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Soviet mosaics in Armenia

Soviet-era mosaics in Armenia are remarkable relics that offer a vivid glimpse into the country’s artistic and cultural heritage. Created mostly in the second half of the mid-20th century, these intricate works of art reflect the social, political, and ideological narratives of the time. Today, they stand as vibrant testimonies to a complex past, blending traditional Armenian motifs with Soviet symbolism.

Armenian Soviet mosaics are distinguished by their unique blend of local and Soviet styles. Artists employed traditional Armenian patterns and themes, often featuring folkloric elements and historical references. These were interwoven with Soviet iconography, including depictions of workers, farmers, scientists, and cosmonauts, symbolizing the progress and industrial prowess of the USSR. Here are several mosaics, the coordinates of which I won't disclose on purpose, to awaken the explorer inside you and encourage your own discovery!


Here is a mosaic in an abandoned hotel in Armenia.



The Birth of Astghik by Garnik Smbatyan (1982)


Astghik was the goddess of water, love, and beauty in ancient Armenian mythology.

The creation of these mosaics involved meticulous craftsmanship. Artists used a variety of materials, including colored glass, ceramic tiles, and stones. The vibrant colors and durability of these materials ensured that the mosaics would withstand the test of time, maintaining their splendor for decades.


A mosaic on the facade of fomer "Vaspurakan" restaurant


The mosaics were often large-scale, covering the walls of public buildings, factories, and cultural institutions. Their grand size and prominent placement were intended to inspire and educate the public, serving as daily reminders of the Soviet ideals and the collective Armenian identity.

 

Mosaics or frescoes with cosmic themes are my favorite, though! In this case, it is really difficult to take a proper photo since, when you stand in front of the building, the trees block the view.


In modern days, with the rapidly growing urbex community and the influence of social networks, these mosaics are experiencing a resurgence, attracting photographers from around the world. Their vibrant colors and historical significance make them perfect subjects for capturing the interplay of art and history. Exploring these mosaics not only provides a visual feast but also connects us to the rich cultural and political tapestry of the past.

Галерея

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