A major earthquake which destroyed many monuments of Armenian culture such as temples, palaces, castles and private homes took place in Yerevan in 1679. But gradually, the city regained its wealth. The churches, cathedrals, city walls and houses were rebuilt. But the Soviet government, which came here in 1930, turned out to be the force more powerful than the earthquake: it rejected religion and accepted atheism, becoming the initiator of demolition of many churches, mosques and other religious institutions.
One of the biggest losses was the St. Paul and Peter Church (Surb Poghos-Petros), destructed to the ruins in 1931. The church was built in V century and considered as the oldest church in Yerevan. Instead of it "Moscow" cinema was built on its place. Amazingly, the bell tower, built in the XII century near the St. Peter and Paul Church surprisingly survived.
The Church of St. Gregory Illuminator and many other places of prayers were also destructed. According to some researchers, Yerevan numbered 10 inexpressible beautiful Christian churches and 3 colorful Shiite mosques at the beginning of XX century. All of them were not only religious monuments, but also architectural and cultural heritage of Armenia. Only few churches and sole "Blue" Mosque survived to this day.
Old photographs, paintings and drawings made by artists who visited Yerevan and lived here, remind us about these disappeared monuments. Perhaps, some day these great monuments which ruins are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List would be recreated.