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Armenia - Haghpat - Haghpatavank, a medieval monastery complex - Elter photo

Armenia - Etchmiadzin Cathedral's new outdoor altar - Elter photo

The people of the Caucasus Mountains live almost as though they had just stepped out of Game of Thrones, or as though a romantic novel was being written about them. I don’t say this in mockery, but I do wish to indicate that I was often struck by the moral code – ingenuous, perhaps even naïve, but very strong – which people here live by.

Morals are very important to the Armenians. Ancient traditions live on in the ceremonies of modern, everyday life. So, for instance, they are in the habit of making long toasts before every meal, to the health and wellbeing of their guest. From their deep, throaty language come big words and boundless emotions. The plates of food are equally boundless, with many kinds of cheese, meat and flatbread. Their bearing is proud and straightforward.

When I first visited Armenia I had the feeling I constantly had the feeling of being in a film-shoot: in the gardens by the opera house, roman-nosed knights paraded up and down in spurs, their long, wavy hair blowing in the breeze, beside equally proud and dignified princesses. And this pride is no affectation – there are no prostitutes prowling the corridors of Yerevan’s hotels. An almost stubborn adherence to morality is a defining aspect of everyday life here.”
(2015)

Practicals

Armenia - Yerevan - a Soviet-time ZIL car (Chaika) - Elter photo

Transport

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Shopping

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Armenia - fashion shop - headlessness - k.t.g. photo

Health

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Armenia - disinfection of footwear on fire

Background

Armenia - tricolor

Destination in brief

Armenia in brief

Although Armenia is located between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, in the Transcaucasia region, between the Black and Caspian Seas, it is still considered European. The reason for this is that Armenia has strong cultural links to Europe (Christian religion, diaspora, Indo-European language etc.). The national teams of Armenian sport clubs all compete in European championships.

 Neighbors: Turkey (west), Georgia (north), Azerbaijan (east), Iran (south) - Armenia is a landlocked country.

 Size: 29 743 km² (11 484 mi²) – 90% of its land is over 1000 meters (3280 ft.) high.

 Capital city: Yerevan - one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities, it was founded 29 years before Rome.

 Population: 2,9 million (2020) – Armenia is a strongly mono-ethnic country: 98% of the population is ethnic Armenian. The peoples of Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan hate each other  (this is mainly due to a territorial dispute that has been lasting for several decades already).

Some 5.5 million people of Armenian descent live abroad, more than in Armenia itself. 

Language: Armenian - It is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages. Russian is (although not officially) the second most used language, as Armenia was part of the Soviet Union from 1920 to 1991.

Religion: 98% of the population is Christian, affiliated with the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia is the second most religious country in Europe (after Romania).

Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion (in the 4th century A.D.)

Currency: dram (AMD)

Average net monthly salary: about 310 USD (2020)

Most frequent surname: Grigoryan

Safety: Good. Visitors should only be careful to avoid being noticed by pickpockets in Yerevan.

 Optimal timing of a tourist visit: May-October

 Most important tourist attractions:

Yerevan, Haghpat Monastery, Khor Virap Monastery, Sanahin Monastery, The Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley, Dilijan National Park, Debed Canyon, Areni Wine Country (the oldest winery in the world), Goris, Lake Sevan



History

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Armenia - Matenadaran (a museum, repository of manuscripts) - statues of Mesrop Mashtots and his disciple Koryun

Armenia - Yerevan - Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex - genocide between 1914 and 1923 - Elter photo

Nowadays

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Armenia - street scene - k.t.g. photo

Armenia - urban low class - n.e. photo

Armenia - Gegharkunik Province - Sevan - Ata photo

People

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Armenia - in a monastery - k-j- photo

Armenia - friendship with the poet stiffened into a statue

Armenia - family in church - k.j. photo

Attractions

Geghard Monastery

Armenia - Geghard Monastery - Ata photo

Armenia - Geghard Monastery - Ata photo

Armenia - Geghard Monastery - Ata photo

Armenia - Geghard Monastery - Ata photo

Armenia - Geghard Monastery - Ata photo

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