Trip to Kond, a glimpse into the Yerevan of old

Not long after I arrived here in Armenia (or maybe before?) Albert Poghosyan reached out to me and extended a kind invitation and welcome.  He'd seen my TED Talk and learned not only that I was at least half-Armenian, but also going to be spending three months volunteering in Yerevan as a Kiva Fellow.

True to his word (thanks again, Albert!) we spent the better part of Sunday together, touring through some splendid museums and a shrinking historic district in downtown Yerevan: Kond.  With all the new construction going on and the rising value of the land there in the city center, these Armenians have been relocated to make way for new development.  It's been a controversial matter here and I was just thrilled to see these winding streets while they were still here (reminded me of my tour of a Hutong district in Beijing).
The massive derelict structure you'll see at the end of the collection is a Soviet-era hotel, now ruined.

1 response
Hey Alexis,

Great photos! Yerevan in your photos is very much how I remember it: the ancient Armenian churches with their signature octagonal hats peeking out amidst the crumbling Soviet era blockades. I was there in 2004 and shocked by the level of decrepitude that had fallen on the city's buildings... Yet the people I met were so resilient, good humored and well educated that the cityscape quickly faded and was replaced their hospitality. And that hospitality never left me looking away from a lunch or dinner table for long!



PS - I wish I still had my copy of Brady Kiesling's "Rediscovering Armenia" which has historical details of many churches in the country. (Kiesling was ambassador to Armenia when he quit in protest over the Iraq war.) I may have to rummage through my old stuff to find it again.