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Commemorating the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1922, this institution offers a powerful museum experience similar to that of Israel's Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum). Designed by architects Arthur Tarkhanyan and Sashur Kalashyan working with artist Hovhannes Khachatryan, the two-storey exhibition space is built into the side of the hill so as not to detract from the monument above. The story of this horrific historical event is told through photographs, documents, newspaper reports and films.
From the museum, a broad pathway flanked by a 100m-long wall engraved with the names of massacred communities leads to the memorial, which was built in 1967. It consists of a 40m-high spire next to a circle of 12 basalt slabs leaning over to guard an eternal flame. The 12 tilted slabs represent the lost provinces of western Armenia, land lost to Turkey in a post-WWI peace deal between Ataturk and Lenin, while the spire has a fine split dividing it into larger and smaller needles, the smaller one representing western Armenia.
In the grounds there is a stand of trees planted by foreign leaders who use the term genocide to describe the events that occurred.
The complex is on Tsitsernakaberd Hill (Fortress of Swallows) across the Hrazdan Gorge from central Yerevan. The easiest way to get here is via taxi (AMD800 to AMD1200 from the city centre). Alternatively, take marshrutka 46 from Mesrop Mashtots Ave and alight at the steps of Hamalir (the Sports and Concert Complex). From here you can walk up the steps to the end of the park where the memorial and the museum are located. If driving, heading towards the Hrazdan stadium, turn right onto Athena St and look out for a blue sign with white lettering signalling the route.