Yerevan, the capital of Armenia (and one of my all-time favorite cities) can be a very interesting place for all the architecture lovers. Carefully designed at the beginning of the 20th century by Alexander Tumanyan, Yerevan is a masterpiece of urban planning of that time.
But while many of the Yerevan architecture gems are from the first half of the 1900s, fans of Soviet architecture will be contented as well. After all, Armenia has been part of the Soviet Union until 1991 and the country’s architecture was inspired and somehow imposed by Moscow too.
Prior to each of my trip to Yerevan (and there were many of them), I did my researches to find some good Yerevan brutalism examples and then tried to visit them all. And today I’m sharing with you all the best places where to find Yerevan Soviet architecture so you won’t need to repeat my researched all over the internet.
I also included some practical tips on how to get to those places (especially those located further away from the center) as well as some information about the buildings. At the end of the post, you will also find the map of brutalism architecture in Yerevan.
So, without any further ado, here is my guide to Yerevan Soviet architecture.
Table of contents
- 1 How to get around Yerevan to find the best of Soviet Yerevan architecture
- 2 Yerevan Soviet architecture
- 2.1 Cascade
- 2.2 Institute of Communication
- 2.3 Cinema Rossiya
- 2.4 Komitas Chamber Music Theater
- 2.5 Metro station Yeritasardakan
- 2.6 Tigran Petrosian Chess House
- 2.7 Zvartnots Airport
- 2.8 Cable Car Station
- 2.9 Ministry of Labour and Social
- 2.10 Marshal Baghramyan metro station
- 2.11 Blocks of flats
- 2.12 Karen Demirchyan Complex
- 2.13 Republic Square Metro Station
- 2.14 Yerevan State Engineering University
- 2.15 Tsitsernakaberd – Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex
- 2.16 Mother Armenia and Victory Park
- 2.17 Neobrutalist block of flats
- 2.18 Building on Komitas Avenue
- 2.19 Hrazdan Stadium
- 2.20 Eduard Issabekyan Gallery building
- 2.21 Memorial of the 50th anniversary of Soviet Armenia
- 2.22 House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian
- 2.23 Northern Bus station
- 2.24 Institute of Stones and Silicates
- 2.25 Abandoned cafe “Aragil”
- 2.26 The weird structure on Pushkin street
- 3 Soviet architecture in Armenia
- 4 Map of Soviet architecture in Yerevan
- 5 Travel resources
How to get around Yerevan to find the best of Soviet Yerevan architecture
Unfortunately, public transport in Yerevan can be confusing for a foreign visitor. There are numerous buses and minibusses going around the whole city but their route is written in Armenian language only and while this is a beautiful language to look at, you will also understand next to nothing from it.
Fortunately, the majority of Soviet architecture buildings in Yerevan are in close proximity to the center and within a walking distance from the main attractions and from each other.
You can also take the metro around to see some of them. There is only one metro line in Yerevan but it can come handy when visiting places like Cinema Rossiya, Aram Khachaturian House-Museum or metro stations.
To get to interesting buildings a bit far away I recommend using Yandex Taxi. This app works like an Uber and offers very good prices. You don’t need to register your credit card in it, you can pay in cash directly to the driver.
Further down this article, I will include the approximate prices if taking Yandex Taxi from the Republic Square, just to give you the impression of what you might expect to pay.
You would need a local SIM card with internet data to order Yandex Taxi. You can read how to get one, as well as my other Yerevan travel tips here.
Yerevan Soviet architecture
The Cascade complex is one of the most impressive sites you will find in the city and the main Yerevan tourist attraction.
It was designed by architects Sargis Gurzadyan, Jim Torosyan, and Aslan Mkhitaryan. The works on the complex started in 1971 and nine years later the first part of the Cascade was finished. Further works continued in 2000s.
The Cascade complex consists of a few levels where you can find numerous modern sculptures as well as Armenian folk decorations. You can also admire from here the best view of Yerevan and if you are lucky, the iconic Mount Ararat. Inside you can visit Cafesjian Center for the Arts – the modern art museum with works of some of the world-known artists.
Pro tip – if you would like to get to the top of the Cascade but you don’t want to walk all these stairs up you can find the escalator inside the Cascade, the entrance is on the left side.
