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Yerevan's cemeteries

Yerevan has two cemeteries of interest. The Pantheon, Arshakuniats Avenue in the southeast suburbs of Yerevan, is where Armenia's famous deceased are interred. The inmates most familiar to visitors are likely to be the composers Komitas and Aram Khachaturian together with the writer William Saroyan. Presumably the reason that only the upper half of Saroyan's body is shown in the 1984 sculpture on his tombstone, is that only half his ashes are here: the other half are in Fresno, California.

The cemetery of Yerablur, Sebastia Avenue, to the right off the road to Zvartnots, houses the dead from the Nagorno Karabagh war together with Andranik Ozanian, fighter against Turkey in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Vazgen Sarkisian, the prime minister who was assassinated in parliament in 1999. To visit this cemetery, particularly on one of the traditional Armenian days for visiting graves such as Easter Monday, is even more poignant than with most war cemeteries because the war in which they were killed is so recent (1989-94) and many of the figures tending the graves are the mothers or other close relatives of those who died. Most of the graves carry a picture of the deceased.

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