Armenia is a state in the Transcaucasus. Aragats.
The total area of Armenia is almost thirty thousand square kilometers. The capital of Armenia is the city of Yerevan. Continental and mountainous climate prevails in Armenia. The population of Armenia is about 3.42 million people, in fact, about three million people live in Armenia, up to ninety-seven percent of the population are Armenians. Russians, Jews, Greeks, Georgians, Ukrainians, Kurds and other peoples also live on the territory of Armenia.
Armenia is headed by the President. The president's term of office is limited to five years. The Prime Minister heads the government of the country. The unicameral National Assembly is a legislative body. The National Assembly consists of one hundred and ninety deputies who remain in office for four years. The administrative units of Armenia are ten regions. One city district is separately allocated - Yerevan. Two languages are spoken in Armenia: Armenian and Russian.
Myths about Armenia
Continental and mountainous climate prevails in Armenia. Even in areas close to each other, the weather can vary greatly. The reason for this phenomenon lies both in the degree of dismemberment of the landscape and in the considerable height of the territory of Armenia above sea level. Summertime is dry and hot. Winter is pretty harsh, despite its short duration. The average summer temperature in the foothills ranges from plus twenty-four to plus twenty-six degrees, the average winter temperature in the foothills is approximately plus five degrees. Average summer temperatures in mountainous areas vary from ten to twenty degrees Celsius with a plus sign. The average winter temperature in mountainous areas varies from plus two degrees to minus fourteen degrees Celsius. The air temperature depends very much on the altitude of a particular place. Strong frosts are frequent in spring and autumn. On the ground, the air temperature can reach minus twenty-eight degrees Celsius. From two hundred to eight hundred millimeters fall annually, depending on the height, the maximum amount of precipitation falls in spring and early summer, the minimum falls in winter and the second half of summer. On the mountain tops, snow lies throughout the year, on the slopes it melts in the first spring months. It is preferable to visit Armenia either in the middle of spring or in autumn.
Mount Ararat is a symbol of the country. Even the coat of arms of Armenia depicts Mount Ararat. In translation, its name means "mountain of pain". There is a version that the mountain got its name from the name of the ancient state of Urartu. This hypothesis is supported by the manuscripts mentioning it as Urarat. However, the origin of the name has not been proven. In terms of relative altitude, it is the largest mountain on Earth. The distance from the foot to the top is equal to four thousand three hundred sixty-five meters. Ararat is an active volcano. The last volcanic eruption dates back to 1840.
National cuisine is a separate attraction of Armenia. Armenian cuisine is one of the oldest on Earth. The traditions that took place in antiquity retain their significance to the present day. First of all, Armenian cuisine is a lot of greenery. Every woman in Armenia knows how to skillfully use a wide variety of herbs in cooking. The national cuisine includes hundreds of types of herbs, among them those that in other countries may well pass for unnecessary weeds. It is hard to imagine a meat dish, cheese or a snack without greens in Armenia. At first, cooking methods may seem overly simple, vegetable oils are almost never used, the products undergo very minimal processing, the dishes include a lot of seasonings and herbs. Traditional products of Armenian cuisine also include lavash, meat, vegetables, and cheeses.
Meat dishes are popular among Armenians. Among them are mutton "kchuch", meat "sujukh", fried chicken, "basturma", the famous "tolma", beef shashlik, "khorovats" and others. Local residents also respect a wide variety of soups. Among them: "hrchik" and "vospnapur" - cereal soups, "anushapur" - dried apricot soup, chulumbur "apur" - rice soup with onions, "tarhana" - chicken soup, the famous soup "khash", "sunki apur" - mushroom soup with rice, "chirapur" and "anushapur" - fruit soups, etc. Lavash is an indispensable element of the national cuisine. Lavash is baked in clay tonir ovens according to the old technology that has survived to this day. Armenian confectionery is good: sweet "sujukh", peaches stuffed with nuts, homemade halva, "nshablit", "bagarj", "yugatert", "nazuk", "gata" - a traditional Armenian flatbread.
