The Pink City: Yerevan
A country of volcanoes, churches and archaeological gems, Armenia is a fascinating combination of cultures and histories. Located in the mountainous region of the Caucasus, between Asia and Europe, it is a seductive mélange of both worlds.
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known as the Pink City because of the frequent use in its buildings of the tufa, an iconic pink volcanic stone from the area. One of the oldest inhabited cities - built 29 years before Rome - the history of Yerevan dates back to the eighth century and is home to wonders of the past, such as the library of Matenadaran where thousands of Greek and Armenian manuscripts are housed. Located at the continental confluence of the Silk Road, Yerevan transports us to the past.
From Yerevan we venture through the wonders of this magical and intriguing country. At the edge of a triangular cliff that dominates the Azat River ravine and the Gegham Mountains, the Garni Temple is the only building with Greco-Roman columns standing in the former Soviet Union and the farthest one from Rome.
The structure was probably built by King Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple for the sun god Mihr. After the conversion of Armenia to Christianity at the beginning of the 4th century, it became a royal summer house of Khosrovidukht, the sister of Tiridates III. According to some scholars, it was not a temple but a tomb and, therefore, it survived the universal destruction of pagan structures.
Imposing and beautiful, Garni's temple is located a few minutes from the Geghard monastery. Nestled on high cliffs and carved from the rock itself, this conglomeration of churches, tombs and medieval buildings lies in a landscape of great natural beauty, at the entrance to the valley of Azat.
The Geghard monastery is a renowned ecclesiastical and cultural center of medieval Armenia, where we can find a school, a scriptorium, a library, and many dwelling cells carved into the rock for clerics, as well as religious buildings. A mystical and intriguing place, it embodies the mysterious and fascinating spirit of Armenia.
After our incredible visit to these wonderful places we return to beautiful Yerevan, where we enjoyed the company of Nikolay, Honorary Consul of Mexico, who took us by the hand to meet and discover the most sophisticated face of the city, with its excellent gastronomy, lively atmosphere, and hospitable people.
In Yerevan we visited the beautiful Komitas museum, dedicated to the renowned Armenian musician and composer Komitas. The museum, whose doors opened in 2015, is located next to the pantheon in the Komitas park in Shengavit district and tells the story of the intriguing journey of this great Armenian character.
With Mount Ararat as a constant companion and backdrop, Yerevan is a fascinating city whose history, culture, and people make us fall in love.