One of the reasons why I liked Yerevan so much and the thing that at first surprised me a lot there was an overwhelming number of art around the city. The center of Armenian capital is full of beautiful murals and quirky sculptures. But the most important place is the famous Cascade that is home of Cafesijan Museum of Art. It was opened less than 5 years ago and holds a collection of contemporary art that came from the collection of the founder Gerard L. Cafesjian – Armenian-American philanthropist. Most of the exhibitions are located inside of the Cascade complex (only few parts of the museum require an admission fee) – you need to take the entrance on the left side. The escalator will take you all the way to the top, while riding it you can admire beautiful or just weird art pieces and once you are on the floors you can take a closer look on stuff big flower or silver painted car. This must be the best escalator journey in the world and the best way to enjoy art in Yerevan!
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Cascade – the heart of art in Yerevan
A lot of exhibits from Cafesjian’s collection are also located outside, on the steps of Cascade. The best thing is to take the escalator all the way up, take a look at the breathtaking view of Yerevan and (if you’re lucky) Mount Ararat, and then walk all the way down admiring great art pieces. You can find work of some of the world known artists there, including the famous LOVE sculpture (Yerevan is one of 38 cities that have this work by Robert Indiana). What’s more the small park in front of the Cascade is also full of contemporary statues and sculptures and the number of these is growing fast (during my second visit to Yerevan I could see few new pieces).
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Peek inside the gates to find art in Yerevan
While Cascade and Cafesjian Museum of Art dominate the art scene of Yerevan there’s much more art spots worth checking. When walking around the city you will see almost every single gate painted in a really lovely way. Apparently it was made by students of Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts as a project to brighten up the city (it succeeded big time!). Every painting is different, every show a different scene yet each of them is beautiful. It was so much fun wandering around Yerevan and curiously looking inside each gate to see what’s there! I feel this painted gates are a really big part of the city and I can’t imagine the capital of Armenia without these!
Quirky monuments, cheesy sound and lights show
Armenians seem to commemorate their most memorable citizens too (and the country is known for giving birth to a lot of wise people). On every step you will stumble across yet another monument of someone famous – a writer, an architect or a chess player. Most of these sculptures are funky and quirky, definitely not a boring monuments that people quickly forget about.
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And the best way to end an artsy day in Yerevan? Head to the Republic Square in the evening to watch the cheesy sound and lights show that includes a fountain, colorful lights and hits from 90s or older. No matter how terrible it sounds it really is a lot of fun and every day this 2 hours show attracts big crowds of all ages! I enjoyed it a lot too!
Do you like art too? What kind of museums do you visit when you travel?
Are you planning a trip to Caucasus? Do you like that region as much as I do? I’ve created a Facebook group where you can look for advise or inspiration and share your travel stories and pictures from Caucasus and beyond. Join now!
If you think of visiting Armenia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:
- What you should know about Armenia
- Why Yerevan is my new favourite city
- Gyumri, Armenia 25 years after the tragic earthquake
- and more!
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