Cascade Yerevan, or Kaskad Yerevan, as locals like to call it, is one of the main landmarks of the city. It’s a complex of cafes, restaurants, museums, statues, architecture and more.
Cascade Yerevan, sometimes spelt as Kaskad Yerevan by locals in Yerevan, Armenia is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the heart of the city.
About Cascade Yerevan (Kaskad Yerevan)
Yerevan Cascade is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Yerevan city. It is a huge stairway linking the center of Yerevan, or as locals call it, Kentron, to the Victory Park and the Monument neighborhood.
Yerevan Cascade is located in the center of Yerevan. Other known places in the city center neighboring Cascade are the Opera and Ballet Theatre and Matenadaran.
The Cascade is composed of:
- Monumental exterior stairway
- Long series of escalators
- An intricate network of halls
- Courtyards and outdoor gardens where you can see numerous works of architecture and sculpture portraying Armenian rich history and cultural heritage
How was Yerevan Cascade constructed & who was the architect?
Basically, this whole complex is a gigantic stairway that has both inner and outer parts. Each of those parts have their own architectural style. There are statues and artwork of different styles that can be found on any tourist’s or local’s Instagram account.
But whose idea was it to build stairs that are bigger than many of the buildings in Yerevan?
The idea of directly linking the Monument area to the city center was initially proposed by the architect of Yerevan, Alexandr Tamanian. His main aim to connect central part of the city to the northern part was because the center was lower and northern part was higher. The Armenian highlands have no flat streets and areas. Mountains everywhere!
Although they used Tamanian’s initial plan as a basis, they also incorporated it with their own imagination of the final structure.
At the end of the 1980s, the construction of the Cascade complex was interrupted for various reasons. One of those reasons was Spitak earthquake. Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union. In this regard, Armenia appeared in a severe economic hardship and was unable to complete the construction.
Only in 2002, Gerard Cafesjian, an American-Armenian businessman, initiated its revitalization. He also founded a Center for the Arts which thereby named after him; Cafesjian Museum Foundation.
What is available in Yerevan’s Cascade complex?
#1 | Cafesjian Museum of Art
The goal of “Cafesjian Center for Arts” is to introduce foreigners to the best pieces and items of Armenian contemporary art. The museum’s collection consists of masterpieces created by outstanding sculptures. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Grigor Khanjyan
- Arshile Gorky
- Fernando Botero
- John Altoon
- Marc Chagall, etc.
In order to get to the Arts Center, there is an escalator inside the Cascade, equal to the length of the complex, providing a commode means of reaching to the top for those who don’t love climbing the stairs or are simply unable.
#2 | Galleries
The Cafesjian Center for Arts consists of various notable galleries for example,
- Gallery One (including glass works by artists Jaromir Rybak, Ivan Mares, Bertil Vallien, John Kuhn, Jan Zoricak )
- Khanjyan Gallery
- Eagle Gallery (composed of works from art historian Poghos Haytayan, painter Robert Elibakian and architect Oshin Yeghiazariantz private collections)
- Sasuntsi Davit Gallery (with pieces of glass works by most renowned Czech glass artists Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova)
- Eagle Garden Gallery and Swarovsky Gallery
A huge number of exhibitions are periodically organized at the galleries. Many tourists that are interested in arts come to see, enjoy and learn new things about the country’s cultural heritage.
#3 | The Museum Store
The museum store looks more like a gallery rather than a store. It offers not only exclusive Armenian crafts and arts, but items and unique works from all over the world by various artists, for example, Isamu Noguchi, Dale Chihuly and Andy Warhol.
#4 | The Spectacular View From Cascade Yerevan
One of the main reasons why Cascade has a great number of visitors (more than 1,200,000 people visited the Cafesjian Center for Arts as of 2011) is the spectacular view to Yerevan from the top of Cascade.
Cascade is crowded with visitors not only during daytime or summertime. It is always full of both local people and tourists even in the evenings (the youth spends time here more in the evenings) and winter days.
Here are number of things you can do here:
- Hungry? Want some drinks? Anything you like can be found in numerous cafes and restaurants around Cascade Yerevan
- Want to do something physical? Go climb the stairs to the top. Best exercise ever!
- Want some time alone? Enjoy being alone with your thoughts? Just reach to the middle or the top of the stairs and find an empty area, it’s the best way to escape the reality and travel through your imagination.
- Do you want to see all of Yerevan at once? There’s an observation desk on the top of Cascade where the whole city can be seen as if in your palm!
#5 | Entertainment Outside Cascade Complex
There are numerous green areas and flowers planted in front of Cascade that look very much like pieces of art. There are also a lot of interesting contemporary sculptures and statues that attract people’s attention. The statues vary in their architecture style and meaning.
Presented among them, you can find works of renowned sculptors:
- Lynn Chadwick (British sculptor, considered as one of the of 20th century art giants)
- Barry Flanagan (Welsh sculptor)
- Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova (spouses from Czech Republic)
- Paul Cox (English sculptor)
- Jaume Plensa (Spanish Catalan sculptor and artist)
- Fernando Botero (Colombian artist)
#6 | Cafesjian Sculpture Garden
Here is a part of the mentioned sculptures list that together make up the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden:
- “Stairs”, “Two Watchers” and “Sitting Forms” (by Lynn Chadwick)
- “Acrobats” and “Hare on Bell” (by Barry Flanagan)
- “Open Window” (by Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova)
- A cartoon-like boat – “Ahoy” (by Paul Cox)
- “Black Cat” and the “Roman Warrior” (by Fernando Botero)
Statistics and fun facts about Cascade Yerevan
Statistics and fun facts about Cascade (Kaskad) Yerevan would arouse the interests of many:
- Currently, the number of the Cascade steps is 572.
- Distance from the bottom to the top of the Cascade is 302 meters or 991 feet.
- Distance from the bottom to the top of the Monument Terrace is 450 meters or 1476 feet.
- The Cascade is 50 meters or 164 feet wide.
- As the place is located at the center of the city where the main shops, stores and supermarkets are concentrated, you can easily go shopping on foot on the way.
Although Cascade Yerevan is a relatively new building compared to other buildings of Yerevan, spanning almost 40 years, it has passed a long way through history.
It has been continuously reconstructed and renovated since 2002. Currently, it is one of the most attractive and visited places in Yerevan by not only offering a perfect view but being a perfect piece of architecture itself.
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- Northern Avenue | The Commercial Center & Downtown of Yerevan, Right Next to Opera House!