Gyumri is the second largest city of Armenia. It is known for its rich history, culture and famous humor of its inhabitants (Gyumretsi). In ancient times it was a trade crossroad for many different nations. Gyumri has given birth to famous poets Hovhannes Shiraz, Avetik Isahakyan and the beloved actor Mher “Frunzik” Mkrtchyan.
Here are some tips on what to do in Gyumri.
You might be interested in seeing the city center before diving deeper into its secrets and mysteries. Vardanants square is the central city square. It is named after Armenian hero Vardan Mamikonyan, historical military leader, martyr, and saint of the Armenian Church.
In the center of the square a huge bronze statue of Mamikonyan stands with a sword and a cross in his hands.
Gyumri is also rich with churches. Two 19th-century churches mark the north and south nodes of the town square. The Church of the Holy Saviour, a perfect replica of the Cathedral of Ani is on the southern side. The Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God, also known as the Our Lady of the Seven Wounds, borders the north. History of Gyumri is full of hardships and the city churches have been damaged many times. After the catastrophic 1988 earthquake, the church’s two minor domes fell, and are now displayed in front.
Kumayri historic district
There is a district in Gyumri where everything is remained in the oldest version of how the city looked many years ago. You feel like transported to old Gyumri. The district features the historic architecture and cobblestone streets of the 18th and 19th centuries — back when Gyumri was known as Alexandrapol!