JERMENIJA – ARMENIA – Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն

Na obroncima planine Azdahak-On the slopes of the Azdahak Mountain

Na obroncima planine Azdahak-On the slopes of the Azdahak Mountain

Saborna crkva Echmiadzin-Orthodox Cathedral Echmiadzin

Saborna crkva Echmiadzin-Orthodox Cathedral Echmiadzin

Stara volga i pogled na Jerevan-Old Volga car and a view of Yerevan

Stara volga i pogled na Jerevan-Old Volga car and a view of Yerevan

Zgrada Vlade-Government building

Zgrada Vlade-Government building

Crkva Zoravor u Jerevanu-Zoravor church in downtown Yerevan

Crkva Zoravor u Jerevanu-Zoravor church in downtown Yerevan

Hram Zvartnots-Zvartnots temple

Hram Zvartnots-Zvartnots temple

Manastir Hor Virap i planina Ararat-Khor Virap monastery and mountain Ararat

Manastir Hor Virap i planina Ararat-Khor Virap monastery and mountain Ararat

Manastir na jezeru Sevan-The monastery on the Lake Sevan

Manastir na jezeru Sevan-The monastery on the Lake Sevan

Manastir Noravank-Noravank Monastery

Manastir Noravank-Noravank Monastery

Muzej jermenskog genocida-The Museum of Armenian Genocide

Muzej jermenskog genocida-The Museum of Armenian Genocide

Anticki hram Garni-Ancient temple Garni

Anticki hram Garni-Ancient temple Garni

Muzej jermenskog genocida-The Museum of Armenian Genocide

Muzej jermenskog genocida-The Museum of Armenian Genocide

Negde u dubini zemlje-Somewhere in the countryside

Negde u dubini zemlje-Somewhere in the countryside

Saborna crkva Echmiadzin-Orthodox Cathedral Echmiadzin

Saborna crkva Echmiadzin-Orthodox Cathedral Echmiadzin

Selim karavanseraj na Putu svile-Selim caravanserai on the Silk Road

Selim karavanseraj na Putu svile-Selim caravanserai on the Silk Road

Stecka kraj manastira na jezeru Sevan-A tombstobe by the monastery on the Lake Sevan

Stecka kraj manastira na jezeru Sevan-A tombstobe by the monastery on the Lake Sevan

Trznica glavnog grada-Main city market

Trznica glavnog grada-Main city market

Vino Nostalgija-Nostalgia wine

Vino Nostalgija-Nostalgia wine

Zgrada opere i pozorista u Jerevanu-Opera and theatre house in Yerevan

Zgrada opere i pozorista u Jerevanu-Opera and theatre house in Yerevan

Glavni grad Jerevan je, kažu, stariji od večnog grada Rima, a Jermenija prva zemlja koja je prihvatila hrišćanstvo kao državnu religiju još pre sedamnaest vekova, davne 301. godine. Skrivena u vrletima, između Male i Centralne Azije, ova, nekada znatno veća zemlja, uvek je bila kao klin zaboden između boljševika i Turaka, koji su je gazili kako im se htelo. O genocidu, oko koga se Turci spore sa celim svetom tvrdeći da ga nije bilo,  svedoči veliki Muzej genocida, sa mnogo dokaza o patnji ovog malog, a ipak poznatog naroda. Rasejani po svetu, dali su čuvene umetnike i naučnike, koji su upamćeni po svojim delima i karakterističnim prezimenima. Petar Osghian je bio poznati beogradski kompozitor, a Edi, njegov sin i moj prijatelj, na dobrom je putu da postane slavno ime kanadske filmske industrije.

Uživam u svakom koraku po ovoj maloj, brdovitoj zemlji, posebno zbog toga što se iz skoro svakog njenog dela vidi veličanstvena snežna planina Ararat. U pojedinim trenucima planina deluje kao da lebdi nad prirodom, raskriljena iznad ravnica i manastira na koje samo što nije pala. Ili, kao da lebdi iznad antičkih hramova Zvarnots i Garni, Hram sunca, koji se nalaze duž puteva Aleksandra Velikog kojima se kretao u svom čuvenom pohodu na istok.

