What To Do
Historically Shirak was the first to become a part of Russian Empire. It happened in 1804 during the Russian-Persian war.
In 1837 Russian Czar Nicholas the 1st arrived in Gyumri and renamed the town Alexandropol. The name was chosen in honor of the wife of Czar Nicholas I, Princess Charlotte of Prussia, who had changed her name to Alexandra Fyodorovna after converting to Orthodox Christianity. A major Russian fortress was built on the site in 1837
The big round black fortress on the top of the hill overlooking Gyumri is a good spot to take in the view. It once protected the Russian Empire from the Ottoman Empire. Nearby is the huge statue of «Mother Armenia».