Travel Guides: Armenia
Armenia is the first country that adopted Christianity in 301.
An exploration of this country is equivalent to an immersion in history – from Erebuni, an archaeological site packed with over 200 ancient stone engravings and Ughtsar, an ancient fortress perched on an alpine plateau, to many monasteries and churches arranged in the dramatically landscape. The capital Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded almost 2,800 years ago, during ancient Babylon. Although most of the old city was demolished in 1930, it is now rebuilt into a modern Soviet-style. Yerevan is the essence of Armenia, where origins are both ancient and tumultuous transition and new beginnings of modern time. Despite the violence of its history, Armenia is an enchanting land. Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Daudaz, praised for its clean waters and beautiful scenery. The tourism infrastructure is in permanent upgrade and it continues to provide excellent facilities for riding and hiking.
The Armenian character is essential – towns are relics of endurance. Precisely because of this character, residents proudly say that Winston Churchill always preferred Armenian brandy, to the detriment of the French. Main attractions: Visit places that focus on Armenia’s status as the first country that adopted Christianity as the official state religion – Mount Ararat, the place where the Ark landed after the flood. Visit Echmiadzin, the capital of Armenia between 180 and 340, where there is still the largest cathedral in the country. It is said about St George’s Cathedral the Illuminator that it was built on the site of a pagan altar. The seventeenth-century cathedral is a magnificent example of Armenian ecclesiastical architecture, with a flat spire and a beautiful carved dome. The Cathedral contains a spear believed to have been used to push the Christ on the cross.
Visit one of the oldest churches in the world, founded about 2,800 years ago in the days of Babylon – Yerevan. Unfortunately, little has been preserved until today, from the old city. Most of it was demolished in 1930 and rebuilt with volcanic rock, which is found throughout the republic and is a specific style of Armenians. You can still visit the National Gallery, founded in 1919, Yerevan library with ancient manuscripts (Matedaran) and more than 13,000 texts, and Market Opening, held on Friday. Nearby Yerevan is the fortress Erebuni (an archaeological site with over 200 pietro-gliphs besieged and surrounded by beautiful lakes) and Ughtasar, an old fortress. Go up the steep path to admire one of the most amazing views of Armenia, the Monastery Geghard. Monks from here occasionally sacrifice lambs on stone altars in the open.
The “Wishes Trees” on the side of the road are filled with the strips of cloth, left by tourists who had hoped that their prayers are listened to. On this place were a fourth-century monastery and a beautiful church dating from the 12th century. On the road between Yerevan and Geghard in Garni is the Roman temple of the god Mithras. In the first century, Nero sent slaves and money to build the temple in honor of Tiridades, an Armenian king, for their support in fighting the party. Repeated earthquakes have destroyed much of the original structure, but the remains heights overlook the valley at 300 m above the river Azat. Admire the panorama of the lake Seva, 70 km east of Yerevan, the largest lake in the Caucasus, admired for pure water, magnificent scenery and delicious fresh fish.
Visit a great cultural center of medieval Armenia and one of the best preserved monuments from that period – Agartsin Monastery, located a few miles east of Ailijhan, in a wooded area. Visit the monasteries Sanakin and Haghpat, located near the banks of the river Debed. They were first built in the tenth century and have undergone several reconstructions and enlargements. They say that the great Armenian poet Sayat Nova was born in Sanakin and became a monk at Haghpat. Hike in the spectacular scenery of Armenia – Yerevan tour operators often organize hiking excursions, and hotels can provide information about them. Ararat: Over Yerevan reins majestically the Ararat with the head in the clouds, the main national symbol of Armenia, which is located across the border to Turkey. Although it is banned an Armenian expedition on the mountain, visitors can enjoy views over the place where it is said that Noah’s Ark stopped. Rarely without a crown of clouds, it dominates the horizon like a flat high plateau that runs the country.