Mali kameni manastiri bez fresaka ukazuju na rano hrišćanstvo. Svaki od njih ima neku svoju priču, najčešće o presvetlom Grigoriju čudotvorcu, koji je ubedio tadašnjeg kralja da iz paganstva pređe u novu religiju. Kralj Trdat je u početku bio ljut zbog njegovog propovedanja, pa je naredio da Grigorija bace u duboki kameni bunar Khor Virap zajedno sa osuđenicima na smrt. Budući da je je preživeo trinaest godina u bunaru, kralj je odlučio da ga oslobodi i da, zajedno sa narodom, prihvati hrišćanstvo.

Rasuti po brdima po celoj zemlji, kameni manastiri i crkve predstavljaju veliko kulturno bogatstvo zemlje, posebno saborna crkva Echmiadzin, sedište jermenske partijaršije, nadomak glavnog grada.

Jezero Sevan nalazi se na nadmorskoj visini od skoro dve hiljade metara. Nad njim je sagrađen istoimeni manastir iz IX veka. On je bio važan duhovni centar u to vreme i mesto hodočašća za mnoge vernike. Bio je oblačan dan, kada sam, zajedno sa svojim vodičem, skromno proslavio svoj rođendan na tom mestu. Otvoreni restoran, ili, bolje reći, dva spojena stola na livadi s pogledom na jezero i dimljenom ribom za ručak, pružili su mi zadovoljstvo da taj dan provedem drugačije od ostalih.

Na povratku u Jerevan posmatrao sam velike zelene poljane i brda ispresecana ostacima snega, koji su izgledali kao mali glečeri rasuti po zelenoj površini. Priroda ove zakavkaske zemlje obiluje svim lepotama koje se mogu zamisliti: snežnim planinskim vrhovima, alpskim pašnjacima, izvorima mineralne vode i skrivenim vodopadima, ali i mestima velikog istorijskog značaja, od kojih su mnoga odavno napuštena. Svaki pedalj ove zemlje sadrži “znakove pored puta”, kao svedočanstva velikih istorijskih prekretnica. Karavan-seraji, usamljene pravoslavne crkve i utvrđenja, kao i ostaci antičkih hramova svedoče o istorijskim događanjima na tlu koje se nalazi na prelazu iz Evrope u Aziju. Nakon velikog biblijskog potopa, Nojeva barka je, prema legendi, ostala na planini Ararat.

Kako se bliži 2012. godina i, po nekim predanjima, kraj ovog sveta, pitamo se da li je došlo vreme za ponovno ukrcavanje na brod spasa i da li ova planina zaista čuva najveću tajnu svih vremena?

Maj 2006.
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It is said that the capital city Yerevan is older than Ancient Rome and Armenia was the first country to accept Christianity as the official religion, 17 centuries ago in 301 AD. Hidden in the rugged mountains between Asia Minor and Central Asia, this country which used to be much bigger, was always wedged between the Bolsheviks and Turks, who oppressed it at their whim. The Turks claim that the genocide against Armenians never took place and are at odds with the rest of the world about this. Yet, the vast Museum of Genocide documents well the suffering of this small, and yet well-known nation. In diaspora around the world, they produced famous artists and scientists who are remembered by their work and their typical family names. Petar Osghian was a famous composer from Belgrade and his son (and my friend) Edi is on the way to becoming famous in the Canadian film industry.

I enjoy every step I take in this small mountainous country, especially because you can see the magnificent snow covered Ararat from almost anywhere. At times the mountain looks like it is hovering above the countryside, its wings spread above the plains and monasteries as though it will fall on them any moment. Or it looks like it is hovering above the ancient temples of Zvarnots and Garni, the Sun Temple, which lies on the route of Alexander the Great’s military advance to the East.

