Capital city, population 1 million

Being the capital city and home to over 1/3 of the country's population, Yerevan is without a doubt the cultural center of the country. Although the city claims to date back 3000 years, nearly all of it was built during the Soviet era so the layout and buildings are fairly modern. Still, the city itself holds onto a distinct appearance. There is clearly a Soviet influence in the architecture as well as the many statues scattered about, but everything is much more artistic and vibrant than the classical Stalinist design that is found in so many other former Soviet cities. It is also fairly easy to get around, as the city center is all contained within a circle that builds up to a large monument of stairs (roughly 600 steps) that allow you to see the entire city from the top.

There were two things that struck me most of all. The statues and the 'Singing Fountains.' Scattered throughout the city, on nearly every street and in nearly every park, you'll find a very unique array of statues. They had a slight resemblance in design to other statues in former Soviet states, but these were much more detailed, unique, and, in my opinion, odd in the best way possible. Some could be found on street corners, while others in parks and squares, yet others stand in bizarre places like forested areas and narrow walkways. Yet, the most interesting aspect was the actual designs of the statues themselves. There must have been hundreds, and literally each one had its own quirks and tone. A few were made to look somber while others glorious, some artistic, and a few just down right bizarre. I could ramble on in description, but you'd probably get a better idea checking through the slide of pictures above.

And then, the fountains. I am often enthusiastic when describing things and do my best to make city highlights amazing, but Yerevan's singing fountains truly blew me away unlike anything else. Near the main city center square, there is a rather impressive construction of stone-carved fountains that are nice to look at in the day, but out of this world at night. Once the sun goes down, the fountains suddenly light up in an array of colors. Then a musical score begins to play, and the fountain sprays begin to synchronize accordingly. I know I'm not doing this justice with such a simple description, but even someone like me, who does not spend much time at all listening to musical scores, spent hours just standing there memorized.