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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Poloz Mukuch Tavern, Brewery

Jivani Street: Khalatian Sons, Poloz Mukuch Tavern, Brewery

12. Left corner: Khalatian House, 1860-1880.  This is the beginning of a complex built by the Khalatian Sons, three brothers who established themselves in Alexandropol. The first is a single floor dwelling with courtyard featuring the classic black and red tufa design favored in old Alexandropol. Set against a background of black tufa, the red squares are patterned like diamonds along the lower façade. This is one side of a corner building, which continues on Gorki Street.

Note the fountain in the wall.  It was built by one of the sons who had married a Russian. The Russian Orthodox cross in the upper right corner was added for the benefit of the new bride.

13. Left: Khalatian House, 1860-1880.  This extension of the same complex for a second Khalatian brother is another good example of the use of black and red tufa in the period. The building fronts a shared courtyard and held a shop. The house was also the home of Nicolai Ghorghanian, a hero during the period of the Armenian Genocide and Armenia's (first) independence. A plaque commemorates his valor.

14. Left: Khalatian House, Shop, 1860-1880.  Black and red tufa in classic style. You can see where the main gate has been walled over, the metal one cut through the older wall.  The windows have some of the original wooden shutters.  This style of closing off windows is a classic feature of Old Giumri architecture. Note the far right corner of the building: the red tufa is shaped like shovels, which may be an early type of advertising, the design pointing to blacksmithing or hardware sales.

Backtrack and cross over Jivani to next two buildings on left:

15. Left: Jrahars, white building, 1900s.  The building is two-story with elaborate windows and doors, original to the house. It reveals 20th century attempts to shore up its roof following the 1926 earthquake. The magnificent wooden doors are an early Art Nouveau design experiment, their flowing lines pointing to a wealthy owner.  These years later, the doors are in need of restoration.

The white building next door right is another 1890s jewel, with impressive finials and roof ornaments, and well preserved detailing.

Backtrack to Jivani and turn right:

16. Right: Poloz Mukuch Tavern, 1860-1880, rebuilt.  This wonderful tavern is named after Giumri's most famous humorist.  Born Mkrtich Melkonian, Poloz Mukuch (“Beanpole Mukuch”, d. 1931), and his sidekick “Tzitro Alek” (Tigran Harutunian, b. 1896) were the creators of/butts of many a joke in Giumri.  Born to a Giumri family of famous silversmiths, Poloz never learned his father's trade and instead started teaching. 

At the same time he and Tzitro Alek served as a kind of court jesters, telling jokes or satirizing the life and times of Alexandropol and then Leninakan.  Locals still celebrate “Beanpole's” adventures and humor as if he were still alive.  Mukuch is buried in the old city cemetery.  Locals still leave bottles of vodka on his grave.

17. Left: Tsaghikian Brewery, 1898, 2006.  The first floor is original, the second a modern reconstruction.  The building diagonally facing the tavern is one of two buildings on the street being reconstructed in fine Giumri style.

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


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