VIVA EASTPARTSmall Historic Centers in Armenia: from ancient time to modern realities
Armenia in brief 29,743 square kilometres The terrain is mostly mountainous Тhe highest point - 4,095 metres Тhe lowest point - 375 metres The climate is highland continental
The Republic of Armenia, covering an area of 29,743 square kilometres (11,484 sq mi), is located in the north- east of the Armenian Highland (400,000 square kilometres (154,441 sq mi)), otherwise known as historical Armenia and considered as the original homelandof Armenians, the territory even now isfull of Armenian cultural monuments.
…..Armenia, a subtly green, richlytextured landscaped, every corner of which has been sculpted by millennia of human triumphs and tragedies….. Brady Kiesling. Rediscovering Armenia
Small Historic Centers ONLY a few Examples The "Pilot Project on the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in Historic Towns" (http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/cooperation/ )
SANAHIN Monastery Complex, founded in 966, significant cultural, scientific and educational centres, UNESCO site administrative center of the Kyurikyan Kings in 11th and 12th centuries and the residence of the Bishop seminary, where besides the theological studies and research manuscripts were produced and copied the famous library established in 1063
Ashtarak town one of the oldest settlements in Armenia first written reference to it dates back to 9th century the most ancient part is “Berdatagh” (Fortress quarter), the name deriving from a Cyclopean fortress nearby one of the most important observatories in the Eastern European and Middle East area – the Byurakan Observatory, is situated in this region. famous with its wines and sun- dried fruit production
Yeghegis and Gnishik villages picturesque landscapes, wild flora and fauna, historical and cultural heritage. settled since IV-V centuries well preserved tombstones with inscription in Hebrew, Assyriac and Arabic were found in the area Yeghegis was famous with its Smbataberd Fortress, one of the biggest (15 hectare) and impenetrable fortifications in Historic Armenia leading sectors of economy in villages are agriculture and stock- raising
Goris town the oldest settlements of Syunik region. First references go back to the 13th century. for defensive purposes dwellers used to built their homes by carving the nearby cone-shaped rocks and in the caves unique-style traditional one-two- story houses, public, administrative and trade buildings across the rectangular-shaped street networks shaped the historical center of the town favorable geographical location, climate and the unique natural landscape, as well as the rich cultural heritage and the well preserved local traditions
Noratus village located on the Southern shore of Lake Sevan, at the foot of the Gueghama Mountain Chain. famous with its Old Cemetery, 9- 19th centuries, where more than 600 khachkars (cross-stones) carved with unique patterns and other tomb-stones are found , unique feature of the Armenian Cultural Heritage. UNESCO included the “Culture of Khachkar” in the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.
Oshakan village an important settlement throughout the history of Armenia a Royal summer residence during the Artaxiad and Arsacid Dinasties (1st century BC-4th century AD) the ruins of an Urartian fortress on the top of the Didi Kond Hill, many Antic era crypts have been excavated the five- arched bridge over the Kasakh River in the middle of the village. burial place of St. Mesrop Mashtots, inventor of the Armenian Alphabet and the founder of the Armenian School in 404 AD
Main Regulations in the field of Cultural and Natural Heritage The legal regulation of the cultural heritage field is implemented by the Constitution, laws, Government decrees, Ministerial and other legal acts, and international agreements signed by the Republic of Armenia. The Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the Principles of Cultural Legislation” The Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the Protection and Use of Immovable Historical and Cultural Monuments and Historical Environment” (1998) Procedures of “State registration, study, protection, repair, rehabilitation, use” and “Relocation of historical and cultural immovable monuments”. The Law of the Republic of Armenia “On immovable monuments of history and culture considered state property of the Republic of Armenia and not subject to alienation” (2007) The Law “On export and import of cultural assets” (2004) The Law “On copyright and related rights”
The Law “On Archives” The Law “On the mandatory copy of the documents” The Law “On specially protected areas of nature” (2006) The Law “On Urban Planning” (1998)The following laws also include provisions related to cultural heritage: “On local self-government” “On local self-government in Yerevan”, “Land Code of the Republic of Armenia”, “Water Code of the Republic of Armenia”, “Forest Code of the Republic of Armenia”, “Civil Code of the Republic of Armenia”, “Code on Administrative-legal violations of the Republic of Armenia”. Draft laws “On libraries” and “On museums and museum fund” of the Republic of Armenia which have been submitted to the Parliament for discussion.