Echmiadzin Monastery: It is the residence of Armenian Patriarchs (katholicos) greets you with large windows, white walls and floral motifs. Iconography is not the highest price in Armenian Orthodoxy. The strongest effect in the monastery is felt it in stone at Geghardt, hole of the ceiling and lit by little candles, black and wet weather, where you are afraid to breathe the air, for fear of being incompatible temporal and ashamed if your shoes are too much noise in modern medieval tranquility. Armenian cuisine is similar to that of other former Soviet countries and includes borsch, roasted meat (or shashlik khorovadz), potatoes and stews. Other Armenian delicacies are fresh trout, Dolma, flat bread (lavash), chicken stew (harissa) and yogurt (madzun).
Simple Passport: it is necessary to obtain visa. Passport Service: no need for a short stay. Diplomatic Passport: no need for a short stay visa. Short period of stay (days): 90. Conditions of entry and residence regime: Citizens of simple passport holders need visas to enter in Armenia. Visas are usually obtained from any Armenian consular office abroad. A single entry visa can be granted at the border, at the time of entry into Armenia, for the amount of 30 USD. Borders open to international traffic of persons and goods are Zavrnots-Yerevan International Airport, ground points, with Georgia: Sadkhlo / Tashir – Safarlo / Bolnisi / Ninotsminda, with Iran Meghri. Turkey’s land borders are not open to traffic for the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The most common purposes for which they are granted visas are as follows: for work, business, tourism, education, employment and transit.
Length of stay permitted by the visa is 21 days for a stay of less than 21 days but not exceeding 90 days, a formal invitation is required from an approved institution in Armenia. For a period of stay of less than three months is needed to obtain a temporary residence permit issued by the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Illegal entry is punishable by imprisonment; overnight stay is permitted but it is sanctioned and you must pay 3 USD for each additional day and a prohibition to enter into Armenia for various periods depending on period of stay beyond that allowed by the visa. For more information about the conditions of entry and residence regime in Armenia, it is recommended consulting official data provided by the Armenian authorities. Emergency Calls: Police – 102, Ambulance – 103, Fire department – 101, Gas Damages – 104. Customs Regulations: Amounts in foreign currency are not limited to entry into Armenia. Prohibited items relate to pornographic materials, weapons, food, perishable objects of historic, cultural and archaeological radioactive substances, communication equipment.
The Republic of Armenia is a country with an area of 29,800 square kilometers, with a population of approx. 3 million inhabitants, located in the southern Caucasus between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea bordered with Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Iran to the south and east to Azerbidjan. The population of the country consists of 98% Armenians, Russian 0.5%, Kurds 1.3% and other 0.3%. Armenia has as the predominant form of relief, the mountains. Important are the massive and volcanic plateaus of the high plateau of Armenia and the Little Caucasus Mountains sectors. The volcanic massif Aragat records the maximum altitude of the country of more than 4,000 meters. Mountain ridges separated by valleys and hollows are well populated, the largest being drained by the river Araks, in Ararat depression. Climate: It is subtropical and dry in the lowlands. Among the many mountain lakes, the best known is Lake Sevan. Armenia has been engaged in a prolonged conflict with Azerbaijan for Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority region and belonging to the territory of Greater Armenia which, Stalin turned it into an enclave of Azerbaijan and the Soviet Union annexed it in the hope that Kemalist Turkey will get support of people in building socialism in the Islamic world.
The military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1988, and fighting has increased after both countries declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a ceasefire came into force, Armenian forces occupied not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but a security belt formed by the surrounding territories. Yerevan with a population of 1.5 million inhabitants is the largest city and capital of Armenia. The city was built in 782 BC, being one of the oldest cities in the world and other cities are Gyumri (125.000 inhabitants) and Abovian (59.300 inhabitants). Attractions in Yerevan: Main attractions: Tavush Province (Marz), National Gallery of Armenia, Armenian Genocide Museum, Tsitsernakapert, Mesrop Machtots, Parajanov Museum. One of the most famous cultural centers in Yerevan is the collection of manuscripts of Matenadaran museum which houses the Persian miniatures to heavy caseloads, about Armenia and world history, religion and peoples.
