Armenian city of Bardizag, Sebastia, Historical Armenia

The town of Bardizag was founded in the 17th century by Armenians fleeing from their original village Bardizag in Sebastia [Sivas] which at the time, had become a battlefield in the Turco-Persian war.

The favorable geographical location of the new Bardizag on the wooded hillside slopes with its salubrious sea air, charming stone houses, and picturesque flower gardens made it an attractive summer resort for the wealthy Armenian intelligentsia from Constantinople and environs.

Bardizag was known not only for its natural physical beauty, but also for its vibrant cultural life, with eight Armenian schools (including a college), several Armenian churches representing three Christian denominations (Apostolic, Catholic, and Protestant), at least three Armenian newspapers and periodicals, and a lively amateur theatre.

Bardizag was also known for its fine medical and pharmaceutical services, and its many good physicians and pharmacists.

Despite its modest size, Bardizag was a hive of literary activity, where both oral and written Armenian were held in high esteem. In short, the stimulating environment of Bardizag was representative of the Armenian literary and cultural revival in 19th-century Anatolia.

Dora Sakayan

The inhabitants were engaged primarily in growing tobacco, cultivating silkworms (there were two factories for this), and producing horseshoes, lumber, and charcoal. The town had a health clinic, pharmacy, post office, and telegraph office (established in 1911).

Because Bardizag’s climate was temperate and salubrious, Armenian intellectuals and others from Constantinople frequently sojourned there during the summer months.

Numerous cultural activities took place, and local intellectuals published several journals, including Paros (Beacon, 1910-12), Paykar (Struggle, 1912-14), and Meghu (Bee, 1912-14).

Through personal means, as well as with some help from Armenians in Constantinople and the Caucasus, several theatrical troupes were formed.

by Mano Chil

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