Gyumri – City of Crafts

Crafts and trade were the most important part of Alexandropol’s economy. More than 100 crafts flourished in the city.

More than 100 trades flourished in Alexandropol: jewelry, blacksmithing, tailoring, embroidery, shoemaking, carpet weaving, spring making, copperworking, tinworking, masonry, watchmaking, wheelmaking, and more. Each craft had its own flag, which was taken out of the workshop on holidays and hung outside.

The craftsmen (according to the people of Aleppo, those who had a skill in crafts) were highly respected. Their products were loudly praised (in modern language advertised) by “talals” (middlemen). In Gyumri, skills in crafts were passed from fathers to sons when the latter turn 13 years old. In this way, the masters passed on to their children the secrets of their craft.

Pottery

In recent years, the traditions of Armenian pottery have been restored in Gyumri. A pottery school-workshop has been operating in Gyumri since 2014, the aim of which is to restore the centuries-old traditions of Armenian pottery.

The school was founded on the initiative of the Honorary Consul of Italy Antonio Montalto and the Friends of Gyumri Foundation. The exhibits produced in the school-workshop were presented in several European cities. The pottery masters of the workshop aim to restore the traditions of the famous Armenian pottery masters of Kyutahya by imitating and giving a second life to the ornaments created by them.

Mushurba

Mushurba is one of the symbols of Gyumri.

Mushurba is an Eastern water reservoir in which the water stays cold and when drinking, you can hear it bubbling. The masters from Gyumri have become so skilled in making this copper cup from the Middle East that it has become one of the symbols of the city.

According to a tradition, the masters present their copper cups to the guests of the city. In 2013, a statue of Mushurba was erected in Gyumri.

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