Situated at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe lies the picturesque country of Armenia. It is also known as the Republic of Armenia. With its cobbled streets and medieval charm, Armenia looks like a country taken out of the pages of a history book. Armenia is a beautiful, charming county which is bound to take you back in time to a time of knights and kings.
The kingdom of Armenia was established in the 6th century BC after the fall of Uratu. Armenia is also known as the first Christian Nation as it was the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its national religion. Armenia was under the rule of the Ottomans and Russian empires. Armenia became independent in 1918 after almost 600 years of struggle and war. The county is a member of the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
The land locked country of Armenia is surrounded by Georgia on its north, Turkey lies to its west, Iran lies to its south and Azerbaijan to its east. The national currency of Armenia is dram. The capital city of Armenia is Yerevan.
The country of Armenia is seeped deep in history and culture. Armenia is widely known for its folk music, light pop and an extensive mix of Christian music. The dhol, the zurna, and the kanun are instruments commonly used. The Armenian chant is one of the oldest types of Armenian music which is a common kind of religious music. Sayat Nova and Djivan Gasparyan are two of Armenia’s famous artists.
Wood carvings, antiques, fine lace, hand knotted woollen carpets kilims and other Caucasus specialities dot the markets of Armenia. Located near the Republic Square, the Yerevan Vernissage, is home to a variety of arts and crafts. Another speciality of Armenia is the Obsidian. The national Art Gallery situated in the capital city of Yerevan houses more than 16,000 pieces of artwork dating back to the medieval times. Among others the Modern Art Museum, The Children’s Picture gallery an
the Martiros Saryan Museum are worth a visit.
A visit to Armenia would be incomplete without a trip to Lake Sevan, the largest lake in Armenia. Lake Sevan is one of the world’s largest high altitude fresh water lakes. Lake Van and Lake Urmia along with Lake Sevan are collectively called the “Seas of Armenia”. Lying to the north west of Lake Sevan is the town of Sevan. In the summer months Sevan transforms into a beach resort. Beach volleyball, beach soccer, wind surfing are some of the popular sports on the beaches of Sevan. Another interesting thing to see while visiting Sevan is to visit the cyclopean fortress of Metsep which lies to the north of Sevan.
Geghard, Matennadaran, Khor Virap, Etchmaidzin Cathedral, Zvartnoots Cathedral, Mount Agerats, Hagthpat Monastery are a few of the many places one should visit when in Armenia.
The Tatev Monastry sits atop a cliff and can be seen across the canyon and it is connected by a natural bridge to the other side. The bridge is commonly called Satan’s Bridge. People brave enough to climb down the cliff to the river would be welcomed to a world of stalagmites, stalactites, the river and other pool formations.
Khor Virap Monastry is situated at the foot of Mount Ararat. The monastery stands on top of a small hill with the breath taking, snow-capped mountain as its backdrop.
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral located in the town of Vagharshpat is a famous historical landmark. It is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic church and is also the oldest cathedral in the world. The cathedral has several beautiful frescos and painting adorning its walls. These frescos were restored in the 18th century.
For those who want to lay back and relax a trip to Dilijan is a must. It is the spa town of Armenia and is also home to the Dilijan National Park which hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna. The brown bear, wolf, otter, marten, lynx have all made this national park their home. Hagarishtan Monastery, Goshavanak Monastery, Jukhtak Vank monastery are among the several monasteries in Dilijan. Lake Parz in one of Dilijans most attractive natural sites.
Another popular health town in Armenia is Tsaghkadzor which is located to the north of the capital city of Yerevan. The ski resort is located just north of the town. The town is nestled between the snow-capped mountain peaks.
Armenian cuisine is guaranteed to tickle your taste buds. It is greatly influenced by Middle Eastern cuisines such as Turkish, Persian, and Arabic cuisine. Fresh herbs are an important ingredient of Armenian Cuisine. Harissa and Khash are the typical dishes of Armenia. The everyday dish of the people of Armenia is the dzhash which is a watery stew if meat, vegetables and spices. Dill, Tarragon, Oregano, Thyme and Basil are some of the herbs which are commonly used. Eetch and Jajukh are common Armenian salads. Byorek is another speciality of Armenia. Barbequing is very popular in Armenia. Khorovats and Gharsi Khorovats are popular Armenian barbeque.
Armenian dress reflects their rich cultural heritage. Fur and wool was initially used but was later replaced by cotton. Silk was imported from china.
Armenia is a beautiful country surely worth a visit.