Museums preserve and display the artistic, social and scientific heritage of every country. Being a crucial source of inspiration and education, the museums of Yerevan are must see places for those, who want to have closer acquaintance with history and culture of Armenia. In this article Picnic presents a list of top 10 museums to visit in Yerevan.
1. History Museum of Armenia
If you want to immerse yourself in Armenian rich history and get in touch with the country’s authentic culture, then you should visit the History Museum of Armenia. Located in the Republic Square, the mission of the History Museum of Armenia is to preserve, replenish, study and publicize the Museum objects and collections, which represent the history and culture of Armenia and Armenian people. The national collection consists of about 400,000 objects: unique archeological, numismatic and ethnographical specimens and documentary exhibits that show the history and culture of Armenia from the Paleolithic period to our days.
2. National Gallery of Armenia
Located on the top floors of the History Museum of Armenia, the country’s major art gallery is a must-visit museum for art lovers from all around the world. The gallery houses a huge collection of masterpieces that present world art from ancient times till present days. In the halls of European, Russian, Armenian and Oriental art viewers can get acquainted with the works by Aivazovsky, Sureniants, Sarian, Serov, Kandinsky, Donatello, Rodin, Chagall and other prominent artists.
3. Ararat Brandy Factory Museum
Ararat is far more than just a brandy. It is one of the symbols of our country and a chance to immerse oneself into Armenian culture. Located inside Ararat brandy factory building, the Ararat museum discovers the history of brandy-making and secrets of its modern production. Reveal the mystery of this noble drink by taking degustation tour, during which you can taste three types of brandy (“Akhtamar”, “Nairi”, “Dvin”)!
The guests of our capital should also visit Matenadaran or Institute of Ancient Manuscripts after st. Mesrop Mashtots – a repository of ancient manuscripts, where treasures of Armenian spiritual culture are preserved and studied. In 15 exhibition halls thousands of temporary, changeable and exclusive exhibits are on display: manuscripts, fragments of manuscripts, documents, old printed books, precious bindings, individual miniatures and more are shown from the Matenadaran’s database of roughly 23,000 manuscripts.
5. Erebuni Museum
For those, who want to get acquainted with the history of Yerevan, Erebuni Museum is a must visit site. The Museum stands at the foot of the Arin Berd hill, on top of which is the fortified city from the ancient kingdom of Urartu – Erebuni, constructed in 782 B.C. The museum houses a huge collection of artifacts, sups, jars, bronze bracelets, glass, agate beads and many other things of historical importance.
6. Armenian Genocide Museum
One of the most important museums of Yerevan is Armenian Genocide museum, which mission is to keep the memory of 1.5 million Armenian victims, who perished in the first genocide of the 20th century, alive. The whole memorial complex ( Tsitsernakaberd ) has become a pilgrimage site and an integral part of the city’s architecture. By the way, the flat roof of the museum’s building is a viewpoint where a view opens up to panorama of mount Ararat and Yerevan.
7. Sergey Paradjanov Museum
One of the most popular museums in Yerevan is Sergey Paradjanov’s museum, which is a tribute to the Soviet Armenian film director and artist. The basis of the museum collection constitutes 600 works of Paradjanov – assemblages, flat and three-dimensional collages, drawings, dolls, which have no direct analogies in the world art and amaze with their fantasy, wit and artistry. The use of various materials and objects impart a special charm and brilliance to them.
8. Megerian Carpet Museum
Those, who like culture-specific things, should visit Megerian Carpet Museum, where they can browse through hundreds of antique and new handmade carpets and learn the process of carpet-making. During the tour the visitors can get a chance to see weavers working on their patters and learn about the history of the trade. Plus, there is a small unique restaurant in the museum, where you can taste dishes of authentic Armenian cuisine.
9. Martiros Saryan House-Museum
If you want to have deeper knowledge in Armenian art, then you should visit the house-museum of one of the greatest Armenian artists of the 20th century. Unofficially recognized as “Master of Color”, Martiros Saryan’s paintings are literally imbued with warm colors and national motives of his beloved Armenia. The permanent exposition comprising over 300 works is located on the three floors of the museum in chronological order.
10. Cafesjian Center for the Arts
Located at the heart of Armenian capital, in and around the Cascade complex, the museum offers a wide variety of exhibits, derived from the Gerard L. Cafesjian’s collection of contemporary art. The museum consists of 2 separate sections: the external “Cafesjian Sculpture Garden”, and the internal “Cafesjian Art Galleries”. The New York Times described this museum as “a mad work of architectural megalomania and architectural recovery, one of the strangest and most spectacular museum buildings to open in ages”.