Armenia Belarus Czech Rep Estonia Georgia Iran Italy Jordan Kazakhstan Latvia Lebanon Lithuania Russia Syria Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine UAE Uzbekistan

map map of armenia, thumbnail
flag flag of armenia, thumbnail
coat of arms armenian coat of arms, thumbnail

About Armenia

General Information -- Geography -- Climate -- Religion -- Language -- Population and Ethnic Composition-- Government -- Administrative Division -- Time Zone -- Currency Exchange and Credit Cards -- Capital City -- Official Holidays -- Airports and Public Transportation -- Traditional Cuisine -- Brief History

General Information

Armenia is one of the oldest centers of civilization. The discovered ancient observatories and works of art speak about ancient Armenian history. In the small territory professionals counted more then 15,000 historical monuments, the oldest of them being five thousand years old. Armenia is a country of old legends and Biblical stories. On his decent from Ararat, Noah first stepped into this land and, because of his blessings, the Ararat valley is fruitful. Armenia has wonderful nature: small waterfalls, skyscraping mountain and more than a hundred mountain lakes, including the world‘s highest fresh-water Lake Sevan which is situated at an altitude of 2,000 meters above the sea level. Armenians are well known for their longevity. Many specialists attribute this phenomena the Armenian food and the healing power of herbs, fruits and vegetables traditional for Armenia.



Armenia is situated in the northeast of the Armenian Upland, between the Caucasus and Asia Minor. In the North and East it borders on Georgia and Azerbaijan, in the West and South, on Turkey and Iran. Armenia has a territory of 2,977 thousand square kilometers and lies between 1,000 and 2,500 meters above see level.
The highest peak is Mount Aragats (4,900 meters),while the lowest point is River Debed (400 meters).


Armenia is often referred to as a sunny country. Its climate ranges from dry subtropical to cold. The average temperature is +25 Centigrade in July and –5 Centigrade in January. From December to February there is typically snow and ice, with occasional sun shining through the cloudless sky.
The mountain peaks are covered with perennial snow, while their slopes are lined by alpine meadows.
The best time to visit Armenia is spring or autumn.



In 301 A.D. Armenia become the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion. Armenian Church is called “Apostolic” because Jesus' apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus preached here in the First century.
The Echmiadzin Cathedral is the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
The legend has it that Armenian Patriarch Grigor the Illuminator had a vision that the first Christian church was to be founded in Armenia. It was subsequently named Echmiadzin, which means “The Coming of the Only Begotten”. The Bible was translated into Armenian in the 5th century. This translation is knows as the “Queen of translations”.



The official language is Armenian, a separate branch of the Indo-European family. The modern Armenian literary language has two branches: Eastern-Armenian, used in the Republic of Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Iran, as well as Western Armenian, used by the Diaspora Armenians from historical Eastern Armenia.
The Armenian alphabet created by St. Mesrob Mashtots in 405 A.D. is still in use without undergoing alterations throughout many centuries of its existence.

Population and Ethnic Composition


According to the 2002 Census, the population of Armenia is 3,213,011 million, of which 2,066,153 (64.3%) are urban and 1,146,858 (35.7%) are rural. 97.7% are Armenian. Minorities: Russians, Ezidis, Kurds, Assyrians, Greeks, Ukrainians, Jews, etc.



The official title of the state is the Republic Of Armenia, Armenia for short.
The highest executive authority is the President of the Republic, who heads a cabinet with a Prime Minister and Ministers.
The legislative body is the National Assembly. The Constitution was adopted by referendum in July 1995.

Administrative Division


The administrative units of Armenia are the marzes (11) and communities.

Time Zone


Armenia is in a single time zone, GMT+4 in winter and GMT+5 in summer.

Currency Exchange and Credit Cards


The monetary unit of Armenia is called DRAM (AMD)1USD=427AMD, as of June 2006. It is subdivided into 100 luma. Major foreign currency can be exchanged through several exchange offices and at the hotels in Yerevan. Banks offer money exchange as well as Automatic Teller Machines. All major banks have their ATMs in many locations around town. VISA, Mastercard and American Express are the most widely accepted credit cards.

Capital City


Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. The city was founded by King Argishti of Urartu in 782 BC and it is one of the oldest city in the world. It is the most important city of Armenia and the economic, politic, commercial and scientific center of the country. Its population is about 1.500 million and has a continental climate with a hot summer and a mild and sunny Autumn. It is a modern city and the country cultural center with its museum, art galleries, concert hall and theatres. It is a vibrant city with rich nightlife with its nice restaurants, bars, cafe, pubs, disco.

Official Holidays



Airports and Public Transportation


The international Yerevan Airport is Zvarnots, about twenty kilometers from City Center. An entry visa is required which you can be obtained at the Airport for about USD 30. From some country, an invitation document is required so please visit our VISA page for further details. A money change booth is available on arrival. In Yerevan there is a good subway system stretching from the north to the south of the city. Bus and Tramway route cross the city in major directions and taxi cab are widely available and quite inexpensive.

Traditional Cuisine


The food in Armenia is an authentic experience. Each region has its own unique cuisine with its own specialties. The great varieties of dishes will surprise the most demanding gourmands.
The food is plenty of different tastes and flavours. Gastronomic experience includes meat, lake and river fishes, various species of vegetables and fruits. Fruits in particular are of the best quality in the world, with incomparable taste.

Brief History


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. 300).

In the 6th century B.C.E., Armenians settled in the kingdom of Urartu (the Assyrian name for Ararat), which was in decline. Under Tigrane the Great (fl. 95-55 B.C.E.) the Armenian Empire reached its height and became one of the most powerful in Asia, starching from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Seas. Throughout most of its long history, however, Armenia has been invaded by a succession of empires. Under constant threat of domination by foreign forces, Armenians became both cosmopolitan as well as fierce protectors of their culture and tradition.

Over the centuries, Armenia was conquered by Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Mongols, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and Russians. From the 16th century through World War I major portions of Armenia were controlled by their most brutal invader, the Ottoman Turks, under whom they experienced discrimination, religious persecution, heavy taxation, and armed attacks. In response to Armenian nationalist stirrings, the Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in 1894 and 1896. The most horrific massacre 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. The Armenian massacre is considered the first genocide in the 20th century. 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 November 29, 1920, when it was annexed by the Soviet Army. On March 12, 1922, the Soviets joined Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to form the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became part of the U.S.S.R. In 1936, after a reorganization, Armenia became a separate constituent republic of the U.S.S.R. Since 1988, Armenia has been involved in a territorial dispute with Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, to which both lay claim. Also in 1988, a devastating earthquake killed thousands and wreaked economic havoc.

Armenia declared its independence from the collapsing Soviet Union on September 23, 1991. In the years that followed, Armenia successfully fought Azerbaijan for control of Nagorno-Karabakh. The majority population of the enclave are Armenian Christians who want to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia. A cease-fire agreement was reached between the two countries in 1994, but the fate of Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved. Azerbaijan has offered broad autonomy to the enclave in exchange for withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azeri lands. But the enclave wants either full independence or annexation to Armenia.

An Armenian diaspora has existed throughout the nation's history, and Armenian emigration has been particularly heavy since independence from the Soviet Union. 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.