Yerevan Airport: The municipality adapts to the changes so in 2010 was opened a new airport. Until that time flights reached the old airport. The objectives included on the UNESCO list are: Monasteries Sanahin and Haghpat, the cathedral and churches in Etchmiadsin and the archaeological site of Geghard and Zvartnots Monastery. Armenia, although a small country, has much to offer, from artifacts dating back over 5,000 years and IV-VI century churches to the story landscapes. One of the symbols of Armenia is the Monastery of Khor Virat, dating from the fourth century. This thrust is in the valley, where it can be seen with the same name the Mount where St. Gregory was imprisoned for a period of 13 years. In Echmiadzin, an ancient capital of the state is the oldest Christian cathedral. It is said that Jesus descended to earth and showed where the church is to be raised.
Many places of worship were built in Armenia between IV-VI centuries, the most important being: Churches of Jarjaris and Karmravor and Temple of Zvartnots. The Armenian Stonehenge, Zorats Karer is composed of hundreds of stones placed on an area of three hectares and it is estimated that there was either a temple of the sun or an astronomical observatory. Apparently, the stones are placed at random but viewed from above one can see that they are arranged in a certain order. It is estimated that its age is 6,000 years old and it was left after Armenia adopted Christianity. Erebuni fortress in Yerevan is dating from VIII century BC, where you can see temples, palaces and ancient houses and the objects discovered at the site displayed at the History Museum in Yerevan. Here can be seen Horom fortress ruins, built in IX century, one of the most breathtaking buildings in Armenia. The temple of Garni was built in III century BC and was destroyed by the Romans in 59.
It was rebuilt later and was raised also a temple to the god of the sun. Armenia’s capital and its largest city is Yerevan, a city dating from 782 BC, being one of the oldest cities in the world. In the cultural center of the city is the famous Matenadaran Museum, which is a collection of manuscripts, Persian miniatures, Horologion heavy objects from history, religion and objects that belonged to the Armenian people. Other attractions are: Tavush Province, National Gallery of Armenian Genocide, Armenian Museum, Tsitsernakapert, Mesrop Machotots and Parajnov Museum. The greatest symbol of the country is over the border in Turkey, namely the Ararat. The tourist offer of the tiny country is rich in remains dating back over 5,000 years and IV to VI centuries churches to hallucinatory landscapes that seem to emerge from another world. Tourism is the main source of income for Armenia, and this is not surprising given that it is a country with a rich history.
Armenia was the first Christian state. St. Gregory the Illuminator converted King Trdat in the 3rd century AC, year 301, and he proclaimed Christianity as the state religion. One of the main attractions is the monastery of Khor Virat, built in the fourth century. Here he was imprisoned for 13 years. Situated in the Ararat valley, in this place one can admire the mountain with the same name. The oldest Christian cathedral in Armenia is still in Echmiadzin, an ancient capital of this state. According to legend, Jesus descended to earth and showed the place where was to be built the place of worship. It was high even where there is a pagan temple. In Armenia there are numerous Christian churches dating from the IV-VI centuries and they are worth a visit. These include churches Jarjaris, Karmravor or Zvartnots temple. However, every province of Armenia has numerous religious establishments, each with a fascinating story.
The ancient vestiges are another important component of tourism in Armenia. Temples and fortresses during the ancient kingdom of Armenia are interesting places for lovers of ancient history. At Ughtasar one can visit the 2,000 petroglyphs with engraved scenes of religious rituals, hunting or dancing. These images are typical from Paleolithic and are believed to have been made about 7,000 years ago. Spectacular is what is called the Armenian Stonehenge, Zorats Karer, located three kilometers from Sisian. Hundreds of stones are arranged on an area of about three hectares, and experts estimate that there was either a temple of the sun, or an astronomical observatory. Although apparently blocks of stone are placed randomly, pictures from the plane shows that they are placed in a certain order. It has therefore been built around 6,000 years ago and it was abandoned after it was adopted Christianity in Armenia.
