Yerevan (ARM): Tokhmakh Cemetery

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Last October I visited the central cemetery also called Tokhmakh cemetery of Yerevan, Armenia. The taxi driver thought Tokhmakh could not be the place where a tourist would want to go, so he kept asking whether this was really the place we wanted to go to. When he dropped us off he still couldn’t believe it and said he would wait for us …

The cemetery is huge and is situated on the slopes of a hillside with monuments as far as the eye can see. It is the final resting place of Armenian notables and commoners since the 1930s. Most of them are buried on family plots – meaning that several graves are found within a small (or sometimes rather large) piece of land. As the cemetery is severely overcrowded there is hardly any space between the plots to walk, making certain parts very difficult to reach. Due to lack of space there are graves and mausoleums outside the original fence facing the street.

There is a wide variety of grave monuments made of granite or the more traditional tufa stone, engraved with a picture of the deceased or in the form of a khashkar (cross stone). There are some grotesque marble statues and bustes and I understood the bronze monuments have vanished in the past few years, probably stolen.


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