Travel from Armenia to Babylon

By going forward one more hour, you enter an Armenian populated village called Mandjelek which comprises 50 houses and has 200 inhabitants, most of which are farmers who know how to handle guns well and are brave but uneducated. Their Prelate lives in a monastery named Saint Taurus; the school and the church being inside the same monastery. The area in which the village is located is mountainous, and its climate mild, with north-eastern winds.

At a distance of about 9 hours from this village, traveling by rocky and mountainous roads, you reach the town of Gurin, which is part of the province of Sivas. Gurin has 20 villages, the inhabitants of which are Turkish farmers.

There are 2000 houses in the town of Gurin: 1250 of which belong to Apostolic Armenians, 90 to Armenian Roman Catholics, 10 to Armenian Protestants, and 650 to Turks. The inhabitants are in general poor, but hospitable. There are 4 Armenian churches: one (named after the Virgin Mary) is built on 14 columns and made of stone; the remaining three (Saint George, Saint Savior and Saint Sargis) are made of wood.. Armenian Roman Catholics own a small church made of stone, and the Protestants another one. There is a large mosque with a minaret(tower) and a few masjids(small mosques). There are three Armenian Apostolic schools and one that is Armenian Roman Catholic. The Turks do not have a school; therefore, they are uneducated. There is a public bath, a market, and gardens. Most Armenians are traders and maintain contacts with Haleb and Trabzon. The Turks work as carpenters or carry on other professions.

There are two rivers: one of them originates from a place located at a distance of an hour and passes through the town, watering some of the gardens, and goes towards Darende; the other originates from a place in the south of the town at a distance of half an hour and comes to water the remaining gardens and unites with the first river.

Barounak Beyi Feroukhian
Year 1847, printed in Armash in 1876, "Travel from Armenia to Babylon"

Credits: The above text was translated by an Armenian from Turkey who prefers to remain anonymous. Denis Der Sarkissian is responsible for making it available. Edits by Luc Vartan Baronian.