If you take a look to the 3000 year old maps of Anatolia, you will be surprised that all its features
have disappeared except one country, Armenia (Armenian Հայաստան, Hayastan).
Armenia is the first Christian country in the world and has a large Diaspora all over the world. It
also has an ancient and rich culture as a former Soviet republic which lies in the Caucasus
region straddling Asia and Europe.
Armenia is a landlocked country, bordered by Georgia to the north, Turkey to the west, Iran to
the south and Azerbaijan to the east. Only 5 percent of the country’s surface area consists of
water which is the largest lake in the Lesser Caucasus mountain range called “the Lake Sevan”
. Armenia’s many mountains and mountain valleys create a great number of microclimates, with
scenery changing from arid to lush forest at the top of a mountain ridge.
Language and religion
When hanging out in Armenia, you will come across many road signs in Latin script but not
English. Actually, English is not widely spoken in Armenia, moreover, many taxi drivers and
people in the grocery stores and malls don’t speak nor understand it. On the other hand,
Russian remained till now the most important and known foreign language.
When visiting Armenia, you will feel that everything is reminding you that it was the world’s first
officially Christian country especially countless monasteries which most of them are built in
places of incredible natural beauty.
Armenia celebrated the 1,700th anniversary of its conversion to Christianity in 2001. Since then,
the number of tourists who visit it has greatly grown, and every visitor says that this country
offers something exotic for everyone.
Statistics shows that Armenia is considered among the top increasingly popular tourist
attractions in the world, especially with its small but charming nation boasting a rich history.
Armenia’s national symbol is the mountain despite its peak which lies just over the Turkish
border, and they consider Ararat a a holy place because it is mentioned in The Bible, actually
Noah’s Ark landed there.
Armenia contains countless beautiful monasteries which are often found in areas of natural
beauty. Especially Yerevan, which is Armenia’s capital, is one of the top developing cities in
Europe and that is mainly because the nation continues to embrace tourism.
Although Armenia has a great history as the first Christian country in Europe, it is still today one
of the top exciting places even after more than 500 years of bondage to foreign powers. So
Armenia is really considered as a land of both the old and the new. So if you want to enjoy a
special vacation filled with everything including culture, history, relaxation and fun, then try this
list of the best 11 Places which must be included in your plan when you visit Armenia the next
Do you want to explore Armenia? You must begin with its largest city, the capital Yerevan.
Actually, it is the home to the grand Republic Square and considered as a deeply historic city,
so visiting it is a must especially if you wanna learn about the troubled past of this nation. There
are many other recommended places to visit like the Vernissage flea market which is open at
the weekend, and a walk through the Hrazdan gorge, the Blue Mosque that is the only one in
the country and the Levon’s Amazing Underground World and that’s one of the most unusual
attractions in Europe.
A good thing to know is that you can explore much of Armenia during day trips from Yerevan,l
itself, and that gave it the name “the City of Cafes”.
It not easy at all to reach this ancient fortress especially since only a 4×4 combined with the
summer climate can take the tourists in a discovery trip through the top of the mountainous
plateau which is its location. However, this trip worth all your efforts, especially the more than
2000 petroglyphs which are left behind by ancient people who lived there and give depicting
scenes of the hunt, culture and ancient rituals.
3- Erebuni Fortress
A treasure trove of artifacts are found at the Fortress of Erebuni. These artifacts are so old and
they are dated back to the millennium before Christ. Erebuni Fortress has been converted into a
great museum where you will find around 12,000 interesting items which belong to the ancient
civilization that lived on this land.
4- Zvartnots Temple
This place is considered by many as the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church, because it
stands testament to Armenia as it has the first national church in the whole world. A professional
team of archaeologists has recently excavated this temple, and they dated it back more than
1700 years in the past. In this great place, you will see many things like the the ancient church,
a museum, a cathedral and a seminary as well..
5- National Gallery
This great place which is known as the national gallery holds most of the national treasures
including the Armenian art from classical to modern times, and western art as well. It is not new
but founded since 1919 and since then it serves as the repository for the country’s cultural
6- Old Dilijan
Old Dilijan is situated in the heart of the northern Armenian forest. This quaint town is known of
being the home of many famous composers, artists, musicians and many others. Moreover, its
early 20th century architecture and its displays of musical instruments and handicrafts attracts
tourists from all over the world.
7- Ararat Cognac Factory
It is mainly known as the home base for the producer of the most famous brandy maker in
Armenia. This special brandy was first made here at this place and became the favorite for
people all around the world especially the famous Winston Churchill. You must see this place.
8- Matenadaran Institute
Matenadaran Institute is a great located at the heart of another great city which is Yerevan. It is
special for housing an impressive collection of handwritten books, and It is considered as an
imposing edifice which is guarded by the silent statues of famous Armenian intellectuals
including Toros Roslin, Mkhitar Gosh, Mesrop Mashtots, Anania Shirakatsi, etc.
9- Geghard Cathedral
Geghard Cathedral is known for being literally hollowed out of solid rock, it is indeed an exact
example of the architecture of this country, and the name Geghard literally translates into spear.
10- Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries
These two famous monasteries are located in the region of Lori and exactly along the banks of
river of Debed, they are some of the World Heritage Sites of Unesco. They remind the tourists
and the locals of their rich cultural heritage and intellectual achievements. During the 10th
century, these two sites were constructed and took hundreds of years to finish.
11- The Garni Temple
This temple is adorned by two dozen of Ionic columns, reminds npl the people of the Hellenistic past. During the third century BC., it was constructed as part of a fortress and protected
naturally on three sides by a rocky cliffs and a deep canyon. It was destroyed more than once
during the course of history nonetheless, bit it is likened to the national Spirit of Armenia so that
it inspires its entire people to rebuild.
You can never find enough words to describe Armenia and its beauty which attracted visitors
from all over the world to visit it and enjoy its beauty.
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