The Republic of Armenia is situated at the eastern border of
Turkey in the southern part of Caucasus. It is a small
north-eastern part of an extensive high-mountainous area of the
Armenian Upland. The latter, being located in the Alp-Himalayan
mountain system, was called an "Island of mounts" (Berginsel) in a
figurative expression of the German researcher. During millenniums
natural forces have created remarkable monuments of nature in the
Armenian Upland. Some of them belong to a history of human
civilization - covered by myths and legends: Biblical Mount Ararat
and Lake Van (situated in the territory of modern Turkey), mount
Aragats and the pearl of mounts - Lake Sevan (situated in nowadays
The Armenian people represent one of the most ancient modern
nations. We encounter with the titles of country "Arminiya" and
people "Armina" for the first time in cuneiforms of Persian king
Dareh I (522-486 BC).
The self-title of Armenians - "hai", hypothetically has evolved
from the title of the "Hayasa" people. The country of "Hayasa" and
its people are mentioned on clay Hittite plate, dated back to the
second millenary B.C., it was founded at the ruins of the Hittite
capital - Hattusham. The formation of ethnic appearance of the
Armenian people and the Armenian tongue was over in VI-V centuries
BC. Then, by the evidence of Strabon, all people, inhabiting the
Armenian Upland, spoke in one tongue - Armenian.
During thousands of years many events have taken place in
Armenia. And probably the most important and far-reaching one was
the adoption of Christianity 1703 years ago. In 301, at king
Tiridates III, Armenia became the first state in the world, where
Christianity was officially proclaimed as a unique state religion.
The first Catholicos of all Armenians Grigor the Illuminator was
consecrated a saint. The place for building the main cathedral of
the Armenian Church - Echmiadzin - was specified by Jesus Christ in
a vision to St. Grigor the Illuminator. Wood and stone for building
the cathedral were brought from the Mount Ararat, where Noah has
landed with his ark. Nowadays a particle of Noah's Ark, placed into
a precious cross, is stored in the treasury of Echmiadzin with
other relics and handwritten gospels.
The creation of the Armenian alphabet by the Armenian scientist
and enlightener Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD was one of the most
remarkable and influential events for Armenia and for development
of Armenian culture and history. The first words written in
Armenian sounded symbolically, calling "to learn wisdom and
exhortation, to understand sayings of reason".
Armenia, situated on the crossing of roads between East and
West, has always been a place of collisions between the great
empires of antiquity and middle ages. Rome, Persia, Byzantium,
Arabs, Seljuks and the Mongols passed through Armenia, sometimes
interrupting its cultural development for centuries, clothing the
land with smoked ruins. Regardless of everything, confronting each
of the potent incomers, Armenian people, leaning on Faith, tongue
and writing, have stood, saving faithfulness to the culture.
Armenia is a real open-air museum both concerning monuments of
nature and the cultural heritage - a country open for all. For the
admirers of antiquity and art it is difficult to find a better
treasury of rarities, than Armenia. The pagan sanctuaries and
Urartu strongholds, cave cities and castles, hidden on high
mountains, gorges-galleries, guarding collections of bas-reliefs,
and unique frescos in the deserted and acting monasteries - it is
difficult to enumerate everything, that a tourist can see here.
Generously scattered on the ancient land of Armenia there are
thousands of ancient monuments - surprisingly manifold and not
similar to anything ever seen before.
Thousands of people come to Armenia. Everyone would like to see
the famous Zvartnots, touch the stones of Garni, heated by the sun,
whose history counts not one millenary, try waters from springs and
mineral sources. And nobody happens to be deceived in the
expectations. Armenia gifts the visitors with its diversified
impressions. But most important is an acquaintance to the masters
of this land, meeting Armenian hospitality. Visitors to our homes
are always welcome. Visiting Armenia once would be a reason of
choosing our country as a returning point.