Friday, January 23, 2009

Old City: the Armenian Quarter

The Old City is divided into 4 quadrants (see previous post for the map) - The Jewish quarter, Christian quarter, Arab quarter and the Armenian quarter. The first section of the Old City that we visted was the Armenian Quarter. This quarter was the most confusing to me - what's the deal with the Armenians? They are most Christians, but it is separate from the Christian quarter. It is also the smallest quarter. And they've been around since about 95bc. I'm not going to give the whole history here (though here is a link, in case you are interested) Here is a picture of some old Christmas decorations in one of the windows in the Armenian quarter:
There are little churches everywhere, all which I am sure have great significance. I don't remember the story of this one:
The Armenians have something tragic in common with the Jews: genocide. Before and during World War I, the Armenians were systematically murdered in Turkey in what is now known in the West as the Armenian genocide. There are reminders and memorials all over the Quarter:
The streets all over the Old City are amazingly windy and walled, with views that are hauntingly beautiful:
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