Yerevan’s Cascade: Armenia’s Beacon of Art and Design
Right in the heart of Yerevan stands a towering monument of art and design built into the northern slope of the city. It is called the Cascade, and it’s home to the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. The monument is comprised of a series of escalators and exterior stairs that “cascade” down from the Monument neighborhood to the lower Kentron district near Yerevan’s Opera House. There is remarkable art to behold at several levels along the journey. But this ambitious project seemed like a distant dream for decades before its completion.
From the outdoor sculpture park featuring unmistakable works by Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero to several indoor galleries which house pieces by artists ranging from Marc Chagall to pop art founding father James Rosenquist, the collection is rich and varied. But the true wealth of the Cafesjian catalogue lies in the vast amount of glass art on display. The center boasts collections by Dale Chihuly and Czech duo Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, all influential figures in the world of glass.
Yerevan is a rapidly changing and modernizing city, but to stand on the steps of the Cascade and watch it from afar, there is nothing but stillness to behold. I love the contrast between these two aspects of the capital, and there is no better place than the Cascade from which to view them. The Cascade is a gem among monuments for its beauty, accessibility, scale and scope. It is a dream come true for Yerevan and its visitors.
You can also travel to Armenia on a custom private journey or one of MIR’s hand-crafted private independent travel itineraries:
Or on a rail journey by private train:
(Top photo: There’s art on every level of Yerevan’s Cascade – Photo credit: Martin Klimenta)
PUBLISHED: March 4, 2015