Gyumri, Sirak (Armenia)

2017-04-17 13:34:09 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia and the capital of the Shirak Province in the northwestern part of the country. By the end of the 19th century, when the city was known as Alexandropol, it was one of the largest cities of Russian-ruled Eastern Armenia with a population similar to that of Yerevan. It was renamed to Leninakan during the Soviet period. The city's population grew above 200,000 prior to the 1988 Spitak earthquake, when it was devastated. As of the 2011 census, the city had a population of 121,976, down from 150,917 reported at the 2001 census.

Population

The population of Gyumri has gradually grown since 1840 after gaining the status of town. A huge decline of the population was due to the disastrous earthquake of 1988. The residents here have a distinct look and style, and a boundless pride in their city. The dialect of Gyumri is a variant of Karin dialect, closely related to Western Armenian.

Culture

Museums and art

Gyumri is home to many prominent museums of Armenia, including the House-Museums of sculptor Sergey Merkurov, poets Avetik Isahakyan and Hovhannes Shiraz, and actor Mher Mkrtchyan. The Aslamazyan Sisters House-Museum, built in the 1880s, is home to more than 700 drawings, paintings and other works of the Soviet-era artists "Aslamazyan sisters". The Dzitoghtsyan Museum of Social Life and National Architecture of Gyumri is an old mansion, housing collections related to both history and the everyday-life of Gyumri, as well as paintings and other works of art.

Throughout centuries, Kumayri-Gyumri was labelled as the "city of crafts and arts", being famous for its schools, theaters and gusans.

In 1865, an amateur theatre group in Gyumri performed H. Karinyan's "Shushanik". In 1912, Gyumri was home to the first opera show ever staged in Armenia, when composer Armen Tigranian presented Anoush to the public in Alexandropol. In 1923, the first Armenian opera theatre was opened in Gyumri (where the first ballet performance in Armenia took place in 1924), while the Vardan Ajemian State Drama Theatre was founded in 1928. Prominent directors Ruben Simonov and Vardan Ajemian, actors Mher Mkrtchyan, Azat Sherents and Varduhi Varderesyan worked in theatre. The theatre's new building was opened in 1972. The artistic director is Nikolay Tsaturyan. Gyumri is known for its 19th-century architecture and urban constructions.

The first printing house of Gyumri was founded in 1876 by G. Sanoyan and operated until 1918. It published literary works (including Avetik Isahakyan's first book), calendars, and textbooks. Another printing house, Ayg (founded 1892), published historical books and the first periodical of Gyumri, Akhuryan.

Gyumri is home to the Gyumri Biennial, organized by the artist Azat Sargsyan and the Gyumri Centre of Contemporary Art (GCCA). Gyumri was officially declared Commonwealth of Independent States cultural capital in 2013.

Local customs

The residents are Gyumri are widely known as conservative people. Traditions and local customs are widely preserved by the local citizens. It is very common among Armenians to refer to the dignity of Gyumri.

Gyumri is considered to be the "laughter and humor capital" of Armenia. The jokes and anecdotes of famous local humorists like Jgher Khachik and Poloz Mukuch are widely known by the local citizens. Many works have been published to narrate about the legacy and heritage of the humor in Gyumri.

Economy

During the pre-Soviet era, Alexandropol was considered the third-largest trade and cultural centre in Transcaucasia after Tiflis and Baku (Yerevan would not rise to prominence until being proclaimed as the capital of independent Armenia in 1918 and Armenian SSR in 1920). At the end of the 19th century, the population of Alexandropol has grown up to 32,100 inhabitants, with a majority of Armenians.

The economy of Gyumri is mainly based on industry and construction. However, tourism and banking services are also among the developed sectors in the city.

The industrial sector in the provincial centre Gyumri includes the production of building materials (tufa and basalt), hosiery and textile manufacturing, food processing and dairy products, alcoholic drinks, electronic machines, etc. The largest industrial plant in Gyumri is the Gyumri-Beer Brewery opened in 1972. The factory produces a variety of lager beer under the brands Gyumri, Ararat and Aleksandrapol. The city is also home to the "Factory of Bending Machinses" opened in 1912, the "Arshaluys" hosiery manufacturing enterprise established in 1926, the "Karhat" machine tools plant opened in 1959, the "Chap Chemical LLC" since 1999, the "Armtex Group" clothing factory since 2000, and the "Lentex" hosiery manufacturing plant is operating since 2001. Other industrial firms of the city include the "Aleqpol" factory for dairy products, the "Anusharan" confectionery plant, and the "Gold Plast" plant for building materials.

The nearby village of Akhuryan is home to the "Lusastgh-Sugar" factory (opened in 2010), the largest sugar producers in the Southern Caucasus region.

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