Tsitsernakaberd (the Swallows’ Fortress) Memorial

Weg der Steine - Armenien/ Eriwan Collage When World War I broke out Armenians found themselves on both sides of the front. They joined the Russian army to blow Ottoman forces. The Young Turk leaders decided to deport Armenians from their historic homeland into the deserts of Mesopotamia. In the process as many as a million and a half were massacred in what most historians call the 1st genocide of the 20th century.

In the late 1960s on a high plateau a monument was built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Turkish genocide against the Armenians.

The memorial is outdoors and overlooks Yerevan city. Twelve massive blocks of stone lean inward and surround an eternal flame. An obelisk stretches high to the sky in two parts that are separated by a fissure. The twelve stone blocks represent the provinces of western Armenia that were emptied of their native Armenian population. The obelisk symbolizes the union of western and eastern Armenia. Though if careful, you’ll notice that they stand very close but are not connected.

Tens of thousands of Armenians make a pilgrimage to the memorial each year on April 24, which is a national day of commemoration and mourning. The Museum of the Armenian Genocide is located nearby. There one can see books, publications, photos and documentaries authenticating the Turkish genocide against the Armenians.

Anna Zeibert, Eriwan