Address: 10 Tamanyan St
How to get there: you can easily walk to the Cascade from all the central locations of Yerevan.
Institute of Communication
Not only the building is pretty amazing, there is also a beautiful bas relief, reminding me of the famous one from Minsk, Belarus so much. You can also find some folk Armenian ornaments here.
Build in 1976
Architects: Armen Aghalyan, Grigori Grigoryan
Address: 24 Azatutyan Ave
How to get there: Institute of Communication is located a bit away from the center (and what’s more – it’s a massive uphill way to get there). I took Yandex Taxi to get there, it cost me 700 AMD from near the metro station Republic Square.
It used to be the largest cinema in Armenia that could fit up to 2500 people. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cinema Rossiya was abandoned and now partly serves as a shopping center.
It was designed to resemble Mount Ararat with its two peaks.
Built between 1968-1975.
Architect: Spartak Khachikyan, Hrachik Poghosyan, and Artur Tarkhanyan
Address: 16 Tigran Mets Ave
How to get there: You can walk there from the Republic Square, it’s not too far. You can also take the metro to Zoravar Andranik station, the entry to the station is right in front of Cinema Rossiya.
Komitas Chamber Music Theater
Built between 1968-77
Architect: Stepan Kyurkchyan
The hall was built in the shape of the Armenian church with three-nave basilica design. It can fit up to 300 people. On the walls, you can find Armenian ornaments.
Address: 1 Isahakyan St
How to get there: The nearest metro station is Yeritasardakan. You can also walk here from the central part of the city, Republic Square is 1,5 kilometer away.
Metro station Yeritasardakan
This is one of the most iconic buildings when it comes to Soviet architecture in Yerevan. Yeritasardakan metro station was built in 1981 and is well known for the distinctive tube above the entrance to the station.
Designed and built between 1972-81
Architect: Stepan Kyurkchyan
Address: Isahakyan St, between Abovyan and Teryan streets
How to get there: You can obviously take the metro to Yeritasardakan station or walk here from the center. It’s not too far away from the Cascade or the Opera House.
Tigran Petrosian Chess House
Chess in Armenia is very important. Kids at school have mandatory chess lessons from the age of 6 (this is the only country in the world when chess play such a big role in the education program).
In the center of Yerevan you will find the Chess House, opened in 1971. The triangular-shaped building is home to Yerevan chess school, considered one of the best chess centers in the world. While the interior isn’t very impressive it is still worth to peek inside.
Built in 1970
Architect Zhanna Mescheryakova
Address: 50a Khanjyan St
How to get there: You can walk here from the center, it is some 1,2 kilometer away from the Republic Square.
Located 12 km away from the center, Zvartnots Airport is worth the trip even if you are not flying in or out of Yerevan.
The Terminal 1 of the airport is another iconic architecture gem of Yerevan, even if it’s been abandoned since 2011 and has been decaying. The circular terminal is in danger as every now and then the rumors it’s about to be demolished appear – I truly hope it will be kept and hopefully renovated as this is such a unique building!
Built in 1980.
Architects A. Tarkhanyan, S. Khachikyan, L. Cherkezyan, Zh. Shekhlyan
Address: Zvartnots International Airport
How to get there: You can take the bus from Yeritasardakan metro station or the Republic Square, it runs 24/7 and costs 300 AMD/one way. You might also take Yandex Taxi, it should cost you around 1500 AMD.
Cable Car Station
The abandoned cable car station is located in the center of Yerevan. It was built in 1962 and has been working until the tragic accident in 2004.
When you visit the cable car station go through the muddle of rubbish and you will be surprised by the original car still being at the station.
Built in 1962
Architect: Baghdasar Arzumanyan et al.
Address: 1, 3 Charents St
How to get there: The closest metro station is Yeritasardakan (650 meters away). You can also walk here from Komitas Chamber Music Theater.
Ministry of Labour and Social
Built in 1972
Architects T. Gevorkyan, V. Gusyan
Address: Government House 3, Aram Street
How to get there: the building is located next to the Republic Square metro station
Marshal Baghramyan metro station
The entrance to the metro station, especially its aboveground entrance hall, was built in the brutalist style.