Cognac is the national drink of Armenia. In just a hundred years (this is how long the cognac production has been operating in the country) Armenia has earned a reputation as one of the best cognac producers. This drink is made from excellent grape varieties growing in the Ararat Valley: "Mehali", "Chilar", "Voskeat", "Garandmak", "Kakhet" and others. At present, such famous brandies as "Nairi" are produced from the Yerevan Brandy Factory. (twenty years old), "Vaspurakan" (eighteen years old), "Festive" (fifteen years old), "Armenia", "Jubilee", "Akhtamar", "Dvin" (ten years old), "Selected" (seven years of aging), "Ani" (six years of aging), as well as other excellent varieties. Many Armenian brandy varieties are exported to a considerable number of countries around the world.
From time immemorial, the locals knew how to make wine of excellent quality. However, at present, the production of wine has decreased significantly. Armenian wine is mainly consumed only within Armenia itself, it is not exported. Armenian mulberry vodka is recognized as a healing drink. This vodka is produced in almost every yard in an artisanal way, as well as on an industrial scale. In addition to its medicinal properties, mulberry vodka also has an excellent taste.
The most popular non-alcoholic drink is tarragon. However, the Armenian "tarragon" is significantly different from the "tarragon" that we can buy in a supermarket in plastic bottles. Other popular drinks: fruit juices, mineral waters, tea and coffee.
Winemaking in Armenia is a traditional occupation. According to archaeological excavations, wines in the territory of modern Armenia were produced already in the eleventh-tenth centuries BC. Even Herodotus wrote about the wines of the Nairi country, which was a tribal state. Thus, the Armenians have been able to make excellent wine since ancient times. The foundations of vineyard care techniques, which were laid down in the era of the state of Urartu, practically did not change. In the farms that specialized in winemaking, in the garden or right next to the house, they built a "khanzan" - a grape press, inside which a reservoir was laid out. In this tank, made of brick or stone, the men pressed grapes. This was done with thoroughly washed bare feet. Through a hole in this tank, the wort was poured into a stone vat in the ground. Then it was poured into clay vessels (in Armenian, "karas"). According to the Urartian tradition, the filled vessels were dug into the ground, where they were kept. It should be noted that there is a special grape in Armenia. It contains a lot of sugar.
Armenia is a country with a rich history. Armenia is one of the first countries to appear in the world, because already in the ninth century BC a strong slave state of Urartu existed on its territory. Moreover, Armenia is the first Christian state on Earth. From the time of Urartu to our time, a huge number of historical and cultural monuments have gradually accumulated on the territory of Armenia. The main sights of Armenia can be seen in the vicinity of its capital - the city of Yerevan. But there are many important historical monuments in the most "remote" corners of Armenia.
Yerevan is the oldest city on Earth. Definitely one of those. On the territory of modern Yerevan in 782 BC, the Urartian king Argishta 1 founded the city of Erebuni. During archaeological excavations, mud brick houses and numerous outbuildings were found. But, undoubtedly, the main attraction is the canal made in the rock by slaves, which is still functioning. Another city of the state of Urartu, Teishebaini, was excavated within the boundaries of Yerevan. During the excavations, the remains of a huge house were discovered, the walls of which were also made of adobe bricks (their thickness reached three and a half meters). There were about one hundred and fifty rooms in the basement of this huge house. The house had four dwellings, ten rooms each, apparently intended for high officials, as well as a large number of dwellings with two rooms each. In addition, there were huge pantries that could hold up to seven hundred and fifty tons of grain. Teishebaini died, most likely, at the hands of the Scythians, since Scythian arrows were found within its walls (the Scythians were amazing archers, both on foot and on horseback). Its fall became an integral part of the general destruction of the state of Urartu, which ceased to exist in 535 BC. Urartu died at the hands of the Medes, but the tribes enslaved by the Urartians also played an important role in this.
