Some may or may not be aware that Yerevan is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The primary foundations of the city were established in the 8th century, when King Argishti I of the Urartian Kingdom founded the Erebuni Fortress, where Yerevan gets its name. Over the centuries, Yerevan’s landscape changed according to its historical circumstances. Most importantly, because Yerevan was located between Europe and Asia, invasions caused the city to be sacked and destroyed several times. As a result, the city has had several facelifts. Not much has changed today: much of Old Yerevan has been destroyed to make way for new buildings. What is left of the old city is continuously being threatened.
Kond is unique because it is one of the remnants of Old Yerevan. This is why the area is so important — it is a vestige of Yerevan’s past. Personally, as I explore the narrow meandering streets of Kond, I am transported back to 17th century Yerevan, when the Qajar (Persian) Empire ruled much of Transcaucasia. With close inspection, one can spot the original ancient brickwork of the existing buildings.
Unfortunately, Kond resembles a shanty town: it is poorly maintained and there is talk of destruction. On a happier note, there is a new initiative to rebuild Old Yerevan!
For history and architecture lovers, get lost exploring the steep and windy streets of Kond. Don’t forget to visit the 17th century St. Hovhannes church at the very top of neighborhood!