Walking around Yerevan, you probably noticed basalt springs on the streets or in the yards, from which the locals drink, bending over the water. The Armenians call this fountain a pulpulak. Small children stand on tiptoe, sometimes they are picked up to drink. Older hooligans pinch the jet and spray on passers-by. Yes, this is the purest drinking water, from the central Yerevan water supply.
What is it all about? Actually, a fountain. Yes, yes, this small spring with a beautiful design and a pompous giant with a pool and color music are close relatives. How so? The fact. that earlier fountains in cities were installed to draw drinking water. There was no plumbing. So we went with buckets first to the springs. Then the townspeople realized that in the city it was necessary to do something with the water spouting from the ground – to regulate it so that it would not flood everything around, for example. So they began to build various devices for the outflow of water, to enclose the place of the source with stones, and then they came up with fountains – large ones with pools or such small ones.
In the northern cities of the world, street fountains very quickly moved into the category of decorative ones, and in the south people still drink from fountains, although the water in them is no longer supplied from springs, but from the central water supply, with rare exceptions.
Water supply was first installed in Yerevan in the 1890s. And if you go to Kond or some old courtyard in the center of Yerevan, you will see metal faucets with metal square pools. They are very old – water was taken from here more than a hundred years ago. Many pool pools were installed just in the place of such pools, but no one remembers this anymore.
Each country has its own tradition of decorating drinking fountains. Two forms have been preserved in Armenia – pulpulak and akhpyur. Aghbyur is translated as a source. It has a different shape, it resembles the drinking fountains of Italian cities, although it is decorated in a completely different way. Usually. it is a small wall in the center of which water flows from a hole. There are many such fountains in the city of Gyumri. In Yerevan, real akhpyurs can be seen, for example, at the entrance to the Children’s Railway. They were installed after the war in honor of Soviet heroes: Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Oleg Koshevoy, Sergei Tyulenin, Nelson Stepanyan, Sergei Oganov, Liza Chaikina.
Each pulpulak is unique in its own way. In Armenia, drinking fountains are sometimes real works of art.
The most famous of the Yerevan pulpulaks is the one on the Republic Square. It has seven compartments and a weak current of water. To get drunk, you need to block the neighboring ones with your hand.
Modern akhpyurs and pulpulaks, as we have already said, are connected to the water supply, and earlier they were built near real sources. With the help of ceramic pipes, the master regulated the flow of water, sometimes stretching it out of the spring for some distance.
Sometimes there is an inscription on the pulpulak, less often an image of a broken carnation. This means that it was installed in memory of an early departed person. Basically, such pulpulaks stand in the yards.
All fountains are exactly such that an adult makes an involuntary bow. And only children stand on tiptoe to get water. This is such a touching tradition, Yerevan pulpulaks. And it seems that there are no interruptions in water supply, and in any store there is a bottled one, but the tradition of pulpulaks does not go away – it has become a feature of the city and local color.
After all, it is so nice to drink cold, pure and delicious water while walking under the hot sun of the Yerevan summer.
As the famous hero Frunzik Mkrtchyan said in the film “Mimino”, our water ranks second in the world. If you want to taste the water from the Armenian pulpulaks, choose our tours to Armenia.