History

The park on Marshal Baghramian Avenue is still called “Pushkin Park”. The park was named Pushkin Park in 1949 by the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic as part of the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of the renowned Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Later in 1970 the park, as well as the avenue it stands on (currently Marshal Baghramian Avenue), were named Barekamutyun (Comradeship) as a tribute to the friendship of all Soviet Union member nations.

In 1995, following the independence of the Republic of Armenia, by the decision of the presidency of Yerevan City Council’s civil representatives, the park was renamed “Lovers’ Park.” It should be noted that the street adjacent, Demirjian St. had previously been called “Lovers’ Street”. Hence the choice of the name hints that the park was a favorite rendezvous spot for many couples.
In 2007 the park was renovated within the framework of the Boghossian Gardens Project.

The park is situated in the north of what was once the district of Kozern. During the 18th century it was on the outskirts of Yerevan and was well known for its medieval cemetery and its chapel. Maps of this period refer to the vicinity of the present park as the gardens of Kozern. These confirm that the trees of the park date back to the 18th century.

Later on, during the years of the First Republic of Armenia, as a result of the reconstruction of Yerevan according to Alexander Tamanyan’s plan, this area came to be regarded as a suburb of the capital. After World War II, as a result of the construction of Barekamutyun (present-day Marshal Baghramian) Avenue, the city of Yerevan substantially developed. The avenue became home to the buildings of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic’s Communist Party’s Central Committee (now the National Assembly; architect M. Grigorian), the Supreme Council of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (now the Presidential Residence; architect M. Grigorian), the Academy of Sciences of Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (now the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia; architect S. Safarian), the Assembly building (now the American University of Armenia; architect M. Grigorian) and others.

In 1981 as a result of the dynamic development of Yerevan, the Marshal Baghramian metro station was constructed in the grounds of the park (architects S. Knteghtsian and A. Zurabian). Marshal Baghramian metro station is considered to be one of the best examples of modern architecture in Yerevan.

During the years of the economic blockade of Armenia and the Artsakh conflict, many of the trees in the capital were cut by residents in order to heat their homes, to the severe detriment of many of the green zones. Fortunately this park’s trees (many of them over 150 years old) were miraculously saved from that fate.
In 2005 the reconstruction initiative of the park was launched by benefactor Albert Boghossian.


Background

Lovers’ Park Landscaping and Design Project started in 2006. The design for the reconstruction of the new Lovers’ Park was conceived by Pierre Rambach, a well-known landscape architect from Switzerland, author of many books and articles on Japanese and Oriental gardens. After a year’s research the renowned architect created the sketch plan which was approved by the Municipality of Yerevan. The plan reflects the basic principles of traditional oriental gardens. This is a heaven of nature in a highly urbanized city with a peculiar inhabitable environment conceived by Mr. Rambach.

Lovers’ Park covers an area of 1.6 hectares (16’419 square meter/176’732 square feet). An artificial lake with two islands is located in the eastern side of the park. One of the islands serves as a stage (100 square meter/1’076 square feet) for the 200-seat amphitheater opposite the lake. There are also a further 200 seats in the area adjacent to the stage.
There are two waterfalls in the park, cascading into rivulets and flowing into the large lake. The park's Achajour café is one of favorite pastime places for Yerevan residents.

The park is designed with the needs of physically challenged people in mind. The park has a public toilet, which includes a special cubicle for wheelchairs. There are no steps in the park, which enables easy access of wheelchairs to all parts.

The best lighting specialists have worked on the park. Apart from general lighting throughout the park, there is decorative lighting to highlight stone compositions and sculptures. Three sculptures are installed in the park: Armenuhi by Hripsime Simonyan; the statue of Gevorg Emin by Ashot Aramyan and Le Coeur d'obsidienne (Obsidian Heart) by Jean-Michel Othoniel.
The main paths in the park are tiled with natural stones. The park is irrigated both manually and automatically. The modern computerized automatic irrigation system is self-regulating with a special program which determines the amount of water needed in different segments of the park, taking into consideration weather conditions, humidity and rainfall.

The park is an exemplary model of public leisure areas in our city where people of all ages are able to fully relax and enjoy some peace.


The Designer

Pierre Rambach was born in Paris in 1925. He graduated from Paris Fine Arts School (DPLG), Department of Architecture. He furthered his studies in Switzerland, India and Japan where he followed Masuda Tomoya’s school of architecture at Kyoto University.
In 1968 he moved to Switzerland where, for many years, he was architect at the Swissair Company. In Switzerland Rambach created numerous Japanese-style gardens including the garden of the Oriental Arts Museum in Geneva in 2004.

Pierre Rambach authored and translated numerous books on Japanese traditional arts with a special focus on architecture and gardens.
In 1973, he published the French translation of the Sakutei-ki, the oldest Japanese book on gardening written in 1070. The Secret Book on Japanese Gardens (Le Livre Secret des Jardins Japonais) was the first book illustrating the principles of Japanese gardening and stone composition in relation to other traditional arts such as ceramics, calligraphy, painting, etc.

Pierre and Susanne Rambach are authors of the Garden of Longevity in China and Japan, published in 1987 by Skira-Rizzoli, New-York. In 2005 they also published an interactive CD-ROM about the role of stones in Japanese gardens.

In 2005, Pierre Rambach started working on the Lovers’ Park Yerevan Landscaping and Design Project.

Pierre Rambach passed away in 2013. Today, thanks to the efforts of the architect, Lovers’ Park Yerevan is the first and as yet the only Japanese garden in Armenia.

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