Republic Square, YerevanThursday, January 12, 2023
Republic Square is the central town square in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
During the Soviet period it was called Lenin Square and a statue of Vladimir Lenin stood at the square. Soviet parades and celebrations were held twice (originally thrice) a year until 1988. After Armenia's independence, Lenin's statue was removed and the square was renamed. It has been described as Yerevan's "architectural highlight" and the city's "most outstanding architectural ensemble". Travel writer Deirdre Holding suggested that it is "certainly one of the finest central squares created anywhere in the world during the 20th century."
Republic Square consists of two sections: an oval roundabout with a stone pattern in its center designed to look like a traditional Armenian rug, and a trapezoid-shaped section containing the musical fountain, in front of the History Museum and the National Gallery. The buildings around the square are made of pink and yellow tuff stones, fortified on a basalt-made base.
In 2003, when the square underwent renovation, extensive excavations took place and an archaeological layer of the 18th-19th centuries was unearthed, consisting of cellars and basements. Tuff water pipes, dated to the 9th-11th centuries, were also been excavated at the square. In January 2020, the Armenian government considered uncovering the older layers and turning it into a museum accessible to the public.The pre-Soviet square was designed by Boris Mehrabyan (Megrabov) in his 1906-11 general plan of Yerevan. The current square was designed by Alexander Tamanian within his 1924 general plan of Yerevan. The area was gradually cleared of buildings. The construction of the square started in 1926, when the construction of the Government House began.It was developed until the 1950s when the rest of the five buildings were constructed and finally completed in 1977, when the National Gallery was built. The square was named Lenin Square for Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, whose statue was erected in the square in 1940 and dismantled in 1991.
On 25 August 1990, the flag of Soviet Armenia was lowered and that of independent Armenia was raised in the Government House in the square. On 1 November 1990, the Yerevan City Council decided to rename Lenin Square to Republic Square.
In 2013, the municipal authorities proposed a controversial renovation of the square, which architects criticized.