Nobody knows where inspiration struck you. In Levon’s case, it was a potato cellar.
At 44 years old, 1985, Levon’s wife asked him to build a potato cellar under the house to store potatoes for the family. The dutiful and hardworking guy he was, he started carving a small room under his house for the utility. What started as a potato cellar never stopped being made for next 23 years, till Levon breathed his last.
WheeBuzz brings you story of Lyova (Levon) Arakelyan, a builder, who built a whole cave system under his house in Arinj, Armenia. He was 44 when he started and built till he was 67 when he passed away.
She never knew that her asking for a potato cellar from her husband will bring her husband dreams and inspiration of carving the caves that run in multiple directions and go as below and 70 feet deep in the earth.
I just asked for a potato cellar, but he was motivated by dreams and visions in which a voice told him he must continue carving the cave. – Tosya
The most wondrous thing here is that Levon has made all the cave system, the carvings, the stairs and included everything in it just by the use of his own domestic small hand tools.
No modern technology, no grinder, no machines to make a multidimensional, fully functional cave system under an already in use house with nothing but small hand tools like chisel and hammers.
Levon’s wife feels really proud of her husband and recalls him working late in the night for long hours without taking breaks.
He’d work, many times, 18 hours continuously without breaks and only with his small hand tools to carve the hard rock, shunning traditional support structures or power tools. – Tosya
Throughout the caves, there are stairs for commuting, halls, small passages and even shrines and carving. He wanted to give it a sacred feel.
His caves are raw looking and beautiful and typically a modern work of awe made in a very primitive style of working.
Levon passed away in 2008, however, he had more plans of extending the cave system, he couldn’t complete them.
But his wife has honored his legacy. Tosya has converted the first cellar as a small museum on Levon’s life and arranges tours for people to the underground caves of her husband.
The whole museum is devoted to the hard work Levon did to make the caves the way they are today. They have pictures of him working and designing, his original carvings, his words and his story all over in the museum.
The beautiful attraction in it is the stone mosaic collection that is dedicated only to Levon and his life.
Tosya wants to keep her husband’s legacy alive for as long as she lives. Even the death couldn’t take apart.