Much like Kond (check out the article), the Kanaker neighbourhood is another stronghold of ancient Armenian identity within the modern city of Yerevan’s boundaries. Originally an outlying village, Kanaker was the birthplace of one of Armenia’s most prominent romantic-era authors, Khatchatur Abovyan. You can still get a feel of that village heritage today. Abovyan is noted for writing the first-ever secular novel in Armenian history. His writings were typically sprinkled with local Kanaker slang, which in turn, helped set the literary standard for the modern Armenian language.
The city also served an important role in the liberation of Yerevan from the Persians, when the Russian Imperial Army set up camp there in 1827. the Russian Orthodox Church of the Intercession of the Holy Mother of God was later constructed on the site to commemorate the battle and can be visited to this day.
Another prominent Armenian hailing from Kanaker is the world-famous Duduk player, Djivan Gasparyan. His music was featured in films such as Gladiator, and Blood Diamond. Despite having been merged with the Zeytun Neighbourhood of Yerevan to form the Kanaker-Zeytun district, Kanaker has preserved much of its heritage.
This district is a little out of the way from the city centre, but I do enjoy going up there because every street corner has something to discover: medieval Armenian churches, museums, interesting soviet-era architectural vestiges and more.