Buit in 1981.
Architects S.Kntekhtsyan, A. Zurabyan.
Engineer I.Manucharyan, A.Sargsyan
Address: 21 Marshal Baghramyan Ave
How to get there: Take the metro to the Marshal Baghramyan station.
Blocks of flats
You can find them all over the city, some of them even in the center. They were mostly built in the 1970s, often with the use of the pink tuff – one of Yerevan’s most distinctive features. If you like Soviet architecture, you will definitely appreciate them!
Karen Demirchyan Complex
The complex was opened in 1983 but was closed shortly after due to the fire and was reopened again in 1987. In 1999, after the Armenian Parliament shooting when the former speaker of the Armenian parliament Karen Demirchyan was among the victims, the complex was named after him to pay the respect for his contribution in the renovation of the complex and the city.
To get to the complex you need to walk up 184 stairs. The unique design, looking like the bird opening the wings, gave the architects the USSR State Prize in 1987.
Inside you can find the main area for bigger events, the smaller concert hall and sports hall and a few halls for official meetings. If the complex is open – peek inside to see the interior too!
The Karen Demirchyan Complex is located on the same hill as Tsitsernakaberd.
Built between 1976-84
Architect: A. Tarkhanian, S. Khachikyan, G. Pogosyan and G. Mushegyan
Engineers: Hamlet Badalyan (chief engineer) and I. Tsaturian, A. Azizian and M. Aharonian.
Address: Tsitsernakaberd st. 1
How to get there: You can take the metro to Barekamutyun station and walk to Karen Demirchyan Complex, it’s around two kilometers. You can also take Yandex Taxi from the center, it should cost you around 500 AMD from Republic Square.
Republic Square Metro Station
In front of the entrance to the metro station, you can find a beautiful concrete fountain in the shape of the flower, surrounded by the ceiling with carved details.
Built in 1981
Architect: Jim Torosyan, Mkrtich Minasyan
Address: Aram Street
How to get there: take the metro to Republic Square station.
Yerevan State Engineering University
This is one of the most beautiful examples of brutalism in Yerevan. The whole university building is covered in concrete shapes looking like clovers. At the entrance you can also see beautifully carved scenes.
Built in the 1980s
Architect: Armen Aghalyan
Address: 2 Koryun St
How to get there: Yerevan State Engineering University is not far away from the Cascades, the Opera House and Yeritasardakan metro station.
Tsitsernakaberd – Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex
Located on the hill above the city, this is a must place for everyone visiting Yerevan. The Genocide Museum explains the complex history of the nation and especially tragic events from 1915.
The Genocide Monument consists of 44 meters stele, the symbol of the national rebirth, and twelve slabs in the circle – the twelve lost provinces of Armenia. In the center, you will find the eternal flame, dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
The Complex was completed in November 1967, after the massive demonstrations in Yerevan on 24th April 1965, in the 50th anniversary of the Genocide.
Built in: 1966-1967
Architects: Arthur Tarkhanyan & Sashur Kalashyan, Sculptor: Van Khachatur
Address: Tsitsernakabend street 8
How to get there: your best option is Yandex Taxi, not only it is a bit away from the center (over 5 kilometers), it is also uphill. You should expect to pay around 500 AMD from Republic Square.
Mother Armenia and Victory Park
The statue of Mother Armenia is located in Victory Park, above the Cascade, and is overlooking the city.
Before, the statue of Lenin was located in this place but was removed in 1962 (one soldier was killed and many were injured during the removal process). 5 years later, in 1967, the impressive statue of Mother Armenia appeared.
It is the symbol of peace and strength, and with its location on the hill, it gives protection to the city. From in front of the monument, you can admire some beautiful views of Yerevan and iconic Mount Ararat.
There is another Mother Armenia statue, in Gyumri – the second biggest city in Armenia.
Built in: 1967
Architect: Rafael Israelyan, Sculptor: Ara Harutyunyan
Address: Azatutyan Ave, Victory Park
How to get there: you can continue walking up from the Cascade or take the Yandex Taxi from the center, it should cost around 700 AMD.
