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Erebuni Fortress

Washington Apartelle, Ginosi, Washington DC  


The Erebuni Fortress is also know as Arin Berd. It is a fortified city from the ancient kingdom of Urartu. This fortress is located in present-day Yerevan. The name of Yerevan is derived from Erebuni. The transformation was developed like this: Irpuni, Erivuni, Erivan and Yerevan.

This fortress was founded by King Argishti in 782 B.C. The year marks the founding of Yerevan as a city. It was built on top of a hill called Arin Berd which roughly translates to “Fortress of Blood”. During an archaeological excavation in 1950, the walls of the citadel were revealed. Excavations revealed tubes for running water, frescoes, statuettes, ornaments, weapons and twenty-three cuneiform inscriptions describing the construction of the citadel.

The Erebuni citadel is very unique in that it was built for multiple purposes. To the left of the entrance there is the temple of God Haldie. To the right there are economic structures and grain storehouses. The varied use of the area is fairly uncommon among fortresses of that period.

In 1968 when the 2750th anniversary of Yerevan was celebrated, the citadel was partly restored and made into an open-air museum. Today thousands of tourists visit the site every year. A small museum was built on the area excavated so as not to disturb other areas of the site. On display in the museum are thousands of artifacts from the citadel which help to give visitors an idea of what life was like in the kingdom of Urartu.

Points of Interest