Aghababyan School in Astrakhan


Armenians have been living in the city of Astrakhan since the time of Tatar rule in Russia. Since the 17th century, local Armenians were especially known as traders, which made Astrakhan an important center for Armenian-Russian trade relations. Already in the 18th century, the Astrakhan Armenians were the third in terms of population after the Russians and Tatars. The Armenian National Court was founded here, Armenian churches and schools were built. Representatives of the Armenian intelligentsia were concentrated in the city which played an important role in spreading scientific and educational ideas throughout the country.

One of the most important schools in Astrakhan is the Aghababyan school which was founded in 1810 with the help of the local Armenian merchant Nikoghayos Aghababyan and brothers. The merchant built a wooden house for the school with special rooms for teachers next to the Armenian church Poghos-Petros. He also built a stone house in the courtyard of the school for 12 children who studied at the boarding school. Having founded the first Armenian secular school in Russia, he strove to create an educational institution that would give life-giving knowledge and skills to students, and would train good specialists in the field of navigation. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, the school was transformed into a gymnasium, then again became an ordinary school. Over the years, 50-150 students studied there, most of whom were Armenians. During its existence, the school was in different buildings, houses of merchants and benefactors.

Information about school closures varies. Some sources say that it was closed in 1922, others - in the 1940-50’s. The school building now houses the 14th secondary school of Astrakhan.