The Sad Bull Yerevan

Image by Vahagn Vardumyan

The Sad Bull – A caged symbull

When I saw this bas-relief hidden behind the rain gutter, I immediately imagined that bull’s monologue: “First they borrowed my brave,ancient character and used it in Soviet Armenian architecture to perhaps celebrate their triumph over consciousness & spiritual values of the glorious past, then they put this stupid pipe in front of my face, I guess to punish me for losing the game! Can someone please remove it now?!”

I looked down and saw that the closest people to hear these complaints were the workers of the Ministry of Finances, whose windows are just below this artwork, and I understood why nothing’s changed over the years. And this seems to be a tiny detail, but it actually is a symbolic indicator of how modern life transforms many values. In ancient Armenian mythology, the bull symbolized power, vigor & strength, and was believed to carry the earth on his horns. Even in the Christian era of believing in one God, Armenians still believed in the power of the Bull, which was one of the most influential symbolic characters of the Armenian history.

Bulls can be found on many frescoes, bas-reliefs, coins, stamps etc. Their statues have been guarding temples and city gates. But the times have changed and now a simple building maintenance procedure like a rain gutter installation can easily cage an ancient symbol like this. People certainly forgot that the Earth turns on a bull’s horns and when he shakes his head earthquakes begin. Give the Sad Bull a smile, please.

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Details about this spot



Buzand Street, Yerevan

Opening Times

24 hours daily
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)