With a story dating back from the second Millennium BC, Gyumri (previously called Leninakan – Aleksandrapol – Kumayri) is the second largest town and “cultural capital” of Armenia. Its urban historic center dated to mid-nineteen century is a unique example of rectangular planning principles and local neo-classical architecture. Around 1’200 traditional houses are concentrated in Kumayri special zone which includes mostly residential houses, several churches and also fortifications.
Although Gyumri suffered from devastating Spitak earthquake in 1988, the town is famous for its cultural and sport traditions, unique folklore and humor. At present, Gyumri is one of the most open minded and visionary cities of Armenia aiming at turning in Mayor Samvel Balasanyan “into democratic center with mutual respect, compromise, and enjoy the sublime manifestation of living in an enriched model city”.