Neobrutalist block of flats
Yerevan might be the first city where you will find the block of flats built in neobrutalist style. The building was completed in 2013 and is truly impressive, looking like a gate to the city (which reminds me a lot about Belgrade, Serbia).
Address: 74 Nairi Zaryan St
How to get there: Yandex Taxi (around 700 AMD) or walk a bit from the Victory Park. The best view of the complex is actually from Northern Ray.
Building on Komitas Avenue
I only saw pictures online and haven’t found out what the building is but you can find it at 35/2 Komitas Ave.
This is the biggest sports venue in Armenia that can fit up to 54 thousand spectators. You can see it from away thanks to the bright colors the tribunes are painted in.
Built in 1969-1970
Architects: Koryun Hakobyan, Gurgen Musheghyan, engineer: Edward Tossunian
Address: 4/1 Hrazdan Gorge
How to get there: you can walk from the center (although it’s a bit uphill), the distance from the Republic Square is around 2 kilometers. Tsitsernakaberd Complex isn’t far away either.
Eduard Issabekyan Gallery building
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any info about the building.
Address: 7a Mesrop Mashtots Ave
How to get there: Eduard Issabekyan Gallery is located in the center of the city, you can easily walk here, Republic Square is some 700 meters away.
Memorial of the 50th anniversary of Soviet Armenia
A massive concrete structure at the top of the Cascade that seems still partly unfinished. It offers some amazing views of the city and Mount Ararat if you are lucky.
Built in 1967
Architects: Jim Torosyan and Sargis Gurzadyan
Address: Saralanji street / Azatutyan Avenue
How to get there: you can walk here from either the Cascade (uphill) or Victory Park (downhill). Yandex Taxi from the center is a good option too, it should cost around 700 AMD.
House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian
The museum dedicated to the world-famous composer Aram Khachaturian who actually lived in this house. The building also hosts the concert hall and works as an important cultural center.
Built in 1982
Architect Edvard Altunyan
Address: 3 Zarobyan St
How to get there: the museum is located very close to the Cascade. You can also walk here from the Marshal Baghramyan metro station.
Northern Bus station
Again, I couldn’t find more info about the building but it really is an impressive Soviet structure. Marshrutkas to Dilijan and Sevan depart from here but even if you are not planning to leave Yerevan it is worth all the way here to see the building.
Address: Sevan Highway M4
How to get there: Northern Bus station is located really far away from the center, like 10 kilometers, so Yandex Taxi is your best option, expect to pay around 1500 AMD.
Institute of Stones and Silicates
This building is especially interesting for the ornaments.
Built in 1968
Architects: L. Nushikyan, Z & V Tonikyan
Address: 40 Acharyan St
How to get there: another place that is located far from the center (that’s why I saw it only from the bus). You can take Yandex Taxi here, it should cost around 1200 AMD.
Abandoned cafe “Aragil”
That’s something for fans of exploring abandoned places, the former cafe “Aragil” (arm. Stork) is located in the Victory Park and isn’t too difficult to find, just walk the path closest to the city and you will see it. From the cafe premises you can enjoy nice views of Yerevan.
Built in 1960
Architect: Rafael Israelyan
Address: Victory Park
How to get there: follow the instructions of how to get to Mother Armenia monument.
The weird structure on Pushkin street
This is one of my favorite places for Yerevan brutalist architecture – a weird structure on the side of Pushkin street, right in the center. I have no idea what it is but it is so cool. Every time when I visit Yerevan I try to walk past it, this is such a gem!
Address: 1 Pushkin street
How to get there: this place is very close to Republic Square, on Pushkin street between Abovyan and Nalbandyan streets.
Soviet architecture in Armenia
Yerevan isn’t the only place where you can find Soviet architecture in Armenia.
Some of the best examples of brutalism include Writer’s House at Lake Sevan, the viewing platform at the side of the road in Sevan, the funky fountain in Gyumri or some buildings in Jermuk. There are just so many places to visit in Armenia!
Map of Soviet architecture in Yerevan
To make it easier for you, I put all the places mentioned above on the map that you can use during your trip to Yerevan. You can find the map here.
You can download the .kml file and put it on your phone to use the map when you explore Yerevan.
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