The Genocide Monument is in Tsitsernakaberd hill in Yerevan and is the world-acknowledging evidence of the first genocide of the 20 the century. It symbolizes not only the 24th of April as it is, but it also proves the fact that with the construction of the monument undertaken by the Soviet Armenia it laid the cornerstone for severe condemnation of the Genocide worldwide. Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex is dedicated to the eternal memory of 1.5 million Armenians, which always reminds the entire world of all atrocities carried out by the vandal Turks in 1915. On April 24 1965, when the 50th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was to be commemorated in various countries of the world, massive demonstrations were organized in the streets of other Armenian cities as well as.
The USSR Council of Ministers by meeting unceasing demands of the public in March 16, 1965 made a decision to build a monument commemorating the victims of the genocide. Invaluable efforts, great enthusiasm and unyielding courage was displayed by Yakov Zarobyan, who was the first secretary of the Communist Party during those years and who succeeded in convincing the heads in Moscow of the need for its construction. The winning project’s code name was “Armenia SSR droshak” presented by the architects Arthur Tarkhanyan and Sashur Kalashyan and it was selected among innumerous and countless proposals made during the nation-wide competition.
The opening of this magnificent historical monument took place on November 29, 1967 on the 47th anniversary of Armenia, which turned into a major political and cultural event. The complex occupies 4,500 square meters and consists of three main buildings: Memorial Wall, the Sanctuary of Eternity, and The Memorial Column “Reborn Armenia”. The Memorial Hall is a space enclosed by 12 inward-lining basalt slabs with an eternal flame in the center to commemorate all innocent victims of the Genocide. The 44 meters high monument of a pyramid type and of arrow-shaped granite symbolizes the Rebirth of Armenians and is placed at the opposite of the Memorial Hall. In 1996, the names of the most known cities and villages were engraved in 100- meter long wall.
Since 1996 the Memorial wall harbours glass casings that contain soil taken from the tombs of political and public figures and intellectuals who voiced their protest against bloodshed carried out by the Turks. Among them are Armin Wegner, Hedvig Bull, Henry Morgenthau, Franz Werfel, Yohannes Lepsius, James Bryce, Anatol France, Jakomo Gorini, Benedict XV, Fritioff Nansen, Fayez El Husseyn. From 1988-1990 the Khatchkars (Cross-Stones) were mounted in the vicinity of the Genocide Monument to commemorate Armenians massacred in the 1980s by the Azeri government, in the Azerbaijani cities of Sumgait, Kirovabad (Ganzak) and Baku.
In 1995, the Museum and Institute was built near Tsisernakaberd to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Today, the Museum & Institute functions as a research center within the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.
The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute is among Forbes’ nine must-see memorials since May, 2004.
According to the legend, the name “tsitsernakaberd” was assigned to the hill in memory of swallows that helped pagan gods Vahagn and Astghik to disseminate news to each other. In fact, the brave construction of the memorial is strongly connected with the names of the first three secretaries of the Republic such as Ya. Zarobyan, A. Kochinyan and K. Demirchyan.