Children's Railway will Be Renovated without Losing its Features

Children's Railway will Be Renovated without Losing its Features

Yerevan Children's Railway will not lose its architectural and cultural values. This is not a presumption, but a statement made by the Municipality of Yerevan.

We were somewhat worried about the proposal to build a parking and a fitness center to renovate the children's railway, which was more like a business plan that would completely distort the spirit of the Children's Railway. Therefore, we made an enquiry from the Municipality about what construction work will be carried out and how true our fears were. We were told that there were several investment proposals for the modernization and expansion of the territory of the Children's Railway, which were considered by the interdepartmental commission on programs requiring a comprehensive urban planning solution. As a result, it was decided that the construction works on the territory of the railway are inappropriate, except for consolidation, restoration, repair and landscaping.

The good news is, that the residents will not be deprived of their favorite park, which from generation to generation conveys the vivid memories of our parents, being a small green oasis in the dusty center of our capital. Children’s railway is connected to the city center by two tunnels. According to the plan of the chief architect of Yerevan Alexander Tamanyan, the Hrazdan gorge was supposed to serve as a recreation zone, the clean air of which was supposed to reach the city center through the tunnels. Two 400-meter tunnels were built in the 1940s and were designed as military shelters. Unfortunately, after the independence declaration, the attention is paid mostly to modern solutions, rather, than Armenian traditional architecture. To preserve this unique piece of national architecture, the Municipality made a decision to keep the appearance of Children’s Railway. It is noteworthy, that the first tunnel was cleaned in May, and very soon the second tunnel and all the stations of Children’s Railway will be cleaned and put into operation.

The official opening of Yerevan Children’s Railway took place on 6th of July 1937. The idea of opening the railway belongs to Aghasi Khanjyan, the chief architect is Mikael Mazmanyan. In the late 1940s, the wooden building of the station was replaced with a stone one designed by the architect Gohar Grigoryan.

According to the witnesses, there were German prisoners working on the construction of tunnels. The people used to give them bread, and the prisoners made wooden dolls for them as a sign of gratitude.