The Cascade (Armenian: Կասկադ Kaskad) is a giant stairway made of limestone in Yerevan, Armenia. It links the downtown Ketron area of Yerevan with the Monument neighborhood. Designed by architects Jim Torosyan, Aslan Mkhitaryan, and Sargis Gurzadyan the construction of the cascade started in 1971 and was partially completed in 1980. Inside the Cascade, underneath the exterior steps, are seven escalators that rise along the length of the complex. There are also exhibit halls connected to some of the landings along the escalators which compose the Cafesjian Museum of Art. The exterior of The Cascade features multiple levels adorned with fountains and modernist sculptures from the Cafesjian collection. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat. At the base of the Cascade is a garden court yard with statues by contemporary sculptures such as Botero. There are a number of cafes and restaurants on both sides of the Cascade frequented by locals and tourists. Classical and jazz concerts often take place at the Cascade during spring, summer and early autumn, with spectators sitting on the steps.
photo: Zeiss Loxia 21mm
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.