Armenia is located in the southern Caucasus and is the smallest
of the former Soviet republics. It is bounded by Georgia on
the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Iran on the south, and
Turkey on the west. Contemporary Armenia is a fraction of
the size of ancient Armenia. A land of rugged mountains and
extinct volcanoes, its highest point is Mount Aragats, 13,435
ft (4,095 m).
One of the world's oldest civilizations, Armenia once included Mount Ararat, which biblical tradition identifies as the mountain that Noah's ark rested on after the flood. It was the first country in the world to officially embrace Christianity as its religion (c. A.D. 301).
Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. From the 16th century through World War I major portions of Armenia were controlled by their most brutal invader, the Ottoman Turks, under whom the Armenians experienced discrimination, religious persecution, eavy taxation, and armed attacks. The most horrific massacre of Armenians took place in April 1915 during World War I, when the Turks ordered the deportation of the Armenian population to the deserts of Syria and Mesopotamia. According to the majority of historians, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were murdered or died of starvation. Turkey denies that a genocide took place, and claims that a much smaller number died in a civil war.
After the Turkish defeat in World War I, the independent Republic of Armenia was established on May 28, 1918, but survived only until Nov. 29, 1920, when it was annexed by the Soviet Army. In 1936, after a reorganization, Armenia became a separate constituent republic of the USSR. Since 1988, Armenia has been involved in a territorial dispute with Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, to which both lay claim. In the years that followed, Armenia successfully fought Azerbaijan for control of Nagorno-Karabakh. In 1988, a devastating earthquake killed thousands and wreaked economic havoc.
An Armenian diaspora has existed throughout the nation's history. An estimated 60% of the total eight million Armenians worldwide live outside the country, with one million each in the U.S. and Russia. Significant Armenian communities are located in Georgia, France, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Argentina, and Canada.
One of the cradles of civilization, Armenia offers visitors
a refreshing experience.
AUA is located in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, considered
to be one of the oldest cities in the world, founded around
782 B.C. as the fortress city of Erebuni. Today, Yerevan is
an urban metropolitan center that is home to about 1.3 million
residents. It covers some 300 square kilometers and is surrounded
by beautiful hills and mountains. Mount Ararat is visible
from many parts of the city. The climate is generally temperate.
Winter can be harsh, particularly in the mountainous regions.
Spring is short-lived. Summer lasts four months. Autumn is
mild and sunny.
The city, like many other cities, is built around a central
downtown area. It has many squares and open spaces offering
travelers a chance to explore it by walking along parks, fountains
and numerous monuments. During the Soviet era, Yerevan became
an industrial and scientific center with research and development
in high technology and defense, thus enjoying a relatively
high standard of living. The city has many scientific and
educational institutes that provide a pool of highly technical
talent. Yerevan is also renowned for its active cultural and
artistic life with annual opera, ballet, symphony and theater
seasons. It is home to approximately 20 museums ranging from
modern art to history and culture. In addition, Yerevan houses
extensive public libraries, including libraries exclusively
designed to meet the needs of Armenia’s children. Most
notably however, Yerevan is home to the ancient manuscript
library, the Matenadaran, which includes about 30 000 Armenian
illuminated manuscripts, some dating back to the fifth century
Outside Yerevan, Armenia offers many tourist attractions.
Geographically, the country occupies an area of approximately
30 000 square kilometers with the majority of its territory
lying at an altitude of 1,000-2,500 meters above sea level.
Mount Aragats, the highest peak in Armenia, reaches an altitude
of 4,000 meters. Having declared Christianity as its state
religion in 301 A.D., Armenia is an open-air museum with hundreds
of churches, historic temples, and fortifications, some dating
as far back as the first century A.D. While most Armenians
belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a small percentage
of the population adheres to the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish,
and Moslem faiths.
Armenians are known for their warmth and open hospitality,
making the stay of every visitor a very special experience.
Recommended websites for Armenia are www.virtualarmenia.am
The information presented above is pulled out from the following