Tag Archives: Geghard

The land of pomegranate


Vernissage flea market in Yerevan

Pomegranate is the central fruit in Armenian culture and a staple fruit in Armenian households worldwide. It’s also an item you are bound to find in all sorts of forms in Yerevan’s Vernissage flea market held every weekend behind Republic Square metro on Nalbandyan street. You can find pretty much anything here, from jewelry and paintings to irons and electric tea kettles. In this bustling bazaar of different shapes and colors, the silhouette and shade of pomegranate is a familiar, reoccurring constant. Pomegranates inspire ubiquitous crimson-red pendants, sway on the wind-rippled surface of delicate silk scarves, glow in the sun reflected off the glazed fruit-shaped clay pots. This ancient symbol of fertility and abundance is still omnipresent today.

Weaving pomegranate imagery into both art and daily lives of Armenians must be at least as old as Yerevan itself, dating back to the 8th century BC when the ruler of the ancient Urartu kingdom built Erebuni fortress on a high point over the Ararat plain. Some claim the name “Yerevan” derives from Erebuni. Others attribute it to Noah who allegedly exclaimed “Yerevats!” (“it appeared”) looking toward what is now Yerevan from the top of Mount Ararat after his ark had landed there and the flood waters receded. I bet he reached for a pomegranate snack right after that =) Read the rest of this entry