In the capital Yerevan can be visited the Erebuni fortress built in the 8th century BC by King Argishti. One can admire temples, palaces and ancient houses. Objects discovered in the archaeological site are on display at the History Museum in Yerevan. A little bit older old is the Horom citadel, considered the most impressive work of this kind that was discovered in Armenia. Dating from the ninth century, its ruins are visible from a distance. The Temple of Garni is another point that should not be missing from the agenda of visiting this country. Garni Fortress was built in the third century BC and was destroyed by the Romans in the year 59. It was later rebuilt and was built a temple dedicated to the god of sun. Armenia is attractive in terms of natural beauty. Lake Sevan is a good example of this and is considered one of the most beautiful places in this country.
It covers not less than 1256 square kilometers. The Peninsula from Lake Sevan monastery replenishes a dreamscape. Fishermen can recreate here by practicing their favorite sport. Dilijan National Park is a beautiful area located in northern Armenia, with over 1,000 species of plants and 107 species of birds. Tumultuous history: Armenia’s important period of history begins with the kingdom of Urartu, evidence of its existence dating back to the year 980 BC. The glory belongs to this party but the state’s Tigranes II, under whose reign the kingdom territory stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The strategic position of this country, passed through several routes used for trade, warned the powers of the time. It was attacked by the Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Turks and Mongols. Since the nineteenth century it fell under Russian influence. Between 1918 and 1920 it was an independent state, and then it was embedded in the USSR. In 1991 declared its independence.
Armenia is a landlocked country in Caucasus. In the north it has a border with Georgia (164 km), to the east with Azerbaijan (566 km), south with Iran (35 km) and the Azeri enclave Naxçivan in the west (221 km) and Turkey (268 km). Armenians came from the 7th century and settled in southern Europe and western Asia Minor. In 301 Armenia was the first ground of the world, which received Christianity as the state religion. In 1454 Armenia has been shared by the Osman Empire and Persia. Armenian upraised against the Turks in the 18th century and 19 century; Russian attempts to occupy this territory in 1828 and 1878, repeated massacres of the Turks and Curds (1895-1897, 1914-1915) and led to the decimation of the Armenian deportation. In 1920, Armenia was part of the Soviet Union and joined the rest belonged to Turkey. In 1991 Armenia got independence from the Soviet Union and became part of NHS.
In Armenia comes the Small Caucasus mountainous and mountainous Alpine Ararat, where is the highest mountain of Armenia (Aragac, 4090). Because of the dry summer and winter with almost no snow here steppe vegetation dominates; rare forest occupies only one-seventh of the territory. Because of the highlands, agriculture produces hard. In 1988 the region was hit by the earthquake. Over 90% of inhabitants are Orthodox. Curds are living in the West, they practice Zoroastrianism and shamanism. Azerbaijani people that are largely Islamic fled during the conflict in Azerbaijan. In the sixth century BC, the Armenian empire, which stretched between the Caspian and Mediterranean, was one of the most powerful empires in Asia. Throughout history, however, its territory was invaded by a series of empires – Greek, Persian, Byzantine, Mongolian, Arabic, Turkish and Russian. From the sixteenth century until the First World War, large areas in Armenia were invaded by brutal invaders who have oppressed and plundered people.
In response to the riots of the Armenians, the Turks massacred thousands of people, between 1894 and 1896. The terrible massacre took place in 1915 when the Turks ordered the deportation of the population in the deserts of Syria and Mesopotamia. According to most historians, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were killed or died of starvation. Armenian massacre is considered as the first genocide of the twentieth century. After the Turks were defeated at the end of WWI, they founded the independent Republic of Armenia, which has survived only two years but was then annexed by the Soviet Union. In March 1922, the Soviets joined Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to form the Trans-Caucasian Soviet Socialist Republic, which later became part of the USSR. In 1936, Armenia became a separate member of the USSR, and after the Soviet collapse, it proclaimed its independence on 23 September 1991.