Yerevan is a city of countless attractions. In its center are interesting the Yerevan fortress erected in the sixteenth century, the Matenadaran - a repository of manuscripts (the number of manuscripts dating from the fifth to tenth centuries exceeds sixteen thousand), numerous squares, the Armenian Genocide Museum, the Yerablur memorial monument dedicated to the heroes of the Karabakh war, and others in the center of Yerevan you can see a huge number of colorful buildings. The facades of many of these buildings are faced with volcanic tuff, a material specific to Armenia. The House of Chamber Music, the Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Ensemble of the Academy of Sciences, the House of Chess Players (made in a triangular shape), the Yerevan Brandy Factory, "Boulevard of Fountains", the former House of Unions, the Hotel "Armenia", etc. have an original architectural appearance. during its history, many churches were erected. Currently, a tourist who comes to the city can get acquainted with the ruins of the temple of Avan dating from the sixth century, the grandiose Yerevan Cathedral, the churches of St. Zoravor (1693 - one of the oldest churches in the city), St. Gevork (erected in the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries), St. Astvatsatsin (seventeenth century), St. Hakob (seventeenth century), St. Hovhannes-Mkrtich (1710), St. Sargis (built between 1835 and 1842), St. Katoghike (built in fifteenth century).
As for the museum expositions, the number of the Armenian capital is quite capable of competing with any other capital of the political map of the world. Among the museums in Yerevan are the following: Museum of Folk Art, Museum of Yerevan History, Museum of Ethnography, Museum of Russian Art, Yervand Kochar House-Museum, Exhibition Hall of the Union of Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum, Aram Khachaturian House-Museum, Historical Museum, Picture Gallery , Museum of Revolution, Museum of Literature and Art, House-Museum of Martiros Saryan, House-Museum of Avetik Isahakyan, as well as a huge Museum Complex, which occupies most of the Republic Square.
Armenia is a country of stone. This is how the Armenians call their land ("Hayastan - karastan"). It should be noted that the features characteristic of Armenian architecture were predetermined by the mountainous landscape of Armenia. Architectural monuments of the Middle Ages are scattered throughout the territory of Armenia. Like the surrounding mountains, the Armenian buildings are monumental and powerful. A single image is made up of architectural monuments, the jagged ridges of the surrounding ridges and stony Armenian soil. The traditional architecture of the country is represented mainly by the temple architecture of monasteries, monasteries, churches. The architecture of the Early Middle Ages (5th-6th centuries) is represented mainly by basilicas. This type of buildings is characterized by the elevation of the central part, the presence of several rows of columns, and an elongated rectangular shape. At the end of the sixth century and in the seventh century, central-domed and cross-domed architectural compositions became widespread. Over time, the temple appearance changed. Simple structures became more complex. The severity of church buildings was replaced by their elegance. However, despite the addition of new elements, improvement of forms, the temple buildings have retained their main traditional features. Simple and austere church buildings are becoming more elegant and sophisticated. Forms were improved, new elements were added, for example, a domed drum. But in general, traditional temple buildings have common basic features. A special place in temple architecture belongs to the monastery complex, which was composed of a whole set of elements: a bell tower, chapels, cathedral, sacristy, library, refectory. The monastery ensemble was often surrounded by a wall. Outbuildings and living quarters adjoined the wall. The first monasteries appeared in the seventh century, and their construction flourished in the twelfth century. A large number of feudal castles are also scattered across the territory of Armenia. These are fortresses, bridges, caravanserais, castles, palaces. It's not just that the country is called "an open-air museum". Geghard, the pearl of the Middle Ages, the Zvartnots temple (seventh century), the domed temples of Echmiadzin (the fourth century), the Garni Temple of the Sun (dating back to the third or second centuries BC) are famous all over the world - this is a majestic monument of Hellenism.
Khachkars are a distinctive element of Armenian culture. Khachkars (cross-stones) can even be called a symbol of Armenia. There is nothing like this in any other country in the world. The word "khachkar" itself includes two Armenian roots. "Kar" in translation from Armenian means "stone", and "khach" means "cross".
