Old Gyumri Tour

Visit Kumayri museum, historic houses, workshops, taverns, guesthouses and museums that make up Old Gyumri (formerly known as Alexandropl).

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“Plplan Zham”

75. Cemetery, 20th century. Not far from the Russian church called “Plplan Zham” is a cemetery for World War II German prisoners-of-war, who were forced into labor in Giumri following the war. It is thought survivors were repatriated to Germany in 1948.  The cemetery holds the remains of German and other European nationalities.

76. Left: Plplan Zham ( “Shining Chapel” 1886).  After the Russian-Persian and Russian-Turkish wars (1826-1829), a cemetery was founded on a slope.  In 1853 it was named “Kholm Chesti” (Hill of Honor) and was used to bury warriors killed in the field.  The cemetery had a small Armenian chapel until 1878.   At the end of Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878, near the central gates a chapel dedicated to Arkhistratigus Mikhail (Archangel Michael), was consecrated in 1886.

Buried here are 156 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers who died in 1877 during the defense of Kars.

Other Russian Military Churches in Giumri

Saint Alexandra Church – This church is inside the “Aleksandrapol” Fortress, which is still used by Russian Soldiers and is closed to tourists.  The foundation stone for the church was laid on October 4, 1837.  

The large church (seating up to 800 people) is cruciform in design and was built under the direction of a Russian Engineer, Colonel Rudenkov. It was completed in 1842 and at its consecration received a gift by Tsar Nikolai I, a Lord Savaof icon by the prominent Russian artist Bryullov.  An unknown donor gifted the church banners with inscription in gold lettering that reads “In memory of conquest of Ardagan (Ardahan) city on May 6, 1877”.

Interned in the church are two heroes of the Russo-Turk war of 1877-1878: General- Ilya Chelokaev and Lieutenant-colonel Ivan Melikov, both dying in defense of the city of Kars. On the eastern side of the church is a monument in memory of the Artillery Commander General-mayor F. Gubskoy, who also perished in Kars on February 14, 1878.

Holy Mother of God – This late 19th century church was built for the Northern Dragoon Regiment 18 in honor of the Nativity of Holy Mother of God. The church, consecrated in 1901 was demolished in the 1930s and its stones were used for other buildings.

St. Arseni – This church was built in 1907 in the Cossack quarter, for the Infantry Regiment 153 and dedicated to St. Arseni, the Archbishop of Serbia. The church was completed and consecrated in 1910. Next to the church was a memorial dedicated to the officers and soldiers of the regiment who died in the Russo-Turk war of 1877-1878.

Worship sites for other army divisions were temporary field altars placed at various private locations.

Turn around and go back to the first corner and turn left on Hanesoghlian Street.

The text for this walking tour was edited by the Kumaiyri Preserve-Museum.

 


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