Yerevan, the current and latest capital of the Armenian Highlands, houses a number of ancient historical and cultural monuments. The historical events of modern Yerevan are crucial for filling the open pages of the history of Armenian culture. Here, we can observe various cultures created over millennia from the most ancient times to the present day.
The Shengavit village is located in the southwestern areas of Yerevan, on the left bank of the Hrazdan River (next to Yerevan Lake). This village is one of the most well-studied monuments of the Kur-Araks culture of the Early Bronze Age.
The Shengavit settlement gives a more complete picture of the culture of the Early Bronze Age. Noteworthy are civilian, especially residential buildings, as well as defensive, economic, and religious structures.
The Shengavit settlement housed a number of interesting artifacts, mostly located in the central part of local buildings. Each home’s hearth performed both economic and ritual functions and was a symbol of family success.
If you happen to visit this monument, consider also paying a visit to the History Museum of Armenia and inspecting the finds there.
Tomb of the period of the Kingdom of Van in Yerevan
On the site of Yerevan Mall, architectural items with cuneiform writing from the period of the Kingdom of Van have been found. The mall happens to be located on the site of a mausoleum that dates back to the 8th century BC. The tomb was discovered in 1984 during construction works on Arshakunyats Ave.
Tombs dating back to the Early and Middle Bronze Age were also found here. Lamps, snake bracelets, knives, belts, bronze bracelets, beautifully decorated ceramics, and many other artifacts were found as well.
Teishebaini or Karmir Blur
The city of Teishebaini is a settlement from the period of the Kingdom of Van located on the left bank of the Hrazdan River. The city was built by Rusa II (685-645 BC), the last powerful ruler of the Van Kingdom.
Built near Erebuni, Teishebain was named after the god of war and thunder Teisheba.
The first day of archaeological excavations here hasn’t revealed anything interesting. But on the next day, heavy rain exposed the walls of Karmir Blur (Red Hill).
During the archaeological excavations of Karmir Blur, a large number of archaeological artifacts were discovered along with remains of barley, wheat, millet, peas, and grape seed. Remains of brick walls, polished basalt stones, and cuneiform inscriptions are also preserved on Karmir Blur hill.
After a long break, the excavations of Teshebaini resumed in 2013 and continue to this day.
The sunset here is indescribable, with hills as if completely covered in gold. No wonder why the hill has been called Red.
There is not a single Armenian who would not visit the Tsitsernakaberd memorial complex at least once in a lifetime. But few people know that in the area of modern Tsitsernakaberd, an ancient fortress is located.
According to the Armenian tradition, this was the temple of Astghik, the Armenian goddess of love whose swallows delivered news to her beloved god Vahagn.
“Tsitsernakaberd” from Armenian means “Swallow Fortress”. Tsitsernakaberd Hill has powerful walls and dates back to the early Iron Age (10th century BC).
Dalma Gardens, Yerevan Fortress
Located on the left bank of the Hrazdan River, the fortress of Yerevan probably arose in the Kond area and then expanded to occupy the territory of the modern Ararat winery. The fortress had a wedge that went into the gardens of Dalma and then to the Hrazdan River, allowing for a route towards the water in the event of a siege.
The fortress was demolished in 1930 during the reconstruction of the city, but it still offers beautiful views of the Hrazdan River, the Khan gardens, and Mount Ararat.
After the division of Armenia in the 17th century, its eastern part passed to Persia. The palace of the Persian Khan was located in the Yerevan fortress.
In the garden in front of the palace, Armenian Voskehat grapes were grown which were used in the production of high-quality wine. For this reason, the Persians often demanded that the Armenians pay this grape variety as tribute (“Khardzhi Pers”, “tribute”). It is also no coincidence that the second name of this grape variety was Khardzhi.
The well-known Dalma gardens still are home to many secrets. It is hard to imagine that there are places in Yerevan that at first glance seem to be completely unrelated to the city.
Operating to this day, the canal built under King Rusa II passes through the gardens of Dalma. In these vast areas, viticulture has been practiced up until recently. Up until the Middle Ages, this spot has had very favorable conditions for viticulture.
Today, there are about 5 permanent medieval grape growing sites here. These places are under study. Interestingly, grapes have been grown here in what is known as drum gardens. Today, this method is not used in viticulture.
The Red Fortress is also known as Kizil Kala, Tazakend, or Gayaharaba. The name “Red Fortress” was given to the structure by local residents.
The area of the fortress consists of the fortress itself and burial grounds. 197 tombs of Middle Bronze, Late Bronze, and Iron Age have been unearthed here. Basalt walls about two meters high are preserved on the nearby cape as well.
Excavations here allowed experts to conclude that the fortress was built in the 2nd millennium BC. It served its primary purpose until the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. The fortress was also briefly populated since the early Middle Ages in the 7th century.
Yerevan Red Bridge
The Red Bridge passes over the Hrazdan Gorge in close vicinity to a modern winery. It is called “Red” because it is made of red tuff. The bridge is 80 meters long and 11 meters high.
The Red Bridge was built on the site of a former bridge destroyed by an earthquake in 1676. It used to connect the fortress of Yerevan with the Ararat valley and was discovered near the gardens of Dalma.
Carts, pedestrians, and riders once used to pass over the bridge. The bridge has wide arches – two large ones which let the river through, and two small ones.
There are also a number of other historical and cultural monuments in Yerevan that only a few people know about, but, unfortunately, most of them have not been well preserved.