Other Protection/Safeguarding Mechanisms for Historic Towns and SettlementsAccording to the law “On Urban Planning”, keyissues of spatial development of the country andthe activities aimed at their implementation arereflected in the planning documents of national,territorial and local levels.
At the national level the General project of settlement distribution and territorial organization projects are being elaborated At the regional level territorial planning projects (for the marz or several communities/micro- regional level)are being elaborated. At the local level General Plans of communities and zoning projects are being elaborated.
In all the documents elaborated at above- mentioned levels the limitations related to the protection of the natural and cultural heritage are duly taken into account. Simultaneously, proposals are presented for the improvement of its use and protection. The towns of Gyumri, Vanadzor, Dilijan, Jermuk, Vagharshapat, Ashtarak, Goris, as well as Tatev and Halidzor village communities have been identified as special urban planning territories, based on the need for protecting the historical-cultural heritage in their territories.
Programs implemented and being implemented1. The "Pilot Project on the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in Historic Towns" ( http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/cooperat Enhancing available heritage resources Managing existing constraints and pressures Introducing public debate in the decision- making process Making the best of the existing urban fabric to foster a different kind of modernity
The Preliminary Phase has led to the following main achievements: Setting up of political back up and technical management structure Publication of Heritage Assessment Reports Development of a regional network of professionals and towns Elaboration and implementation of the Diagnosis methodology Public Awareness / communication
"Architectural and Natural Heritage Restoration in Urban Development Policies/Armenia”, 2003 - 2006, with the support of the Council of Europe, the Ministry of Urban Development (with the participation of Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Nature Protection, local authorities, NGOs and experts within the Programme “Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation in the South Caucasus/Regional Project on Management of Historical Cities and Institutional Capacity Building.”
National experts have elaborated the“Concept of priorities of urban policy forthe restoration of architectural and natural heritage for the towns of Ashtarak, Goris and Gyumri."
Town of Jermuk (Vayots Dzor Marz) was announced as a tourism centre. The program is being implemented jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Urban Development, and other stakeholders. By the request of the Ministry of Urban Development the Vayots Dzor territorial planning was made (approved by the Government decree N103-N as of 2010-02- 11).
“Tatev” and “North Gate” tourism centres were approved and targeted programs were developed. These programs for tourism centres are long-term plans from the perspective of tourism development in Armenia according to their rich historical-/cultural heritage and climatic conditions, peculiarities and traditions.
Since 2008 the Ministry of Economy has been implementing the program Roads of Culture and Tourism for Development and Dialogue in Armenia” managed by the Moscow office of UNESCO. The main goal of the program is to develop tourism in the territories of Armenia where historical-cultural monuments listed in UNESCO world heritage list or monuments nominated for inclusion in the list.
Government of Armenia adopted the decision “On activities aimed at solutions of the problems of the “Garni-Geghard” tourism route”, which has determined a number of projects and measures for development of infrastructure around the Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery and Charentz Arch. Currently construction works are implemented with the assistance of the UNDP.
Ministry of Culture has implemented a monument rehabilitation project in Gyumri (monument- buildings #2 on Shchors street, and #2 and #2A on Achemyan Street). As a result, the mentioned monument-buildings will receive new operational significance and will operate as the Shirak Regional Museum of Folk-Lore, the branch of Armenian National Art Gallery and the Shirak Regional Library.
Armenian Monuments Awareness Project (AMAP) is a permanent project to increase awareness of Armenia’s historical, cultural and natural monuments by creating and installing signed, print, multimedia and online presentations at selected sites while creating a viable, sustainable public-private partnership to create, develop and maintain programming at Armenian monuments.