'Origin of the name":
"The original Armenian name for the country was Hayq, later Hayastan, translated as the land of Haik, and consisting of the name Haik and the Persian suffix '-stan' (land). According to legend, Haik was a great-great-grandson of Noah (son of Togarmah, who was a son of Gomer, a son of Noah's son, Japheth), and according to an ancient Armenian tradition, a forefather of all Armenians. He is said to have settled below Mount Ararat, travelled to assist in building the Tower of Babel, and, after his return, defeated the Babylonian king Bel (believed by some researchers to be Nimrod) on August 11, 2492 BC near the mountains of Lake Van, in the southern part of historic Armenia (presently in Turkey)."
Armenia has been populated since prehistoric times, and has been proposed as the site of the Biblical Garden of Eden. It was a regional empire with a rich culture in the years leading up to the 1st century, spanning from the shores of the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea during the rule of Tigranes the Great.In AD 301, Armenia became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its official state religion, ten years before the Roman Empire granted Christianity official toleration under Galerius, and 36 years before Constantine was baptised.
Armenia is divided into eleven provinces (marzer, singular - marz):
1.Aragatsotn (Արագածոտնի մարզ)
2.Ararat (Արարատի մարզ)
3.Armavir (Արմավիրի մարզ)
4.Gegharkunik (Գեղարքունիքի մարզ)
5.Kotayk (Կոտայքի մարզ)
6.Lori (Լոռու մարզ)
7.Shirak (Շիրակի մարզ)
8.Syunik (Սյունիքի մարզ)
9.Tavush (Տավուշի մարզ)
10.Vayots Dzor (Վայոց Ձորի մարզ)
Armenia is a landlocked country in the southern Caucasus. Located between the Black and Caspian Seas, Armenia is bordered on the north and east by Georgia and Azerbaijan, and on the south and west by Iran and Turkey. Though geographically in Western Asia, politically and culturally Armenia is closely aligned with Europe. Historically, Armenia has been at the crossroads between Europe and Southwest Asia, and is therefore seen as a transcontinental nation.
The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers and few forests. The climate is highland continental: hot summers and cold winters. The land rises to 4095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea-level at Mount Aragats, and no point is below 400 metres (1,312 ft) above sea level. Mount Ararat, regarded by the Armenians as a symbol of their land, is the highest mountain in the region and used to be part of Armenia until around 1915, when it fell to the Turks.
Ethnic Armenians make up 97.9% of the population. Kurds make up 1.3%, and Russians 0.5%. There are smaller communities of Assyrians, Georgians, Greeks and Ukrainians. Most Azerbaijanis, once a sizable population, have been forced to leave their homes since the independence and the occupation.The predominant religion in Armenia is Christianity. The roots of the Armenian Church go back to the 1st century AD.
Armenians have their own highly distinctive alphabet and language. The letters were invented by Mesrob Mashdots and consists of 36 letters. 96% of the people in the country speak Armenian, while 75.8% of the population additionally speaks Russian as a result of the Soviet language policy. The adult literacy rate in Armenia is 99% . Most adults in Yerevan can communicate in Russian, while English is increasing in popularity.
Armenian hospitality is legendary and stems from ancient tradition. Social gatherings focused around sumptuous presentations of course after course of elaborately prepared, well-seasoned (but not spicy-hot) food. The hosts will often put morsels on a guest's plate whenever it is empty or fill his or her glass when it gets low. After a helping or two it is acceptable to refuse politely or, more simply, just leave a little uneaten food. Alcohol such as cognac, vodka, and red wine are usually served during meals and gatherings. It is considered rare and unusal for one to go inside an Armenian household and not be offered coffee, pastry, food, or even water.
The weddings are usually quite elaborate and regal. The process begins by the man and woman becoming "promised". The man's immediate family (Parents, Grandparents, and often the Uncles and Aunts) go over to the woman's house to ask for permission from the woman's father for the relationship to continue and hopefully prosper. Once permission is granted by the father, the man gives the woman a "promise ring" to make it official. To celebrate the mutual family agreement, the woman's family opens a bottle of Armenian cognac. After being promised, most families elect to have an semi-large engagement party as well. The girl's family is the one who plans, organizes and pays for the party. There is very little involvement by the man's family. At the party, a priest is summoned to pray for the soon husband and wife to be and give his blessings. Once the words of prayer have concluded, the couple slide wedding bands on each other's right hands (the ring is moved to the left hand once a formal marriage ceremony is conducted by the Armenian church). The customary time to wait for the marriage is about one year. Unlike other cultures, the man and his family pay for the wedding. The planning and organization process is usually done by the bride and groom to be.
The National Art Gallery in Yerevan has more than 16,000 works that date back to the Middle Ages. It houses paintings by many European masters. The Modern Art Museum, the Children’s Picture Gallery, and the Martiros Saryan Museum are only a few of the other noteworthy collections of fine art on display in Yerevan. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening each year. They feature rotating exhibitions and sales.
The world-class Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the beautifully refurbished city Opera House, where you can also attend a full season of opera.
Yerevan’s Vernisage (arts and crafts market), close to Republic Square, bustles with hundreds of vendors selling a variety of crafts, many of superb workmanship, on weekends and Wednesdays (though the selection is much reduced mid-week). The market offers woodcarving, antiques, fine lace, and the hand-knotted wool carpets and kilims that are a Caucasus specialty.
Armenia’s long history as a crossroads of the ancient world has resulted in a landscape with innumerable fascinating archaeological sites to explore. Medieval, Iron Age, Bronze Age and even Stone Age sites are all within a few hours drive from the city. All but the most spectacular remain virtually undiscovered, allowing visitors to view churches and fortresses in their original settings.
long history as a crossroads of the ancient world has resulted in a landscape with innumerable fascinating archaeological sites to explore. Medieval, Iron Age, Bronze Age and even Stone Age sites are all within a few hours drive from the city. All but the most spectacular remain virtually undiscovered, allowing visitors to view churches and fortresses in their original settings.
"Republic of Armenia"
Motto: Armenian: Մեկ Ազգ , Մեկ Մշակույթ
(Transliteration: Mek Azg, Mek Mshakouyt)
(Translation: "One Nation, One Culture")
Anthem: Mer Hayrenik