Small stone monasteries without frescos indicate early Christianity. Each of them has its own story, most often about Saint Gregory the Illuminator, who at the time persuaded the King to relinquish paganism and adopt the new religion. At the beginning, King Tiridates was angry with Gregory because of his preaching, and ordered that Gregory be thrown into a deep well, Khor Virap, together with those awaiting death sentence. Given that he survived in the well for 13 years, the King decided to set him free and accepted Christianity together with his people. Scattered on the hills around the country, stone monasteries and churches make for the great cultural heritage of this country, especially the Cathedral Echmiadzin, the seat of the Armenian Patriarch, adjacent to the capital.

Lake Sevan is situated at an altitude of almost 2000 metres. Above the lake a monastery with the same name was built in the 9th century. It was an important spiritual centre at the time and also a pilgirmage site for many believers. It was a cloudy day when, together with my guide, I quietly celebrated my birthday there. A restaurant in the open, or better say, two tables put together on a meadow with the view over the lake, with smoked fish for lunch, gave me the pleasure of spending that day differently from the rest.

On my way back to Yerevan, I observed the vast green fields and hills, interspersed with residual snow which looked like tiny glaciers scattered across the green surface. Natural beauties of this Caucasian country are very rich and versatile, it has everything you can imagine: snow capped mountain peaks, green pastures, sources of mineral water and hidden waterfalls, but also sites of great historical importance many of which had been abandoned long time ago. Every foot of this land boasts remnants of roadside monuments that bore witness to the crucial events in history.

Caravan-serais (roadside inns), solitary Byzantine churches and fortresses, as well as remnants of ancient temples all tell stories about various historical events in this land linking Asia with Europe. According to the legend, Noah’s Ark remained on top of the Ararat Mountain, during the Great Flood.

As 2012 is looming, and according to some the end of the world is coming, we should ask ourselves if the time has come to board another rescue boat and whether this mountain really holds the world’s biggest secret?

May 2006

 

  Nagorno-Karabah – Nagorno-Karabakh – Լեռնային Ղարաբաղի   Հանրապետություն

Moto i spomenik Mi smo nase planine-We Are Our Mountains monument, or Granadma and Grandpa

Moto i spomenik Mi smo nase planine-We Are Our Mountains monument, or Granadma and Grandpa

Nacionalni simboli-National symbols

Nacionalni simboli-National symbols

Ostaci sovjetske vlasti-Remains of the Soviet power

Ostaci sovjetske vlasti-Remains of the Soviet power

Pijaca u Stepanakertu-A market in Stepanakert

Pijaca u Stepanakertu-A market in Stepanakert

Ulaz u zgradu Vlade-Entrance to the Government building

Ulaz u zgradu Vlade-Entrance to the Government building

Glavni grad-The capital Stepanakert

Glavni grad-The capital Stepanakert

Pijaca u Stepanakertu-A market in Stepanakert

Pijaca u Stepanakertu-A market in Stepanakert

Spomenik oslobodilackom tenku-A monument to tenk which brought freedom

Spomenik oslobodilackom tenku-A monument to tenk which brought freedom

Spomenik oslobodiocu-A monument to a liberator

Spomenik oslobodiocu-A monument to a liberator

Ulazak na teritoriju Nagorno Karabaha-Entrance to Nagorno Karabakh

Ulazak na teritoriju Nagorno Karabaha-Entrance to Nagorno Karabakh

Zgrada Vlade-The Parliament building of Nagorno-Karabakh

Zgrada Vlade-The Parliament building of Nagorno-Karabakh

Nagorno ili Planinski Karabah je nekada bio autonomna oblast u okviru Sovjetskog Saveza, a danas republika koju, doduše, niko nije priznao, pa čak ni Jermenija, pod čijim se okriljem nalazi. Jedino priznanje ima od druge, takođe nepriznate republike, koja se naziva Pridnjestovlje ili Transnistria u okviru Moldavije. Kako bi se to jezikom prava reklo, de jure pripada Azerbejdžanu, a de facto je nezavisna država. I nije jedina. Naprotiv, sve ih je više u svetu.

