Tsitsernakaberd is a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide; it is located on a hill overlooking Yerevan, Armenia. Every year on April 24, hundreds of thousands of Armenians gather here to remember the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide that took place in the Ottoman Empire carried out by the Turkish government. Construction of the memorial began in 1966 (during Soviet times) in response to the 1965 Yerevan demonstrations during which one million people demonstrated in Yerevan for 24 hours to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Genocide. The memorial is designed by architects Arthur Tarkhanyan, Sashur Kalashyan and artist Hovhannes Khachatryan. It was completed in November 1967.
The 44 meter stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians. No ornaments disturb the blank surface of the 12 slanting basalt pillars representing the 12 lost Armenian provinces. This blankness stresses the gravity of what the pillars represent. At their center burns the eternal fire in memory of the 1 and a half million who perished. Not far from them stands the memorial column, sectioned into two columns measuring 50 meters in height, darting towards the sky. At first it was clad by charcoal-ed stainless steel to mimic stone but this was later dismantled and replaced by black granite in the 1970s. The structure was strong enough to withstand the earthquake that hit Armenia in 1988. As for the proportions of the pillars and column, they are based on the same proportional scales used for planing Armenian churches.The interpretation of these structures is left to what they whisper to the visitors' souls. Along the park at the memorial there is a 100 meter wall with names of towns and villages where massacres are known to have taken place. On the rear side of the commemoration wall, plates have been attached to honor persons who have committed themselves to relieving the distress of the victims during and after the genocide.
The Armenian Genocide Museum opened its doors in 1995, commemorating the eightieth anniversary of the Genocide. The Museum structure, planned by architects S. Kalashian, A. Tarkhanyan and sculptor F. Araqelyan, has a unique design. The impressive two-story building is built directly into the side of a hill so as not to detract from the imposing presence of the Genocide Monument nearby. The roof of the Museum is flat and covered with concrete tiles. It overlooks the scenic Ararat Valley and majestic Mount Ararat. The first floor of the Museum is subterranean and houses the administrative, engineering and technical maintenance offices as well as Komitas Hall, which seats 170 people. Here also are situated the storage rooms for museum artifacts and scientific objects, as well as a library and a reading hall. The Museum exhibit is located on the second floor in a space just over 1,000 square meters in size. There are three main indoor exhibit halls and an outer gallery with its own hall. The Genocide Monument is designed to memorialize the innocent victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century.