Let’s dispel a common misunderstanding. Kond is not a ghetto. In fact, it is one of the oldest, most historic districts of Yerevan.
It is also regarded as one of the prime tourist attractions of the city. So, if you are in Yerevan, Kond is a must-see attraction.
This small neighborhood, located in the upper west part of Yerevan, is like a portal that teleports you to a whole different world from the bustling streets of Yerevan. As a result, we might as well can consider Kond as “a city inside another city.”
With its narrow alleys, old stone houses, friendly locals and abundant contemporary artworks on the walls, Kond is a very intriguing site that every tourist in Yerevan should stop by.
The History of Kond
Historically, Kond was one of the three main vicinities of Yerevan. During the Persian rule, the district was known as Tepebashi (Turkic: tepe – hill, baş – head, top; “top of the hill”).
Moreover, the famous Melik-Aghamalyan family (Aghamalyan Dynasty) resided in Kond in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Tepebashi Mosque
The ruins of the Tepebashi Mosque still stand in Kond. However, we cannot speak of this structure as a well-preserved heritage. The mosque was built in 1687, served as a religious complex for years up until the 20th century when the Muslims left Yerevan. The dome of the Tepebashi mosque collapsed in 1988 on account of the Spitak Earthquake (also known as the 1988 Armenian Earthquake). Today, it is still possible to observe the Persian architectural features on the structure. However, unfortunately, the structure is in a state of neglect.
Friendly Locals Offering Coffee and Snacks
As I was exploring the streets of Kond with my friends we spotted a dilapidated structure amongst the abodes which seemed like the ruins of a small mosque. After a quick brainstorming session about the possible ways of getting to the mosque, we figured that the only way is to walk through a private property and ascend to the ruins from the second floor of a house. We knocked their doors and they accepted us with alacrity.
While we were observing the mosque, a lady who was the member of the family who owned the house asked us if we would like some coffee and snacks. We accepted the kind offer with pleasure. The kind lady prepared us delicious Armenian coffee and a fruit platter with chocolate dragées on the side.
We chatted about half an hour and bid our farewell. So, if you are willing to chat with the locals and interact with people, you might be surprised with these types of gestures and hospitable attitudes.