In 1988 Armenia became a territorial dispute with Azerbaijan for Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Most enclaves inhabited by Armenians were Christians who wanted to secede from Azerbaijan and Armenia to take part in or have full independence. War erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1992, lasted two years and resulted in 30,000 casualties. Today Armenia is in control in the region, although this is not officially regulated. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, about 60% of Armenians live outside the country – each about 1 million immigrants in the U.S. and Russia, other major communities are in Georgia, France, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Argentina and Canada. Armenia is a member of the Council of Europe and the CIS and over many centuries has been a move from West to East. A former Soviet republic, Armenia is a unitary state, with an old multi-cultural and historical heritage.
Kingdom of Armenia was the first state that adopted Christianity as state religion, early in the fourth century (the traditional date is 301). Modern Republic of Armenia recognizes the exclusive historical mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church as a national church, although modern Republic of Armenia has separated the church and the state. Armenia is a member of more than 40 international organizations including UN, Council of Europe, the Asian Development Bank, Commonwealth of Independent States, World Trade Organization, the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Francophone. It is a member of the CSTO military Alliance and participates in the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP). In 2004 its forces joined KFOR, NATO’s international forces in Kosovo. It is also an observer member of the Eurasian Economic Community and the Non-Aligned Movement.
The country is a developing democracy. Armenia is classified as medium human development country and 10.6% of the population lives below the international poverty line of 1.25 dollars per day. Official name: Republic of Armenia. Location: South-West Asia (the Caucasus). Neighbors (1254 km): Georgia (164 km), Azerbaijan (787 km), Iran (35 km), Turkey (268 km). Area: 29,800 sq km (No. 137). Population: over 3.326 million. Population density: approx. 112 inhab/sq km. Administrative divisions: 10 regions and the capital. National Holidays: May 28 (the anniversary of the proclamation of independence – 1918), September 21 (independence referendum – 1991). Official language: Armenian. Currency (introduced on 22/11/1993): 1 Dram = 100 Luma. GNP (1996): 2 387 000 $ (No. 132), GNP / capita. (1996): $ 630 (No. 138). Capital: Erevan (Yerevan), a city located in central-southern part of Armenia, on the river Hrazdan (affluent of Arak), 23 km from the border with Turkey.
Known as the first state to adopt Christianity as state religion (301 AD), Armenia as a separate state through history marked by being shaken and regional interests of the great empires (Roman, Part, Sassanid, Ottoman, Mongol, Persian, Byzantine Tsarist and Soviet), although not a country to attract the resources. Communists in 1923 include Nagorno-Karabakh, inhabited by Armenians, with an area of 190,000 4400 sq km (Nagorno Karabakh) in Azerbaijan Republic (the majority inhabited by Shiite Muslims), becoming one of the largest enclaves (territory inhabited by a population other than the one in this country, and borders and its own administration) in the world, together with Nakhichevan (the Azerbaijani enclave, southwest tip of Armenia). In 1988 street protests in Yerevan (capital city), resulted in thousands of people refugees from Azerbaijan but also Nachicevan hundreds of dead in the pogroms (mass murders, patterned after Hitler, the Jews) against the Armenian population in Baku (capital of Azerbaijan, situated in the Caspian Sea).
After the acquisition of independence in 1991, Armenia supports the Nagorno-Karabakh to declare independence, which triggers a war between the two countries until 1994, since signing a truce after long negotiations between the two parties, the mediation of Turkey, Russia, USA, OSCE and UN. Besides Russia’s role is becoming increasingly powerful in the area since, recently, Russians have strengthened military bases in this country owned by Russian military forces from bases in Georgia to prevent allegedly triggering new and inter-ethnic conflicts in the region (the Russian forces had the status of “peacekeeping forces”). In the northwestern region of Azerbaijan there are Armenian other small enclaves where there are few small issues, also strained relations with Turkey, due to non-recognition, by the latter of genocide (mass murder) that has been under Armenian population in Little Armenia (now Turkish territory where there is the holy mountain of Armenia: Ararat, 5165m), in 1915/16 (figures estimated 1 million Armenian victims while Turkish authorities say tens of thousands).
