Yerevan Lake (Armenian: Երևանյան լիճ, Yerevanyan lich) is an artificial reservoir prominently located in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. Constructed between 1963 and 1966, the lake serves as a significant geographical landmark and was officially opened to the public in 1967.
History and Formation
Yerevan Lake was formed following the damming of the Hrazdan River, which flows through Armenia’s capital. The reservoir is occasionally referred to as Lake Yerevan or even ‘the sea,’ highlighting its prominence in the local landscape.
1976 Bus Accident
The lake is also known for a tragic incident that occurred on September 16, 1976, involving a bus accident. Shavarsh Karapetyan, a finswimmer and scuba diving champion from the USSR and Europe, was training with his brother Kamo near the reservoir when a trolleybus fell from a dam into the water. The bus, carrying 92 passengers, sank to the bottom of the lake, approximately 25 meters off the shore at a depth of 10 meters. Karapetyan, showcasing remarkable bravery and skill, dived into the water, located the bus in almost zero visibility conditions, and managed to save 20 lives. He broke the back window of the bus with his legs to pull the passengers out, spending about 30 to 35 seconds on each individual. His heroic actions were recognized with awards, and an asteroid was named after him.
Notable Landmarks and Activities
Yerevan Lake, despite its water being cold and quite dirty even during summer, attracts visitors to its beach. The lake is situated near several landmarks, including a monument to Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union I. S. Isakov, the Statue of Gratitude, and the golden-domed Church of the Exaltation of the Cross. The area serves both as a recreational space and a point of historical and cultural interest.
Address: Yerevan, Shengavit GPS Coordinates: 40.160611, 44.478611
To reach Yerevan Lake, visitors can take the metro to Garegin Nzhdeh Square station and then walk 1.5 km or take trolleybus No. 15 to the “Yerevan Lake” stop.