Yerevan: Beybutovskaya Street

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Yerevan Walking Tour: Behbutovskaya (Pavstos Busand) Street

Yerevan Walking Tour: Behbutovskaya (Pavstos Busand) Street

Yerevan underwent a complete metamor-phosis during the mid-19th to early 20th centuries; streets were developed as part of the general city plan, among them Behbutovskaya (Pavstos Busand) Street.

Located in the city center, beginning from the heights of Kond district and stretching to Ter-Ghukasian (modern Nalbandian) Street, Behbutovskaya construction began in the1830s. The street was over 11 meters wide and 1 km in length. It was named in honor of a prominent Caucasus military figure, General Vasili Behbutov (1791-1858), a descendant of a noble Armenian dynasty.

Most houses built on this street were typical of 19th-early 20th century architecture: small garden plots, inner yards and living quarters built up to the edge of the street. Older buildings were made of brick; those built later have a multi-color tufa facade and traditional wooden balconies with elaborately carved metal balustrades. The main entrance dominates the façade, often emphasized by an arched passage.

Of note, the Hovhannes Grigorian house (#2 Buzand Street) was designed by the famous 19th-20th cc architect Boris Mehrabian.

In 1920 the street was renamed for one of the founders of Dashnaktsutiun (Armenian Revolutionary Movement), Simon Zavarian. In 1921 it was renamed 'Ruben' for a revolutionary figure, and later 'Sverdlov' after a prominent Bolshevik. In the 1990s the street was given its current name, after the early medieval Armenian historian, Pavstos Buzand.

That part of the street built during the “Behbutov” era is a piece of old Yerevan and one of its most important layers of history. In particular, houses # 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 17, 25, 26, 30, 32, 38, 39, 51-55 and 107 are on the state list of Yerevan city's Cultural and Historic Monuments. All these buildings have either been completely demolished or do not survive in their original state.

Original text edited by the International Council on Monuments and Sites-Armenian National Committee (ICOMOS/Armenia).