Arrived in Gyumri — die hard or live free.

The second largest city in Armenia. You can get here from Yerevan by train, which runs 4 times a day, or by minibus, which rushes for 120 kilometers on a two-lane road for 3 hours. Choose.

Gyumri is an extremely ancient city, founded as far back as the -5th century. The first settlements appeared on the site of Gyumri 5 thousand years ago.

The city is actually very cool. There is an absolutely bombastic administration building on the main square that resembles the White House in Washington.

There is a cinema named “October” on the square, with an authentic Soviet sign on its roof.

There are some crazy Armenian posters hanging on the cinema, one of which has a photoshopped coffin next to a sleeping man for some reason.

There are also two churches here: one on each side of the square, both from the 19th century.

There is some magical sphere embedded in the wall of one of the churches, the purpose of which remains unknown.

Generally speaking, Gyumri is currently in a state of neglect. The remains of former luxury rise above the overgrown pavement and worn-out sidewalks.

The old meat market resembles the Chernobyl reactor, which was covered with a protective arch.

The makeshift market intrudes among the old signs and tries to spoil the impression of the city.

In vain. Gyumri is an absolutely stunning city, no matter how much it may be ruined.

I absolutely did not expect to see such expressive architecture here, even if it is worn out by time.

A passing Volga car in Gyumri appears as a masterpiece of landscape art.

A randomly standing baluster-shaped fountain turns the Armenian city into ancient Rome.

Ah and oh.

Indeed, I’ve seen similar houses in Edinburgh.

Unfortunately, there is unemployment in Gyumri now. People are leaving Armenia as a whole, and especially from second-tier cities. Therefore, there is no one to take care of this beautiful city.

It’s a pity, because the city is incredibly beautiful. It’s a complete immersion in an entirely new atmosphere. What kind of Armenian Middle Ages is this? The houses are unlikely to be older than the 19th century, but they look as if they are three hundred years old.

I don’t know what is written on this building, but judging by the design, it’s some kind of communist factory.

In Gyumri, there is only one landmark. The Black Fortress is located here, an old fort built by the Russian Empire in 1847 to protect against the Ottoman Empire.

The Black Fortress is located a little outside the city, on a hill.

The fortress is black in color because it is built of tuff.

You can go inside without a ticket. Honestly, there is not much to see here. Well, it’s a fortress. Have we never seen fortresses before?

Inside, the Black Fortress looks like scenery for Fort Boyard.

God knows what it is and what it is for. Either they hold some kind of shows, or it’s a strip club.