Armenia officially the Republic of Armenia is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan to the south.
Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. The evidences about Armenians and about Armenian Kingdom date back to the very ancient times. Already in 860 BC we know about the Kingdom of Van which was one of the most powerful states of the ancient world. In the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height enlarging its territory to about 300 000 kmsq under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD. In 405 AD Mesrop Mashtots created Armenian alphabet. The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sassanid empires around the early 5th century. Later in the 7th cen. Armenia was invaded by the Arabs. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Armenian Kingdom was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks. An Armenian principality and later a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. It was the last Armenian Kingdom and later on for about 7 long centauries Armenia was completely split by Ottoman Empire and Persia and late on also by Russian Empire.
Between the 16th century and 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and successive Persian empires, repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated.. More than 1,5 million Armenians were killed in 1915 in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, after the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence from the Russian empire, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, and in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia, and one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. Yerevan has been the capital of Armenia since the independence of the First Republic in 1918. When Armenia became a republic of the Soviet Union, Yerevan remained as capital and accommodated all the political and diplomatic institutions in the republic. In 1991 with the independence of Armenia, Yerevan continued with its status as the political and cultural centre of the country, being home to all the national institutions: the Government house, the Parliament, ministries, the presidential palace, the constitutional court, judicial bodies and other public organizations.
Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. Yerevan has an average height of 990 m (3,248.0 3 ft), with a minimum of 865 m (2,837.93 ft) and a maximum of 1,390 m (4,560.37 ft) above sea level. The general plan of Yerevan was designed by the architect Aleksander Tamanyan. The location of Yerevan itself, is an inspiring factor for the foreigners to visit the city in order to enjoy the view of the biblical mount of Ararat, as the city lies on the feet of the mountain forming the shape of a Roman amphitheatre. Yerevan is home to a large number of museums, art galleries and libraries. Being among the top 10 safest countries in the world, Yerevan has an extensive nightlife scene with a variety ofnightclubs,live venues, pedestrian zones, street cafes, jazz cafes, tea houses, casinos, pubs, karaoke clubs and restaurants.
Armenien gehört neben dem Iran, China, Griechenland, Ägypten und Japan zu den 6 alten Ländern, die seit Tausenden von Jahren überlebt haben. Armenien wurde erstmals 520 v. Chr. Im Behistun-Manuskript von König Dari I. erwähnt. Armenien wurde auch in den antiken griechischen Autoren Herodot und Xenophon im 5. Jahrhundert vor Christus erwähnt.
Armenia is the first country to adopt Christianity as state religion. Jesus Christ’s apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew preached in Armenia and Armenian Apostolic Church is named after them. Gregory the Illuminator (Lusavorich), who baptized Armenia in 301, became the first Catholicos of All Armenians. Armenia became the first Christian state.
Echmiadzin Cathedral was the first official church, built in the IV century. First Catholicos Gregory the Illuminator (Lusvorich) dreamed that Christ came down from the sky with a fiery hammer in the hand and pointed out the place to build a church. In the year 303 in that place, where at the time was an ancient pagan temple, the church was founded, named Echmiadzin. Christ’s Spear (Spear of Longinus), which the Roman soldier Longinus thrust in Jesus Christ, is kept in the treasury of the Echmiadzin Cathedral. Since 2000, the cathedral is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
Yerevan, the 13th capital city of Armenia, one of the oldest cities in the world, is located in the north-eastern part of the Ararat Valley. It was founded in 782 BC by King Argishti I. Yerevan is 29 years older than Rome. In 2018 Yerevan will celebrate its 2800 anniversary.
The Armenian alphabet was created in 405-406 AD by a scholar and monk Mesrop Mashtots. The key to creating the Armenian alphabet served the ancient Armenian language, consisting of 28 letters, which absolutely didn’t correspond to the sounds of the Armenian language. Mashtots’ alphabet consists of 36 letters. 7 letters convey vowel sounds and 29 letters - consonants. After the XII century 2 more letters appeared in the alphabet, and in 1940 through the merger of existing two letters another letter appeared in the alphabet, but it has no title. Scientists consider the Armenian alphabet one of the three most advanced in the world, along with Georgian and Korean alphabets. Mesrop Mashtots is also the creator of the Georgian and Albanian alphabets. More than one thousand six hundred years the Armenian alphabet exists almost unchanged. The monument to the Armenian alphabet and its creator Mesrop Mashtots is in the village of Artashavan, on the slope of Mount Aragats.