Khachkars are decorative and architectural sculptures. This is a special kind of art, distinguished by its richness and variety of forms, based on ancient Armenian traditions. Khachkars began to appear after the adoption of Christianity by Armenia, that is, at the beginning of the fourth century. Wooden crosses were installed instead of pagan altars. Crosses also appeared in those places where the construction of monasteries and churches was later planned. However, due to the fact that wood as a material for construction is very short-lived, crosses soon began to be made of stone. Since the ninth century, crosses are replaced by their images on rectangular stone slabs. Since that time, khachkars have been erected in honor, memory of any event or in gratitude for something. The reasons for the construction of a khachkar could be: gratitude for the land allotment, completion of construction, victory over the enemies. Khachkars could play the role of both grave monuments and boundary marks.
The flourishing cross is the central symbol of each "cross-stone". This is a symbol of eternal life. The Armenians carved a circle under it. This composition personified the triumph of the Christian faith.Above the cross, as a rule, an angel, a bull, a lion and an eagle were depicted - symbols of the four evangelists common to all Christian denominations. The creators of the khachkars are called varpets, and their work is still alive today.
Tsaghkadzor is a famous Armenian ski resort. Tsaghkadzor lies at an altitude of one thousand nine hundred to two thousand one hundred meters above sea level, in the amazingly beautiful valley of the Marmarik River. It should be admitted, however, that this resort was more famous in the previous time, but even now it attracts many fans of alpine skiing. The resort is equipped with several ski lifts, has about twelve kilometers of ski slopes. On the territory of Tsaghkadzor there is an athletics stadium, several swimming pools, a stable, and a large sports complex. After skiing, you can have a snack in one of the cafes or bars, as well as choose a restaurant for a romantic evening. Dishes can be tasted both familiar European and traditional Armenian.
Close to the resort, you can see the Kecharis monastery complex built in the twelfth-thirteenth centuries. Winter in the ski resort is quite mild. In January, the average air temperature is minus nine degrees Celsius. The sun shines for two hundred sixty - two hundred seventy days a year, the skiing season begins in the second half of November and lasts until mid-April, at which time the snow cover reaches one and a half meters. All ski lovers, regardless of the level of training, can have a good time at this resort. The approximately three kilometers of the trail are ideal for relaxing skiing. The vertical drop is only two hundred and thirty meters, the slopes are equipped with a chair lift. In the upper part of the mountain there are localized routes, the height difference of which is three hundred and fifty meters. A thousand-meter chair lift operates on these tracks. An excellent panorama of Sevan and Ararat opens from the top; for daredevils there are also very steep slopes. The resort is also equipped with very extreme trails, which can be reached by crossing the ridge of the neighboring mountain along the pass.
The main negative point in Tsaghkadzor is frequent fogs, and it is categorically not recommended to ride in dense fog, especially if a tourist enjoys an active vacation alone. Not all the territory of the resort is cleared for tracks, therefore, without studying the relief in advance, you cannot jump.
Traffic rules in Armenia are practically not followed. Unfortunately, this is often the case. In this regard, the driver needs to be extremely careful while driving. Firstly, the roads themselves are of very poor quality, badly worn out. Secondly, in provinces and mountainous regions, roads may not exist at all. Thirdly, Armenians often do not follow the rules of the road - it is often difficult to notice any signs of organization in the movement of cars. It should be noted that pedestrians are also not disciplined. Armenians can cross any road, as and where they want. This even applies to highways of national importance. Street lighting is often absent, and if it is, it is very poor. Only in Yerevan one can refuel with good quality gasoline, while in the provinces they offer fuel of unknown origin. Sell it straight from the hands in bottles or cans.
Armenia is the keeper of centuries-old traditions. Armenians are a people who are aware of their cultural unity. National traditions rooted in antiquity, culture, religion - this is the true spiritual wealth, which every citizen of Armenia respects with reverence. Traditions associated with the strength of marriage, hospitality, mutual assistance (both from neighbors and from relatives), breadth of family ties and respect for elders have firmly entered the life of Armenians.
