In 1837, Russian Czar Nikolai I arrived in Gyumri and named the town Aleksandrapol after his wife Alexandra Feodorovna. People also referred to the town as Alekpol, which became an important post for the Russian troops in Trans-Caucasus.
The most remarkable period of development for Gyumri was during the Ruso-Persian War, when in 1804 it became a part of Russia. After its conquest, the city became the site of a major Russian Army garrison and fortress, which continues to function today.
During Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s August 19-20 visit to Armenia, both nations signed an agreement to extend the lease of the base from 25 to 49 years, until 2044. As the signed documents state, they also expanded Russia’s mission from protecting the sole interests of the Russian Federation, to also ensuring the security of the Republic of Armenia.
As part of the visit, Dmitry Medvedev and Serge Sargsyan participated in the opening ceremony of the Hill of Honor Memorial in Gyumri, which is dedicated to the 156 officers of the Russian army who died on the battlefield during the Russian-Turkish war.