Gyumri was called Kumaïri , then Gyumri . In 1837, it became Alexandropol under the Russian empire then, in 1924, Léninakan for the Soviet period. After the independence of Arménie she was baptized again Gumri as of 1991.
Antiquity & the Middle AgesOne believes that the site of the city today of Gyumri was founded in Ve front century J. - C, more precisely towards about 401 front J. - C, by Greek colononies. An alternative theory suggests that the city was founded by the Cimmériens, based on the fact that Cimmériens occupied the area towards 720 av. J. - C. and that the original name of the city was Kumaïri. The evidence of Habitation S of this time is numerous: in 1879 one found objects out of bronze pertaining to II century front J.C. In 1928, knives and iron bracelets of X-IXe front century J.C were found during the excavations. Very close to Gumri, in the village named Vahramaberd, on a rock there is a wedge-shaped inscription of the king urartien Arguishti I saying that it invaded the country of Eriani (according to historians it is same the Shirak, which corresponds to Kumaïri, previously quoted).
These “rules of life” sporadically existed during the two following millenia until a major Russian fortress was built on the site in 1837. Gumri became a city in 1840 then a republican city with the arrival of the railroad in 1926.
XIXe centuryGyumri started to develop at the 19th century, when, with its environment, it became Russian in 1804, during the war Russo-Iranian woman (1804 - 1813). Twenty-five years front, the Arménie was plain. For this period, it became one of the most famous cities of the the Caucasus thanks to its transactions. In 1829, approximately thirty hundreds of families of the Western Armenian cities of Kars, Erzurum, Dogubeyazit and other places migrated and settled in Gumri - a time when the city had a relatively piled up “aspect”.
In 1837, the Tsar Russian Nicholas arrived at Gumri and named the Alexandropol city. The name was selected in homage to the woman of the tsar Nicholas I, the Princesse Charlotte of Prussia, which had changed its name and which had become Alexandra Fyodorovna after her conversion with the orthodoxe Christianisme . In 1840, the town of Alexandropol believed quickly. It was an important outpost for the imperial Russian army in Transcaucasie, where their military small houses were established. Alexandropol was regarded as the third shopping mall and cultural of the Caucasus in transaction after Tiflis and Bakou. At the end of the 19th century the population of Alexandropol reached 32.000 inhabitants. Of 1858 - 1876, the church St Prkich (Holy Saver) was set up, resembling the Catholic Cathedral of Ani. The first railroad of Aleksandropol was finished in 1899, which was called the railroad Tiflis-Alexandropol, then built of it another named Alexandropol- Erevan. In 1906 the railroad reached Djoulfa, therefore Tabriz. The construction of this railroad made it city an important place.
XXe centuryDuring the Russo-Turkish War, the Armenians living of cities like Kars, Erzurum and others made aolrs left the Ottoman Empire, then migrated Alexandropol VAr, where Russian had established a fortress. At the time, people regarded Alexandropol as more important than Erevan. Erevan was “discrete” until its proclamation of capital of the Republic independent of Arménie in 1918 then that of SR in 1920.
During the turco-Armenian war, Turkey attacked Gyumri and occupied the city on November 7th 1920 after the victory of the Battle of Alexandropol. After the battle, the Turks had based themselves in Gyumri. These Turkish presented to the Armenians an ultimatum which Arménie was forced to accept - otherwise the Turkey would have invaded Erevan, of their situation in Gyumri. The Arménie was thus forced to sign the Treaty of Alexandropol to stop the projection of Turkish towards Erevan, thus finishing the turco-Armenian war.
In 1924 the name “Alexandropol became “Leninakan” after the death of the Soviet leader, Lénine. Leninakan was a major industrial center for the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and the second largest city, after Erevan.
The current name of the city was selected in 1990, at the time of the end of the “Soviet empire”. Today, Gyumri is always the second plus big city of Arménie.
GeographyGumri is the second town of Arménie by its population, its industry and its cultural and scientific importance. Occupying a surface of 3.626 hectares, Gumri counts 146.000 inhabitants (2006). The city is located at the North-West of Arménie, on left bank of the river Akhurian, at an average altitude of 1.500 meters above the sea level.
The western part is highest, made up of two high plateaus. The relief is flat, not very separate, cover from 300 to 350 meters of volcanic sediments and lakes. The climate is continental with hot summers and cold winters. The annual average temperature is 10 °C, with an average of - 8 °C in January (the minimal temperature having been of - 35 °C) and of 27 °C in July (maximum temperature of 40 °C). Pluviometry is 500 millimetres. The city is in a seismic zone of 8-9 degrees.
The population is made up to 98% of Armenians, but one finds there also Russians, Kurds and Greeks.
MonumentsThere are five churches, a convent and a Russian vault in Gyumri. One of the historical churches which appears among most important is the Church of the Saint-Saver (Sourb Amenaprkich), resembling the catholic cathedral of Ani. Its construction began in 1859 and was completed in 1873. It was enormously damaged by the earthquake of 1988, but it is currently rebuilt.
- the champion of long jump Robert Emmiyan was born in Gyumri
the poet Avetik Issahakian is him also born in Gyumri.
Sources and references
- Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia article on Leninakan, R. Hovesian.
- Leninakan of Vazgen Azatian, edition of Erevan, 1989.
- Given demographic: Teaching institute of Gumri Artaches
External bondAn official site of Gumri
- Amenaprkich Church (in English)
- Musées of Gumri (in English)
Various photographs of Gyumri
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