Gyumri has always been famous with its craftsmen and it is no surprise that it has been known as “City of Crafts”.
During Alexandrapol era the main occupation of people were crafts. In 1839 many families from Karin moved to Alexandrapol and brought new type of crafts with them. In the middle of 19’s the city has 28 guilds and 2600 craftsmen, and the number of crafts reached 100.
The crafts were distributed in city by districts and streets. There was located the craft market between Bezbend and Mali Maidans which people called “Cհօrsu”.
The most widespread craftsmen were masons, wallers, carpenters, blacksmiths, coppersmiths, goldsmiths, tinmen, etc. The latter specialities were usually by men. Women did needle-work, sewing, and carpet-making.
Craftsmen, or as peole called them “varpets” enjoyed a great respect and honour among people as they were known for their hard work till late night.
The city saved its craft inclination till 1920’s when industry started developing in the city. Even though role of the crafts reduced some types of craft are still famous and used in modern Gyumri. The bright example of it is mushurba, one of the symbols of Gyumri.