An Armenian wedding is a huge celebration. Getting married is never complete without a variety of fun rituals. Wedding traditions include conspiracy and betrothal, which are followed directly by the celebration of the wedding. Previously, the Armenians walked the whole village for "seven days, seven nights", but now this tradition can be considered as outdated. But there are always many invited to the wedding, the witnesses are called "godparents of the wedding" - usually the closest married couple, which is an example for the bride and groom. The godfather makes the most expensive gift to the bride and groom, he is also responsible for the ransom of the bride. As for the latter, relatives can "ask" for any amount. The payment of the appointed ransom appears to be a matter of honor for the godfather. True, usually these are purely symbolic amounts. The godparents of the bride and groom are responsible for their family, and the seated father leads the bride to the altar. The following custom is interesting: during the wedding ceremony, the bride is allowed to hold the boy. It is believed that this procedure will contribute to the fact that the first child in the family is a boy.
The Armenian family has many children. The tradition of having many children is especially characteristic of the rural areas of Armenia. Armenians always rejoice at the birth of each child, this event is regarded as happiness. In Armenia, it is not customary to show a newborn for forty days after its birth to anyone other than loved ones.
Armenians are hospitable people. This character trait of Armenians is known all over the world. In order to set the table and invite relatives and friends to visit, you only need an excuse, and they can become a simple feeling of happiness or joy. Armenians quite sincerely believe that the more often you gather your family at the table, the more time you devote to them, the more they will return to you.
Houses in Armenian villages still retain their traditional look. They are characterized by the following. The roof of Armenian houses is earthen. It is installed on wooden posts. The walls are made of stone. The dwelling itself is square. Since ancient times, light could enter a house through a window, but sometimes the only source of light was the chimney in the roof. For a long time, the interior decoration of the houses did not change at all. The main place in the living quarters of the Armenians was occupied by the following things: a wooden barn, shelves, chests. The barn had room for flour and grain. The shelves were lined with crockery made of various materials (wood, copper, clay). By tradition, the Armenians sat directly on the floor, while using ordinary bedding. The locals spread a tablecloth right on the floor, behind which the meals took place. Large wooden ottomans played the role of beds. The traditional interior of the house necessarily includes antique utensils, mattresses, quilts, carpets.
The traditional clothes of the Armenians are very colorful. Traditional costume for men includes wide trousers and a colored shirt. Harem pants are made from cotton or wool, and the shirt is made from cotton or silk. The shirt has a side fastener and a low collar. The upper Armenian clothing is an arhaluk worn over a shirt (made of silk or cotton). Arkhaluk fastens with either small buttons or hooks that follow almost its entire length, from the collar to the waist. The arhaluk himself descends to his knees. The traditional dress for women was based on a long dress. It somewhat resembled an arhaluk. The traditional dress has slits below the hips and a cutout on the chest. Armenian women tied their waist with a long scarf folded in several layers. The inherent elements of the Armenian dress were an embroidered apron and many ornaments. The western Armenians had woven or knitted hats for men, while the eastern Armenians had fur hats. The female headdress is more diverse. Diversity is especially characteristic of Eastern Armenian women. Their headdress was a kind of "turrets" tied with several scarves. Headscarves covered part of the face, and the entire headdress contained many ornaments. Decorated headbands were popular among Western Armenians. Women threw capes over the rims.
The Armenian holiday Trndez has pagan roots. Indeed, the holiday came from those ancient times when people worshiped fire. This holiday will mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Its main event is the newlyweds jumping over a large bonfire in the courtyard of the church. It is believed that this simple procedure allows you to cleanse everything bad, thereby relieving unhappiness, arrogance and anger. Another holiday is dedicated to the arrival of spring in Armenia - "Tsarzardar" or "Tsakhkazard". On this day, Armenians bring willow twigs to the church (necessarily pubescent).
"Vardavar" is a holiday of water. It is held in early August. This is the time when the fields are most affected by drought and the days are very hot. The holiday of salvation also has its roots in pagan times. Traditionally, on this day, the townspeople pour water over each other. The holiday is very fun.