Architectural documentation work in Kumayri Cultural Museum Preserve Armenia

Adventure Details 

This project is organized and run by the Kumayri Museum-Preserve

Project Instructors:

To be announced

Project Organizers:

Stepan Ter-Margaryan
Director, Kumayri Museum Preserve
Gyumri, Armenia

Sergey Nazaretyan,
PhD., Geological Science
Armenia’s Northern Service of Seismic Protection

Paruyr Zaqaryan
Senior Scientist
Gyumri, Armenia

Suren Zarazyan, Architect
Gyumri, Armenia

Armen Hovsepyan
Interpreter, International Team Coordinator
Gyumri, Armenia

Project Funders:

The following Embassies to the Republic of Armenia – France, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan
Qajaran’s Copper and Molybdenum Factory
Armenian Water
Balcony detail Kumayri Cultural Museum Preserve Armenia


DBL US$2,350 | SGL +US$220 for 12-day session


Discounts! Past participants always receive a discounted tour fee
Check out AiP's Loyalty Program

Additional Cost Information:

All costs are per person per 12-day session.

Your fee includes:

  • All ground transportation, including airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Lodging
  • All meals
  • Translator
  • Instruction on documentation techniques and strategies
  • Excursions, including tour guide & entrance fees

All participants are responsible for:

  • Airfare to Yerevan, Armenia
  • Visa if required
  • Travel health insurance, including emergency evacuation coverage

Historic post office Kumayri Cultural Museum Preserve Gyumri Armenia

Project Sponsors:

Mead & Hunt preservation in Armenia

Conservation of the Kumayri Cultural Museum-Preserve

Return to Upcoming Adventures

Join this Adventure!

Date: Series of 8 12-day sessions beginning May 18, 2016

Learn historic building documentation techniques from a building conservation expert as you help the city of Gyumri, Armenia restore its fabulous architectural heritage

Why Volunteer in Armenia

Both blessed and cursed by its location in Southern Caucasus between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, Armenia’s rich cultural traditions survive despite the conflicts and the natural disasters that have befallen it.

Theatre building in Kumayri Cultural Museum Preserve Gyumri ArmeniaThe Gyumri, Armenia, municipality designated the Kumayri-Gyumri-Alexandrapol-Leninakan historic district as a museum-preserve in 1980. The registry includes 1,200 historically significant structures, from housing to educational and industrial facilities to public buildings.

Disaster struck in 1988 when the Spitak earthquake devastated the city, including its historic core. More than half the city was destroyed and 17,000 people died. In the 27 years since the earthquake, disaster relief and housing have been the primary concerns, leaving little funding to deal with the museum-preserve’s seriously damaged structures.

The Gyumri municipality recognizes the importance of the historic district in creating economic growth through heritage tourism – the key to bringing the city back to life. Efforts to document damaged buildings began in 2009, but only 17% of the work was completed before the financial crisis handed the city yet another blow to economic recovery.

Kumayri Cultural Museum-Preserve – Project and Need

In 2015, heritage funding became available and building conservation work is once again underway! AiP has been working since 2007 to help develop a project that will lead to repair and restoration of as many historic structures in the district as possible. We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to join this project run by the Kumayri Museum-Preserve. There are session dates to fit everyone’s schedule.

All Saviour's Church undergoing restoration Kumayri Cultural Museum PreserveWork in 2016 will focus on two areas – documentation within Kumayri Cultural Museum-Preserve and study of the 7th century church located in the heart of this historic district.

Documentation will consist of taking measurements and photographs, making architectural drawings, and collecting written and verbal data. The collected data will be used to find the most efficient solutions for restoration of specific buildings within the historic district.

The church, Katoghike ekegheci or The Cathedral, is in ruins and has been covered by domiks (temporary dwellings) since the 1988 earthquake. It will now be uncovered to allow study of its cultural value and archaeology of the site. You will also travel to key archaeological destinations around the Shirak province, where you will not only see but be part of excavations.

Primary Project Goals for 2016:

  • Develop a format to evaluate each of the 1,200 buildings to determine priority for conservation based on physical condition, architectural value and tourist appeal.
  • Select 100 of the most endangered and architecturally unique buildings and create a database with photographs, locational data and physical condition.

Opportunities are being offered to community members of all ages to get involved in this project. Work alongside the community as experts train you in historic building documentation and research techniques.

Contact us directly with any questions, and then register online.

I really like travelling this way and working and meeting professionals and this sort of program allows this. — Sue Robinson, 2015

How You Will Help the Community

In joining this adventure in preservation, you will develop extensive building documentation skills and experience, but you will also benefit the people of Gyumri in a number of significant ways.

  • YourMasons tackle building conservation work in Kumayri Cultural Museum Preserve Gyumri Armenia efforts will move the project one step closer to collecting information on over one thousand 18th and 19th century architecturally significant buildings within the Kumayri Cultural Museum-Preserve.
  • You will help save this national treasure, considered one of the last authentic glimpses into Armenia’s history.
  • You will help boost tourism, a vitally important piece of Gyumri’s economic growth strategy.

It is the way I like to travel…get somewhere and stay in a neighborhood…get to know the locals and visa versa!

Lodging and Meals

A visit to the Gyumri market is among the experiences to be enjoyed during building conservation work in Kumayri Cultural Museum PreserveLodging will be provided in several of Gyumri’s hotels and B&Bs, conveniently located within walking distance of the Kumayri Historic District, an outdoor market, restaurants and cafés, museums, and ancient churches.

Breakfast is provided at the hotel or B&B. Lunches and dinners will be eaten at local restaurants.

Excursions and Free Time

Special activities are planned for several evenings, including local tours and meeting with craftsmen. During the first week, excursions will focus on the Shirak region around Gyumri.

After working in Gyumri for the first eight days of your trip, the adventure continues as you explore other regions of Armenia during a 4-day tour led by a trained tour guide from Gyumri Travel.

2016 Project Dates

May 18-29
June 4-15
June 20-July 1
July 10-21
July 25-August 5
August 11-22
September 1-12
September 19-30

Travel Details

Flights to Armenia arrive in Yerevan at Zvartnots International Airport, and the first night will be spent at a hotel in the city. Airport pick-up will be arranged when you register. Transportation to Gyumri is provided the day following arrival. Transportation is also provided for your return to the airport.

AThe Geghard Monastry, Armenia visa is required for most travelers. Be sure to check the visa requirements for your country of origin.

Contact us if you have additional questions.

If you would like assistance with travel arrangements, contact Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters, AiP’s partnering travel agency.

Join us at this building conservation project – Register today!

Join this Adventure!

If you have any questions or would like to chat with an AiP staff member about joining this cultural heritage experience, contact us at or call us at +1 303-444-0128.