Recently, a diplomatic conflict broke out between Turkey and the US, thanks to a bill aimed at recognition of the latter by the Turks committing genocide. Turkey threatens to block US base at Incirlic (SE Turkey), where the US sent troops and aircraft logistics as support in Iraq. Nature: Lacking direct access to Planet Ocean, Armenia has predominantly mountainous massifs and plateaus composed of high volcanic plateaus, an important hub in southwest Asia and sectors of Small Caucasus Mountains. Maximum altitude volcanic massif is in Aragua / Aragats Kerr (4095 m). Mountain ridges separated by valleys and hollows are well populated as depression greater Ararat (alt. 800-900 m) drained the Araks River (the border with Turkey). The climate is dry sub-tropical in low depressions with low rainfall (200-400 mm / year), and temperate, with high precipitation (800-1 000 mm / year) in the high zones, mountains.
The rivers have a high energy potential and from the many mountain lakes, Lake Sevan is the best known (1410 sq km), located at 1950 m altitude. Vegetation is predominantly herbaceous, in the depression of the south, xerophytes, forests occupying one third of the territory. Fauna includes jackals, lynx, leopards and others. Origin of name: The original name of the country was Hayq, then Hayastan, under the influence of Persian language, consisting of the old name Haya / Hayas plus Persian suffix ‘-ostan’ (province). According to legendary explanation, Haik was the great grandson of Noah and ancestor of the Armenian people. Haiq was named Armin or Armenia by its neighboring states, starting with Ahemenida Persia as it was the name of the region’s most powerful tribe whose members were called Armen between them. This name was likely derived from Armenak or Aram (the great-grandson of Haik and another leader of his people).
Armenians have fun at home and guests are overwhelmed by their hospitality and generosity, large amounts of food and endless toasts. It is a normal gesture that guests bring a small gift to the host, usually flowers, chocolate or alcohol. Homosexuality is not illegal, but it is still not accepted in society. Although women, especially in the capital, dress in a western-style, are avoided skirts and wearing shorts. Local time is GMT + 3. The Armenian Plateau is the higher continuing of the Asia Minor to the Caspian Sea. Limits: To the south-east is closely linked with the Plateau of Iran, expanded in the south of Lake Urmia and Sahend Massif and to the north, through the Small Caucasus, dominates the intra-mountainous Rion-Kura depression. The position of transition between Asia Minor and Iran Plateau – where increased continental climate prevailing high plateaus and volcanic massifs, which alternates with deep depression, tectonic erosion, formation of a true ‘water tower”, with tanks permanent natural (tectonic lakes Van, Sevan, and Urmia), of which diverge numerous rivers (Kura, Arax, Tigris, Euphrates).
Climate: continental, with long, cold winters, warm summers. Precipitation falls mostly in spring and summer and grow from the inside (300-600mm) to outer slopes (1000-1200mm). Waters: with great variations and flows, are widely used for irrigation in the lowlands and the production of electricity and large tectonic lakes for sailing and fishing. UNESCO World Heritage List included the following objectives in Armenia: 1996, 2000 Sanahin and Haghpat Monasteries; 2000 Etchmiadsin Cathedral and churches and archaeological site Zvartnots; 2000 Monastery of Geghard / Gherart. State: Presidential Republic, according to the Constitution approved by referendum on 05/07/1995. It is a founding member of the CIS. Legislative power is exercised by a unicameral parliament, the National Assembly (31 members, elected by direct suffrage for a term of four years). Executive power is exercised by the government and the president appoints the prime minister and, on his recommendation, the other ministers.
