Yerevan Walking Tour

The best way to get acquainted with Yerevan is to do as the locals do and walk. This both saves time (parking is impossible and traffic jams are now par for the course, adding 20-30 minutes to what were once 5 minute jaunts) while allowing you to savor the sights and sounds of the city.

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Kond

Kond

Kond is best known to locals as the location of one of its most popular neighborhood churches, St. Hovhannes. The domed basilica sits in the midst of the oldest extant neighborhoods in Yerevan, a meandering series of alleys and mud and stone houses on a hill overlooking central Yerevan and the Hrazdan gorge. 

Described in an 1860 travelogue, Kond was one of seven districts in the dusty eastern town of Yerevan; the old district, or Shar, in the center of the city, Shen, Dzoragiugh, Kond or Tapabash, part of which was called the apricot center, and the New District, where immigrants from Atrpatakan lived. The streets in Yerevan's old neighborhoods were three or four feet wide, with irrigation ditches on either side.  Today, Kond is all that's left of these old neighborhoods, and for most it is the heart of the city center, for hundreds of years a home to a mixture of Persians, Turks and Armenians (the Turks and Persians left long ago, though there are still the ruins of a Persian mosque and Turkish baths in the neighborhood).

In 1984, Soviets started to put a plan together that would rejuvenate the area, turning it into a Bohemian sector (the chief architect comparing the plan to creating a "Yerevan Montmartre").  Later architects have proposed varying designs for upgrading infrastructure while preserving the eastern character of the neighborhood, but most fear the same fate that happened to historic Pavstos Biuzand and Arami Streets, which were completely torn down to make way for new high rises. 

Take the chance now to visit the last piece of old Yerevan, when homes shared walls, balconies and sometimes rooms, and you can still find 15th c timber ceilings and wrought iron, priceless carpets hanging on the walls of otherwise unprepossessing dwellings, and a close knit community bound by hundreds of years of joys and tragedies, peace and adversities. 


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