Old Bells of Goris

Old Bells of Goris

This year Goris was declared the CIS cultural capital. The corresponding events started on the 7th of July. Naturally the international community's attention is focused on our historical city. According to RA Minister of Culture Lilit Makunts, "Goris was chosen because of its interesting architecture and coloring. More than 150 artists and officials from eight countries of CIS visited Goris these days.”

The decision to make Goris a cultural capital was not surprising, for Goris is one of the rare cities, which has preserved its ancient architecture, through which the world will know its centuries-old history and culture, which is very important nowadays. The reconstruction project for the monument “Old Bells” (or The Bells) announcing the entrance of the city, is very symbolic within the frames of the program. This project became a reality thanks to the ideological and material support of community leader Arush Arushanyan, businessmen, philanthropists, as well as the Goris citizens.

The monument Old Bells was reborn as a symbol of national traditions and values. The program is interesting in architectural aspect, and for the first time a monument of public importance was rebuilt on the site of a new building. It is important to remind, that this beautiful building of 1985 has become the visiting card of Goris by its architectural solution, helping to explore the city with its entire splendor. The monument symbolizes the mentality of local people. It is inseparable part of Goris.

The idea of restoration of the monument, according to reconstructing architect Sevada Zakaryan, occurred in December 2017. Reconstruction works started in winter, but when Goris was announced as a cultural capital of the CIS countries, everything possible was done to finish the work in due time. It is noteworthy, that the construction works were carried out irrespective of weather conditions, which resulted in completion of the monument in three months!

The reconstructed monument almost preserved its previous appearance. Its length is 35m, while the height of the biggest “mountain” is 16m. The monument has been reconstructed with porous stones of volcanic origin from Ishkhanasar Mountain, which the local people call “dead stone”. The structure's color solutions are in harmony with pink pyramidal rocks surrounding the monument. Reconstruction of the adjacent territories is underway now. Recently the construction process is in its second phase: a watchtower is built, from which a wonderful view to the city is opened. As the architect Sevada Zakaryan says, “There is an observation point on the mountain in front of the building, which is still to be built and possibly will be finished by the end of this autumn. This is not only a symbol built on Artsakh-Syunik highway, but also a recreation area.” The mountains surrounding the construction are covered with forests. Another 5-10 ha area will be tree-planted jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture.

The project implementation has created a new field for investment programs. As the specialists say, there are already several investment proposals, and in case of their implementation the area will become one of the most attractive and liveliest places for tourism. Hopefully the tourism will develop along with national and cultural values.

The monument Old Bells was destroyed in 1996, and in its place a new memorial was built, “Goris Bells”, which was not that valuable and unique from architectural point of view. That raised a wave of dissatisfaction among population of the region. Since then the restoration of Old Bells has always been a subject for discussion. Anyway, the reconstruction of Goris Bells is also vital from architectural, cultural and historical point of view, therefore, it would be right if the monument Goris Bells would also be restored.