Head of state: President (elected by direct vote for no more than two consecutive terms of 5 years). Political parties: Miasnutian Bloc (Unit), consisting of the Republican Party (founded in 1990) and People Party (founded in 1998), Armenian Revolutionary Federation / Dashnaks (founded in 1890, banned during the communist regime, re-established in 1991), Armenian Democratic Party (founded in 1992). The state with the lowest surface appeared on the ruins of the USSR, Armenia faced major economic problems related to lack of direct access to Planetary Ocean resources and notable absence of soil resources (the copper, molybdenum, bauxite, chromium shows low reserve) or energetic. In addition, the specializations had in the USSR (especially in agriculture) and the dependency of the other CIS countries – and found them in the process of transition to market economy – are not able to sustain normal economic development.
Also, the armed conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan State generated by the region Nagorno Karabakh, emphasized disruption of economic and social life. Among other things, inflation in 1994 reached the level of 4040%. Agriculture trains 12% of population, which contributes 44% to GDP and its specific cereal (on half of the arable surface), wine and fruit growing. Industry, relatively diverse, uses 22% of population, active and 25% of GDP, but faces difficulties in the energy sector. Currently, because sustained blocking imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey, road and rail links are operating with only the Georgia and Iran. Foreign debt has reached 820 000 $ (1997). The earthquake of 1988, war with Azerbaijan and the economic crisis affected the infrastructure that tourism has become insignificant. Receipts from international tourism: 1000 $ (1996).
The main areas or objectives: capital, Yerevan, one of the oldest cities in the world, Lake Sevan, the largest in the whole Caucasian region, Aragat mountain, with the Astronomical observatory Biurakan; cities Ecmiazin / Ejmiacin and Dvin (former capital of the kingdom of Armenia), Garni (with a Roman temple, recently restored), Ripsime (7th century cathedral), Astarak (with the cathedral Mariane from the 13th century 13), monasteries Airivank and Hagartin.
In prehistoric times, several tribes have inhabited the territory of modern Armenia.
At mid-1st century BC Armenia became for a short time an empire with a rich culture, Hellenistic and guidance that stretched from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea to the Caucasus to the Mediterranean Sea. It happened during the reign of Tigranes the Great that was called “King of Kings” by taking advantage of a temporary weakening of the Party Kingdom that they defeated. It is in turn defeated by Rome, whose clientele will become king, together with his followers Artasiz. Armenia’s strategic geographical situation at a crossroads of trade routes and continents called the invasion of its territory by various empires Assyria, Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and later the Arabs, Turks and Mongols.
In 301 AC, Armenia became the first state to adopt Christianity as its state religion, twelve years before the Roman Empire Christian tolerance granted by Galerius, and 30-40 years before Constantine’s baptism. On the territory of Armenia there were various pagan communities before the arrival of Christianity, but they accepted Christianity as a stream of missionaries. After Armenia was occupied by several foreign dynasties (Iranian, Roman, Arab, Mongol), Armenia has been seriously weakened. In the 16th century, Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia divided the territory of Armenia. Fighting between warring these have led to the indigenous Armenian population decline whose place was gradually taken from different populations of Islamic religion. In 1813 and 1828, modern Armenia (consisting of the regions of Erivan and Karabakh from Persia) was a temporary backup system in the Russian Empire.
After its brief existence as an independent republic after the Russian Revolution, Armenia was annexed by the USSR. Between 1922 and 1936 it existed as Republic Trans-Caucasian Soviet Federal Socialist (together with Georgia and Azerbaijan), and from 1936 to 1991 as Armenian SSR. In the last years of the Ottoman Empire (1915-1922), a large number of Armenians in Anatolia were killed in the Armenian Genocide. Many were forced to flee their homes and start a “death march” through the deserts of Syria without food, being escorted by Turkish soldiers who have “blind eye” to attack the different tribes in the region. Others were killed in their homes or drowned in the Euphrates and the Black Sea. The Turkish government still refuses to recognize the classification of those massacres as genocide although the very term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin, Polish Hebrew origin, starting from the massacres committed against the Assyrians and Armenians in the first half of the twentieth century.
