Gyumri is one of the oldest settlements in Armenia. Its history dates back to ancient times.
In chronicles of VIII century B.C. it is mentioned as a country of Eriakhi (Shirak, Eriani). In the early centuries B.C. the settlement belonged to the local inhabitants, which is evidenced by the excavations of the site. In VII-III centuries B.C., when Kimerian and Scythian nomadic tribes migrated from the North Caucasus to the countries of Asia Minor and Transcaucasus, some of these tribes settled in Shirak.
Kumayri name of the city is associated with the name of kimers. First written evidences about Kumayri have reached us by VIII century chronicler and historian Leon (Ghevond), according to which in VIII century the residence was an administrative center.
Area of Kumayri was inhabited since ancient times. Archaeological materials discovered here indicate that it has existed in the Stone Age. On the two-layered settlements of its territory - Kumayri (in southern and north-western outskirts of town) and in the area of Meat Processing Plant district were discovered archaeological items are dated to 3rd millennium B.C..
Initially it was called Kumayri, thereafter until 1840 - Gyumri, in 1840-1924’es – Alexandrapol, in 1924-1990’s - Gyumri, and in 1990-1992’s - Kumayri, now it is called Gyumri.
Having thousands of years of history, existing still in pre-Urartian era, being an early medieval ministerial center, being included in Christian civilization orbit, being an important region of "Silk Road" passage, participating in the liberation wars, even being under the dominance of the Byzantine Empire, already in the 19th century being liberated by the Russian army it again passes under the Persian domination, it was again occupied by the Russians and became an important military stronghold. According to the treaty of Gulistan in 1983 Gyumri was included in the Russian domination, after which highly positive prospects for further development were opening for the city of Gyumri. Given the importance of the defense of Gyumri the Russian command strengthens it turning it into a powerful bulwark against Persia and Turkey, however, Gyumri, despite its strength, continued to be vulnerable, being close to the borders of Turkey and Iran.
During its history, the city has turned out of a tribal settlement into ministerial residence, fortress, castle, were ordained to the provincial center, and during this whole time periodically becoming a war zone.
However, the city has always been standing, resisted any hardship, was continuously developed, built, extended, always had a developed economy and culture, has been an important political and economic region.
Gyumri is the second largest city of Armenia by its population and cultural significance, located in the north-western part of Shirak Marz, on the left bank of Akhurian River, 126 kilometers away from capital Yerevan. Its area is 3626 hectares. It is more than 1,500 meters above sea level. Since 1837 it has city status.
The western part of the plateau is composed of two table shaped heights. The terrain is flat, less fragmented, with 300 - 350 m thick fluvial-lacustrine and volcanic depositions. The climate is continental, with hot summers and relatively cold winters.
The city is located in the 8-9 magnitude seismic zone. The last strong earthquake occurred in 1988. December 7. Previous earthquakes occurred in 1926. on October 22.