which was founded by Yerevan. This cognac more than 30 rare vintage spirits, the oldest of which – 1934. Bites a rarity recommended “Nikolashka” (a slice of lemon, sprinkled with powdered sugar and coffee).
Where to eat
Garden restaurant Tsirani
Restaurants arranged in apricot gardens in the open air, are very popular with visitors and residents of Yerevan. One of such places – Tsirani, is a 10-minute drive from the capital, in the village of Arinc. Long ago, my grandfather opened Tsaruk dining in the courtyard of his home, which was always full of visitors. Today in the apricot garden on an area of 4 hectares, more than 70 houses, gazebos and pavilions, but also a big hall for celebrations. Kitchen – Armenian home: kebabs, kebab, hash and Haris. Here you can see how the lamb roasted on a spit, baked pita bread in a tandoor, and is tan to churn.
Arinc, Apt. Babajanyan, 3rd st., 1
A new restaurant serving traditional Armenian cuisine practicing the author’s interpretation of dishes. It occupies three floors in an old mansion on Abovyan Street: beer and tea salon on the ground floor, bright and spacious dining room on the second and sundeck on the roof. While some are fans of “Pyunik” with a glass of unfiltered, others are listening duduk roof.
Apt. Abovyan, d. 8.
The founder of the restaurant Zhirayr Avanyan – known figure in Yerevan. The locals call it Evolutionary new Armenian cuisine for simplicity, authenticity and love of experimentation. Popular with tourists are sets of four courses, each of which is fed a certain wine or brandy, “Classic”, “adventurer”, “think” and “decisive”. The restaurant is located a few steps from the center of the city – Republic Square, but cozy interior in national style and vine-covered backyard create a feeling of a country holiday.
Apt. Pushkin Str. 10.