Gutter art: the ornamental downspouts of Gyumri, Armenia
Gyumri is a place of unexpected beauty. The Kumayri historic district in the center of the city has more than one thousand 18th and 19th century buildings, and is also one of the few places in the Republic of Armenia with remnants of authentic historical Armenian urban architecture. Nearly all the buildings in the Kumayri district have survived two major earthquakes, in 1926 and 1988.
Almost every morning during our week-long stay in Gyumri, we took walks up and down the streets, and discovered wondrous details—-my favorite being the intricate designs of the gutters and downspouts. They were simply breathtaking. Bird and flower cutouts perched and carved out of simple sheet metal. An art form like I’d never seen before.
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