Armenia

Flag | National Emblem | Map of Yerevan | Language | Education | Religion | Territorial units | Fruits | Mountains
Climate | Rivers and Lakes | Art and Literature | Natural Resources | Plant and Animal Life
 

Armenia (country), republic in western Asia.Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia. In Armenian, the official state language, Armenia is named Hayastan. Greek historians called this country Armenia about 3000 years ago. Ethnic Armenians, who call themselves Hay, constitute more than 90 percent of the country’s population. Incorporated as a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922, Armenia became independent in 1991. Armenia is highly urbanized, with 70 percent of all residents living in cities or towns. Armenia occupies about 29,800 sq km. Armenia is bordered by Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan on the southwest, Iran on the south, and Turkey on the west.

 
Mountains

Armenia is extremely mountainous. The average elevation is about 1,800 m. Mount Aragats is the highest point in the republic, reaching a height of 4,090 m. Mountain ranges in the republic include the Pambak, Geghama, Vardenis, and Zangezur branches of the Lesser Caucasus mountain system.   The highest mountain of historical Armenia is Ararat, now in Turkey. Mt. Ararat or Massis is an extinct volcano with double cone-shaped peaks; the larger peak is 5165 m high, while the smaller one is 3925 m high. According to the Bible, Noah’s ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat and thus Ararat was called “the mountain of Noah the patriarch’’. Mt. Ararat is the secred symbol of the national consciousness and dreams of the Armenian people, which has been sung and glorified by numerous Armenian poets from ancient times to our days.

 
Rivers and Lakes

Armenia contains many mountain lakes, the largest of which is Lake Sevan. Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Transcaucasia. Many rivers flow into Lake Sevan, the main outlet is the Hrazdan River, which flows south to join the Aras River, Armenia’s largest and longest river. The Aras originates in the mountains of northeastern Turkey and flows generally eastward, following Armenia’s border with Turkey and then Iran, until it turns north to join the Kura River in Azerbaijan. Armenia contains a dense network of small rivers and streams that are part of the Aras-Kura river basin. Due to the mountainous terrain, waterfalls and rapids are common.

 
Plant and Animal Life

Armenia's plant life is diverse. In the semidesert regions, which occupy the lowest elevations, drought-resistant plants such as sagebrush, juniper, and honeysuckle are common. Grasses predominate in the steppes, which are higher in elevation and constitute most of Armenia’s terrain.12? of the Armenian territory are forests. In the forests there are oaks, birch-trees, linden-trees and other species.Animal life in Armenia includes wild boars, jackals, lynx, and Syrian bears. The Armenian highland is populated by more than 850 species of birds.

 
Fruits

Armenia is rich in fruits. Grapes of some 40 kinds grow on the entire territory of Armenia. Peach, apple, pear, cherry, mulberry, fig, pomegranate and many other fruites grow in Armenia. Apricot is considered to be the queen of this assemblage.

 
Natural Resources

Natural resources in Armenia include copper, molybdenum, zinc, gold, perlite and granite. The country lacks deposits of oil, natural gas, and coal and must import these fuel resources. Armenia's rivers, especially the Hrazdan, provide considerable hydroelectric power.

 
Climate

The climate of Armenia varies by elevation but is predominantly dry and continental, with long, hot summers and moderate winters. The elevated plateaus, which are less sheltered by mountains than the inland plains, have more inclement weather in winter. The sun shines frequently in Armenia. Precipitation varies by location and is heaviest in autumn. Mountainous areas receive the most precipitation, in the form of rain and snow. The best season in Armenia is fall. The average temperature in October is 18-22 Co.

 
Language

Armenia's official state language is Armenian, an Indo-European language with no surviving close relatives. It has a unique 38-letter alphabet that dates from the early 5th century. Of its many spoken dialects, the most important are Eastern or Yerevan Armenian (the official language) and Western Armenian.

 
Territorial units (marzes)

The Republc of Armenia consists of 10 Marzes with their Marz centers

 
Marz ISO3166-2 code Territory(squar km) Marz center Distance from Yerevan (km)
 Yerevan ER 700 - -
 Aragatsotn AG 2737  Ashtarak 20
 Ararat AR 1995  Artashat 29
 Armavir AV 1251  Armavir 48
 Gegharkunik GR 4058  Gavar 98
 Lori LO 3750  Vanadzor 125
 Kotayk KT 2038  Hrazdan 50
 Shirak SH 2643  Giumri 155
 Siunik SU 4475  Kapan 316
 Vayots Dzor VD 2308  Yeghegnadzor 119
 Tavoush TV 2695  Ijevan 137
 

Distances from several important towns;

Town  Distance from Yerevan (km)
 Aparan 59
 Dilijan 109
 Geghard 31
 Goris 250
 Hoktemberyan 48
 Jermuk 170
 Kamo 98
 Martuni 130
 Meghri 393
 Nojemberyan 191
 Sevan 66
 Sisian 217
 Talin 74
 Vardenis 168
 Spitak 101
 Ecmiadzin 20
 
Religion

Armenians were converted to Christianity in the early 4th century, they were the first in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion. The center of the Armenian Apostolic Church is the Holy See of Echmiatsin.

 
Education

During the Soviet period, the educational system was controlled by the central government in Moscow. In the early 1990s, after achieving independence, Armenia made substantial changes to its educational system.Today, primary and secondary levels of instruction are compulsory and available free of charge. The two largest universities of Armenia are Yerevan State University, founded in 1919 in Yerevan and State Engineering University of Armenia , founded in 1933 in Yerevan. Other institutes of higher education offer specialized instruction in engineering, agriculture, architecture, fine arts, and theater arts.

 
Art and Literature

Today, more than 90 percent of the country's inhabitants are ethnic Armenians, and as a result, this continuing religious tradition manifests itself in strong cultural expressions. Art that was distinctively Armenian in form first emerged in the early 4th century, coinciding with the introduction of Christianity in the country. Religious icons were a favored subject during that time.   Armenian folk arts, which have remained essentially unchanged for centuries, include rug weaving and metalwork. The carving of decorative stone monuments called khatchkars is an ancient Armenian art form that continues to be practiced today.One of the greatest Armenian poets was the 10th-century bishop Grigor Narekatsi, whose mystical poems and hymns strongly influenced the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenian composer of classical music, internationally famous Aram Ilich Khachaturian, wrote his masterpieces during the Soviet period. Some of his works reflect the influence of Armenian folk music. Another well known artist, who has great influence in Armenian art is Martiros Saryan.