Turkish authorities continued denial of death and invest millions of dollars annually to support this alternative history, saying the deaths were caused by civil war, disease and famine with both sides suffering casualties. The number of Armenians killed is estimated at about 1.5 million, and these events are commemorated annually on 24 April. Armenians together with several other countries require official recognition of the events as genocide, but there are also many countries under direct pressure of Turkey not to characterize the Armenian massacre as genocide. Armenia was involved in a prolonged conflict with Azerbaijan for Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority region and that the territory belongs to Greater Armenia; Stalin turned it into an enclave of Azerbaijan and the Soviet Union annexed it in the hope that will obtain the support of Turkey’s Kemalist and Islamic people in building socialism in the world.
The military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1988, and fighting has increased after both countries declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a ceasefire came into force, Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but a security belt formed from the territories surrounding of Azerbaijan. The economies of both countries have suffered in the absence of a peaceful solution. On February 19, 2008 presidential elections were held. A series of events troubled this period. Numerous and widespread mass protests organized by supporters of former President Levon Ter-Petrossian (October 16, 1991 to February 3, 1998) have campaigned against alleged electoral fraud. Trials continued for several days in a row, claiming police intervention. On March 2, 2008, the current president, Robert Kocharyan declares state of emergency. Protesters are forcibly displaced. On March 4, Ter-Petrossian was arrested.
During the reign of Tigran II the Great (1995-1955 BC), Armenia witnessed a meteoric affirmation and power and territorial expansion reached its peak when its boundaries reached the Mediterranean Sea and the Caspian Sea. Defeated by General Pompeius, Armenia is forced to recognize in 66 BC as client of the state of Rome, the kingdom buffer between the two rival major powers – the United Roman parties. Despite all adversities, it will keep unaltered for two millennia ethnic identity, individuality, language, culture and religion. During the dynasty of Bagratiz (885-1045), Armenia manages to regain independence still threatened by the Byzantine and Islamic expansionist tendencies.
One of the oldest urban centers of the world in 1968 celebrated 2750 years of existence. In the S and SW of the city today the Argist kings (783 BC) and Russian (730-714) of Urartu fortress called up each one springs Erebuni, last destroyed by an invasion of the Scythians around 600 BC. The settlement mentioned in medieval sources reappears until 7th century AC, but without playing an important role until the 16th century. Persian border fortress, was conquered by the Ottoman Turks (1582), reoccupied by Persia (1604-1827), became in 1735 the residence of a Hanat. By the peace of Yerevan Turcmanceai it enters in the possession of Russia in 1828. In 1918 it becomes the capital of the short-lived republic of independent Armenia, occupied by the Red Army in 1920 and included in the Republic Trans-Caucasian Soviet Federal Socialist, part of the USSR (1922-1936).
RSS Armenian capital of USSR (1936-1991), Yerevan becomes, with the proclamation of sovereignty on 09.23.1991, the capital of the new independent republic. Strongly affected by the earthquake of 1988, the modern city has grown on the slopes and hills surrounding the valley of Hrazdan, until 1300 m altitude. Yerevan knows a sustained growth during the Soviet era; it became a real metropolis, culture and education in the Caucasus with a complex and diversified industry (aluminum, electricity, petrochemicals, tires, industrial machinery, machine tools, food). It is the most important scientific and cultural center of Armenia‘s education: the only university in the country (Yerevan State University, founded in 1919) and 9 other higher education institutions (architecture, arts, medicine, agronomy, economics), Academy Armenian National of Sciences (founded in 1943) and contains 40 research institutes (Institute of Ancient Manuscript, founded in 1932, Hydro phonic Research Institute, founded in 1947), five libraries (National Library of Armenia, f. 1919, contains 6000 volumes, Armenian Scientific and Technical Library, 20 000 volumes – among the largest in Asia), 6 museums (Metanadaran, which preserves ancient manuscripts, including two of the oldest Gospels of the world – 9th century – State Museum of Armenian History, Armenian painting gallery), philharmonic, theater.11