Gyumri is situated 126 km from Yerevan (capital of the Republic of Armenia). It lies in the northwestern part of Armenia in the central Shirak Highland. It sits 1550 feet above sea level.
The population of the city is over 150,000 people, with a territory of 4429 hectares. Gyumri is the regional center and has history dating back at least five thousand years. Geographically it is situated in the Shirak Valley, on the left bank of the Akhuryan river. Gyumri is just north from the highest mountain in Armenia; Aragats. Four branches of the Akhuryan river flow through the city; Gyumrichay, Ghorghoba, and Boshichay the river of the Cherkez canyon. The climate is very dry.
Gyumri and its surrounding areas have been populated for thousands of years. The settlement named Kumayri first is mentioned in 774, and then again in the 13th century. No further information about the settlement was recorded until the beginning of the 19th century.
Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as their official religion. Therefore, there are several hundred year old churches throughout its territory.
The economic life of the area started to flourish only after the resettlement of the western Armenians (1829-1830). Gradually, new districts started to appear.
The Kumayri historic district is one of the few places in the Republic of Armenia with an authentic historical urban Armenian architecture. Luckily for the Gyumri city and their citizens, this district has survived two mayor earthquakes.
The Kumayri Historic District is the oldest area of the city, full of traditions and culture. People from all over the world are attracted to the historic district, because of its unique houses, amazing churches and delightful cuisine. The city has recently become part of the World Monuments Fund. Gyumri’s architecture is just one of the major attributes that contains a long and rich history. Houses in Gyumri are built with indigenous red and black tuff, a volcanic stone used for construction.
For real-time views of the city, click here.
The “Kumayri” Historic District, a museum under the open air, has over one thousand 18th and 19th century buildings and it is the only place in Armenia where people can see an authentic historic Armenian city. This project will help support the development of a strategically planned project to completely restore some of the most important buildings of the city. A new strategic management will be created for managing the restoration plan of the historic district. A friendly tourism environment will be created which will help the city infrastructure and the local city budget. Gyumri has the highest unemployment rate in Armenia and this project will provide many jobs for the people of Gyumri. Training will be provided for community members and opportunities will be created for community members of all ages to get involved in the project. With more tourists traveling to Gyumri, the city will become a top tourism destination and establish “Tour Gyumri” as a world famous brand. This project will help the city regain its standing as the Armenian center of arts and culture. With the help of local craftsman, the established souvenir stores will be enriched with traditional Gyumri arts and crafts.
Gyumri is a city with industrial and banking potential, with 12 bank branches, more than 20 large companies and over 500 business entities.
Today, Gyumri embraces a new spiritual flight and the correct organization and the harmonious development of the marvelous traditions of its economic and cultural life are important guarantees in shaping the modern city portrait.
We welcome you to our city. VISIT GYUMRI!
A virtual walk through Gyumri city
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Empower Women Via Tourism
We believe that through tourism we can change the social economic statues of women who live in Gyumri and in particular in rural communities of Shirak province. The lives of young women from the northern Armenian province of Shirak are controlled by untouched traditions and strict social rules. Most of the population who live in the villages located to the north and south of the City of Gyumri is mainly engaged in agriculture.
Over the years since the 1988 earthquake social and economic hardships have forced many men to leave Armenia in search of better-paying jobs. Women have to stay and take care of their children by themselves. In most cases, men never return back. The problem begins for most of them, when early marriages and rural lifestyles force them to start a complicated life deprived of achieving social and economic security. We have found that a majority of girls see themselves as household workers rather than individuals who can make a change or take the initiative.
We offer you to spend time with local village families, be part of the unique cooking experience, learn about the traditions that they have kept alive and inspire them to change their own lives. This is where you will be able to taste real Armenian untouched traditions and enjoy great hospitality of these families.
If you are interested to learn more about this initiation, please, visit here
Birthright Armenia Armenian Volunteer Corps