Jedan od prvih etničkih sukoba, koji je počeo krajem osamdesetih godina prošlog veka u tadašnjem Sovjetskom Savezu, kada je to bilo teško zamisliti, desio se upravo ovde i trajao nekoliko godina, i to kao pravi rat. Jabuka razdora izmedju Jermenije i Azerbejdžana oduvek je bila i ostala upravo ova mala planinska teritorija.

Pošto sam uredno izvadio vizu u Jerevanu, zaputio sam se u ove krajeve koji su naseljeni većinom Jermenima, sa kojima imaju zajedničku valutu i vojsku. Nagorno Karabah je uzeo i malo azerske zemlje, što je još dodatno proširilo sukob. Odnosi dveju republika toliko su isprepletani, pa je prvi predsednik Nagorno Karabaha kasnije postao premijer, a potom i čitavu deceniju bio predsednik Jermenije.

Danas je ovde mirno, a glavni grad Stepanakert s ponosom održava spomenik tenku koji mu je, sa ratnim herojima, doneo nezavisnost. Još jedan veliki, neobičan spomenik od crvenog šupljikavog kamena vulkanskog porekla simboliše čoveka i ženu – gorštake iz ovih krajeva, i naziva se „Baka i deka“ ili „Mi smo naše planine“ i predstavlja nacionalni simbol. Po celoj zemlji, kao i u Jermeniji, rasuti su stari kameni manastiri i crkve.

Narod Nagorno Karabaha je ponosan planinski narod, koji svoju slobodu ne bi ugrozio nikakvim mirovnim pregovorima, koji se godinama odvijaju po svetu i gde se, navodno, rešava njihova sudbina.

A ona se nigde na drugom mestu neće rešiti, jer je narod čvrsto drži u svojim gorštačkim rukama.

Maj 2006.
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Nagorno, or the Mountainous Karabakh, used to be an autonomous republic within the Soviet Union and today it is a republic that has not been recognised by anyone, including Armenia which still considers it its own. The only recognition it has received is from another, itself unrecognised republic, which goes by the name of Pridnestrovie or Transnistria, as part of Moldova. In the language of law, de jure, this republic belongs to Azerbaijan, and de facto, it is an independent state. And actually, it is neither. There are more and more places like this in the world.

One of the first ethnic conflicts which started at the end of the 1980s in the Soviet Union, which was unimaginable at the time, occurred precisely here, and like a proper war it lasted several years. The bone of contention between Armenia and Azerbaijan has always been this very land, small and mountainous.

Once I duly obtained my visa in Yerevan, I set off to Nagorno Karabakh which is inhabited mostly by the Armenians, who share, with Armenia proper, their currency and army. Nagorno Karabakh annexed some Azeri land as well, which has only aggravated the conflict. The relationship between the two republics, Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, is so complex, that the first President of Nagorno later became the Prime Minister of Armenia, and then for the whole decade, he was the President of Armenia.

Today it is peaceful here and the capital Stepanakert proudly cherishes a tank – monument which together with its war heroes brought the independence. Another huge and unusual monument, made of tuff representing a man and a woman, Mountain People of Karabakh, is called „Grandma and Grandpa“ or „We Are Our Mountains“. It is a national symbol. Much like in Armenia, stony monasteries and churches are scattered around the country. The people of Nagorno Karabakh are a proud mountainous nation that would not jeopardise its freedom for the sake of any peace accord. And allegedly these peace negotiations have been taking place around the world for years, meant to determine their fate.

But their fate will not be determined anywhere else, because these people, the brave highlanders, hold it strongly in their own hands.

May 2006

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