1988 – EARTHQUAKE in Gyumri City, Armenia
The “Church of the Holy Saviour ” is severely damaged”. This photo taken soon after the earthquake. The loss of life was massive. About 24,000 in the district. Heavy, quickly constructed, Russian designed concrete slab buildings collapsed easily. This killed most people.
This photo was taken a few years later, and we can see the Cathedral has been fenced off and small shrubs are growing wild. Some stabilisation has been added.
2015 Now we see that the Cathedral has been almost completely restored. AMAZING !
It looks grand ! How the people must be happy to see it now.
How is this so ? How was it achieved ?
I wanted to know, so I went to Gyumri to find out. And to bring any inspiration back to my city of Christchurch
Gyumri is the second city of Armenia, with a population about that of Dunedin (150,000).
It is one and a half hours drive from the capital city of Yerevan.
Armenia is a small oppressed country sandwiched between the east end of Turkey, with Georgia to the North, and Iran to the South. Not to mention Azerbiajan to the East. Some of these countries do not want Armenia to exist.
I met with the workers who are still working on the interior. Money is still needed to allow completion. Raphael Yeghoyan on right. Geoffrey on left.
Here I am on the left with Raphael Yeghoyan and Kristina. We are standing outside the main office of the Armenian Apostolic Church for Shirak Province. Raphael was the main architect of the restoration, and he gave most of his services freely. Kristina is the girlfriend of his son Garegin. Kristina was a great help for my visit, as she was very enthusiastic, and could speak English “not too bad”. Kristina is actually of Russian origin, now living in Armenia.
Through the efforts of Garegin and Kristina, and Raphael, I was able to meet with the media, and the story was broadcast on the local TV station. The photo below shows us just before filming, Kristina is to my right.