Flights to the Gyumri
Gyumri is a city in northwest Armenia and it’s the capital of the Shirak province, located about 120 kilometres from the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. Gyumri has known many names since it was first established in ancient times, in the year 401BC and has a rich history and a number of attractions for tourists to visit.
Though flights to Gyrumri are possible to the city’s Shirak Airport (airport code: LWN), the service there is very limited. Flights to Gyumri are better off arriving at the Zvartnots International Airport (code: EVN), about 120 kilometres away near the capital of Yerevan. You can take the train, bus or a rental car. BMI, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways all have flights to Yerevan with one connection in London. Alternatively, a flight with Lufthansa goes through Munich and Vienna.
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The Tourist Attractions of the Gyumri:
This historic city once held far more architecture of interest to visiting tourists but unfortunately suffered a large earthquake in 1988 that destroyed many of the older buildings. Some have been rebuilt or repaired so there are still a number of interesting sights to see making Gyumri a good tourist destination all the same.
Kumayri Historic District
The Kumayri Historic District has an open air museum feel about it with its assortment of historic buildings. Despite that large earthquake, and an earlier one in 1926, there are said to be over a thousand 18th and 19th century buildings here. The fact that they survived two major earthquakes is testament to the sturdy way they were built!
The Dzitoghtsyan House Museum, also called the Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life of Gyumri, is situated within the historical district. This old mansion house displays exhibits on the history and culture of Gyumri, including paintings and other artwork.
Gyumri also has a number of other house museums that give tourists the chance to see more of the historical Armenian architecture. The Aslamazyan Sisters House Museum is just one and it’s popular for the nearly 700 drawings and other creations of the Aslamazyan Sisters from the Soviet era.
Sev Ghul Fortress
Sev Ghul (meaning Black Sentry) is a Russian fortress built on a hill in Gyumri and was constructed in the 1830s. It could accommodate up to 15,000 soldiers and was heavily armed. Today it is still used by the Russian military who have a division stationed here. Look out for the Mother Armenia statue that stands on a neighbouring hill.
Gyumri has many attractive churches to see too, dating from the 1600s onwards. One of the earlier ones is the cathedral, Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God, which was built in the 17th century. Some churches were badly damaged by the 1988 earthquake and they are being restored under the supervision of Earthwatch to ensure that the city’s character and architecture are kept as authentic as possible.
When Should You Visit?:
Summer is definitely the best time to visit Gyumri as temperatures are warm and the weather generally sunny. You can expect average high temperatures between June and August t reach 36C, however, winters are a different story and can be very cold.