Armenia is considered to be the homeland of apricot. This is due to the history of the penetration of apricot from Asia to Europe. The famous French biologist De Poerderle (fr. De Poerderlé) in the XVIII century, wrote: "The name of this tree comes from Armenian, Asian province, where it appeared and from where it was brought to Europe ..." Previously it was thought that in the XIX century, the apricot was imported from Armenia to Greece by Alexander the Great, and then from Greece to Italy. This version was not confirmed by the Roman and Greek inscriptions of the time: apricot is not mention there. However, apricot is mentioned in the sources of the I century, which gives evidence that the apricot was in Italy in the I century BC, after the Roman-Parthian Wars. Apricot was called "Armenian apple" (lat. Mela armeniaca, lat. pomum armeniacum), which confirms the theory that the apricot was brought to Rome from Armenia. Arab geographer Ibn al-Faqih in his "Book of Countries" (903) mentions the Armenian apricot under its Armenian name “tsiran” and calls it "the fruit of Armenia." Famous Armenian musical instrument "duduk" is made of apricot wood.
Armenian Genocide - Armenian massacres organized and implemented by the authorities of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and lasted until 1923. The genocide was carried out by means of physical destruction and deportation, including the displacement of the civilian population in the conditions that lead to certain death. In 1907 in Turkey the power was taken by the Young Turks, who had the ideology of pan-Turkism, or the dream of a "Great Turan" from the Balkans to the Altai. Turkey's entry into the First World War in 1914 gave the Young Turks the opportunity for a final decision of "the Armenian issue", that is, the complete extermination of the Armenians. "Who now remembers the extermination of the Armenians?" - asked Adolf Hitler, thus motivating the German attack on Poland and planning the Holocaust. About 1,500.00 Armenians were violently killed. Armenian Genocide is recognized and condemned by 26 countries. This event was 100 years old on April 24, 2015.
A few years ago in the village of Areni, located on the bank of the river Arpa in Areni-1 the world's oldest winery was found, which had produced wine over six thousand years ago. Among the items found: press juice extraction, fermentation vessels, cups for drinking, the remains of vines and seeds. Scientists believe that the grapes, from which the wine was made in Armenia 6000 years ago, was the ancestor of the famous Pinot Noir. Now in France, they produce expensive wine from this sort of grape. The village of Areni is famous for its wine even now. Every year in October it hosts an annual wine festival.
In September 2008, in the village of Areni the oldest shoe in the world was discovered. It aged over 5500 years. The footwear was found together with goat horns in a neatly shaped hole with the depth of 45 cm and a diameter of 44cm. It has been perfectly preserved thanks to the special microclimate, and that it was under a thick layer of sheep excrement, which acted as a hard protective shell. The shoe was of 37-th size and was filled with straw and grass. It was worn on the right foot, and it was made from a single piece of leather. Also the shoelaces and holes with 2-3 mm in diameter meant for the shoelaces have been preserved.
In 2014 Armenian lavash was included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The decision was made during the meeting of the Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris. The List of Intangible Heritage Site also includes: playing duduk (2005), the skill of creating Armenian khachkars - stone crosses (2010) and medieval Armenian epic "David of Sasun" (2012). There are 9 cultural sites on the territory of Armenia, also under the protection of UNESCO: the Monastery of Haghpat (X-XIII century), the Monastery of Sanahin (X century), Echmiadzin Cathedral (IV century), Saint Hripsime Church (VII century), St. Gayane Church (VII century), the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots (VII century), Geghard Monastery (IV-XIII centuries), Saint Shoghakat Church (XVII century), the Upper Valley of the river Azat.
Armenian brandy - a well-known drink to all of us, respected around the world. Industrial production of cognac began in 1887. The merchant Nerses Tairyan built the first winery in Yerevan. 12 years later it was bought by a Russian merchant Nikolai Shustov from Moscow. A few years later Shustov cognac became popular not only in Russia but also abroad. In 1900 Shustov incognito sent samples of brandy to an exhibition in Paris. The Jury unanimously awarded the Grand Prix to the unknown winemaker. Learning that the birthplace of the drink was Armenia, the French allowed Shustov (as an exception) to write on the bottles the word "cognac" instead of "brandy" as all foreign manufacturers of such products were instructed to do. Russian Emperor Nicholas II, who tried Shustov's brandy at a testing competition in 1912, gave him the right to be the main supplier of this drink at Russian imperial court. We also know that cognac was Winston Churchill’s favorite alcoholic drink. Every day he drank a bottle of 50-degree Armenian brandy Dvin.
Ropeway "Wings of Tatev", located next to the monastery of Tatev is the world's longest passenger ropeway. It was built in the framework of "Tatev Revival" and opened on 16 October 2010. The length of the ropeway is 5752 meters. Ropeway "Wings of Tatev" is the only engineering facility of this magnitude in the world built in just 10 months. Air path to the monastery takes 11 minutes, the maximum height is 320 meters, the maximum number of passengers is 25, the capacity of the ropeway is 200 passengers per hour.