May 22, 2017

Cascade – Art and European sophistication in Yerevan, Armenia

Cascade is my favourite part of Yerevan. Granted I didn’t see every street in the city, but this square is the most cosmopolitan that I saw on my Armenian sojourn. There are cafes on tree-lined streets around a sculpture garden, where you can sit out under awnings and enjoy the evenings. There was even a 2CV parked there to give the full European experience.

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Cascade was originally planned by Alexander Tamanyan to link the northern and central parts of Yerevan and there is a large statue commemorating him in the square. However the plan was forgotten until the 1970s, when construction started haphazardly, though it was not finished and opened until 2009. Now in is the home of the Cafejian Centre for the Arts and contains a complex of galleries and display areas and a permanent sculpture exhibition. This arts centre is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. It shows contemporary sculptures from their collection in the gardens at the top and bottom of the huge building, as well as exhibitions inside. From the very top there are good view across the city. I did see a runner valiantly jogging up the steps, but don’t worry, there are escalators to take you all the way up.

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At the base of Cascade there are many cafes and restaurants. We ate at the new Grill House Hacker-Pschorr, which serves authentic German lagers in big Oktoberfest steins – although I was told that Oktoberfest glasses hold 1.5 litres and these were only a litre. Along with deep-fried cheese bites and tender steaks we had dark rye-style garlic bread with a mayonnaise dip.

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If you are in Yerevan then make sure you check out the Cascade district. I think you’ll like it.

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I was a guest of the Armenian Competitiveness Foundation 

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