History of Armenia
Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world with a history of about 3500 years. The oldest known ancestors of modern Armenians were indigenous to the Armenian Highland in Eastern Anatolia. These tribes formed the Nairi generic union, which lasted until late 13th century BC. The legendary forefather of Armenians – Hayk, was one of the Hayasa tribal leaders. The words ‘Nairi’ and ‘Nairian’ are still used by Armenians as synonyms of the words ‘Armenia’ and ‘Armenian’. Armenia, reigned by the Yervanduni Dynasty became a part of the mighty Achemenide Persia, and later part of the Seleucid Empire. It restored its full independence in 190 BC by king Artashes I- the founder of the Artashessian Dynasty. Byzantine Empire and Sassanid Persia officially established their influence in Armenia by the end of IV century. The dynasty of Arshakunis’ collapsed in 428. The eastern part of Armenia was annexed to Persia and the western part was ruled by Byzantine. The Sassanids were forcing Armenians to convert to Zoroastrianism, which led to the Armenian revolt in 451 under the leadership of Vardan Mamikonian – the commander-in-chief of the Armenian army. Although the Armenian forces actually lost the legendary battle of Avarayr, and Vardan Mamikonian was killed, this turned out to be a significant victory for Armenians, as Persians eventually gave up their efforts to convert Armenians to Zoroastrianism. Armenia was almost independent by the time of Arab invasion in 634. After conquering Persia, the Arabs started to occupy their armed forces in Armenia, but they failed to conquer the country until 654. In 1828, Eastern Armenia became part of the Russian Empire. Armenia restored its full independence on September 21, 1991, and became a member of the United Nations on March 1992. On January 2001, Armenia became a member of the Council of Europe.
Armenian culture & Traditions
Armenian culture has many aspects that are based on literature, dance, art, and music. Literature began to develop in Armenia around 401 A.D. Most of the literary arts was created by Moses Khorenaci, in the 5th century. Through the years, the aspect of the literature has changed as the stories and myths were passed on through generations. The Armenian dance heritage has been one of the oldest, richest, and diverse in the Near East. Folk dances were accompanied by certain kinds of songs or traditional musical instruments. Historically, women were specialized in carpet-weaving; however, several prominent carpet-weavers in Karabakh were known to have been men. The oldest existing Armenian carpet is from the Banants village and dates to the early 13th century. The National Art Gallery in Yerevan has more than 16,000 works of Middle Ages which indicate Armenia’s rich history. It contains many paintings by European masters. The Modern Art Museum, the Children’s Picture Gallery, the Martiros Saryan Museum are a few of the other collections of fine art galleries and museums in Yerevan. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation and many more are opening every year. The carpet weaving was related to the making of curtains as stated by Kirakos Gandzaketsi– a 13th-century Armenian historian from Artsakh. He praised the wife of regional prince Vakhtang Khachenatsi and her daughters for their expertise and skill in weaving. One of the foreigners, who traveled to Artsakh, Arab geographer and historian Al-Masudi, noted that he had never seen such carpets elsewhere in his life.
Shopping in Armenia
Shopping is the cherry on top of each holiday trips, and it’s almost impossible to leave Armenia’s capital without buying anything. Yerevan has old, new, unique, antique shopping markets. In addition, department stores and malls in Yerevan are developing. Visitors and residents can find everything from designer shops to open-air flea markets to bazaars and souvenir shops. The first and main place where you can find Armenian national souvenirs is Vernissage. This is one of the largest craft Markets in the region. People renamed this place as a Market in the open-air. Here we can find a huge quantity of traditional dolls, paintings, woodwork, ceramic, carpets, photographic equipment and Armenian antique jewelries made of silver and bronze. If you love paintings, you will find high-quality artistic creations in Saryan Park and Vernissage, and also can have your own portrait sketched within half an hour. For all those who are looking for jewelry, they should consider the following shops: the luxury high-end boutique ‘Chronograph’ found in the Northern Avenue, “Wolmond” and “Mont Blanc” in Tumanyan Avenue, “Pandora” and “Times” in big Shopping Malls like as “Yerevan Mall”, “Dalma Garden Mall”, “Tashir Street”, “Metronom”, “Rio Mall” and “Russia Mall”. You will find an exclusive edition of Armenians’ work in “Nur” Art Gallery. This is a gallery of contemporary jewelry, sculptures, paintings and graphics, where you can purchase them too. Nur is a creator of “animated sculpture” trends and styles, “dialogical psycho-realistic sculptures” and “sculptural compositions with electronic content”.
For the Visa entry to Armenia, you can find all required information on our site of MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia). Click on the link below to find more:
Safety in Armenia
Armenia is the safest country in Caucasus. Health care is pretty good as well; you can take your insurance even from Armenian tour agencies. The water in Armenia is very refreshing and even the tap water is drinkable. Outside of Yerevan, it’s preferable to avoid drinking tap water. moreover, you can stroll leisurely in the streets of Yerevan without being afraid of possible thefts. However, it’s advisable to keep your passport, and other important documents in the safe-box of your hotel.
Weather in Armenia
Armenia is mostly described as a sunny country. The climate is continental, dry with four seasons. Temperatures can vary considerably between seasons. Summers are quite hot in Yerevan, though in the Ararat valley temperatures can reach up to 40°C. Winters are cold with temperatures falling to -5°C in Yerevan, and colder in the Ararat Valley (-30°C) and in Northern sites of Armenia. Required clothing for the summer is lightweight cotton clothing. Carrying along raincoats is advisable for sudden cloudbursts, and heavyweight clothing is necessary in winter.