Tourism in Armenia
- a Cradle of Civilization
- acknowledged as one of the cradles of civilization - is a beautiful country
with a sophisticated people and a long and cultured history. As a result,
Armenia is an intriguing tourist destination. Numerous monuments and masterpieces
of the Ancient era and Middle Ages can be found throughout the country.
Tourism in Armenia is rooted in the country's historical landmarks and
natural attractions such as the water resorts of Lake Sevan, the hot springs
of Arzni and Jermuk, the forests of Dilijan, Aghveran, Tsaghkadzor, Bjurakan
and Gugark, and the mountainous natural caves and cliffs of the Southeast
region. The 5165 meter Mount Ararat, geographically located in Turkey,
is a national symbol of Armenia and is visible from much of the Southwest
which is nestled in the shadow of the snow-capped heights of the majestic
mount Ararat, where the Biblical Noah's Ark first landed escaping the Great
Flood, is the capital city of Armenia. With a population numbering over
1.2 million, Yerevan is a bustling city. The central plaza, Republic Square,
is designed in the Armenian national style and houses the Government House,
the Cabinet and other governmental offices as well as the Erebuni and Armenia
Also situated on Republic Square
are the Armenian History Museum and the Art Gallery of Armenia. Here, one
finds informative and interesting models and artifacts of ancient Urartu
and Armenia. In the Art Gallery one finds a worthy section on Armenian
art from the seventh century AD. Amongst the many other museums in the
capital city, the two most interesting house museums are those of landscape
artist Martiros Saryan (1880-1972) and twentieth century composer Aram
Yerevan, the ancient capital of Armenia,
extends you a warm and friendly welcome. It is one of the oldest cities
in the world. The earliest recorded settlement there dates back to 782
BC. King Argishty I founded a fortress city in the north-eastern part of
present-day Yerevan, with the following cuneiform inscription, "With the
majesty of God Khald, Argishty, son of Menua, built up this inaccessible
castle and named it Erebuni..." You can still see relics from this part
of our history at the Erebuni Museum in Yerevan.
As you explore the many interesting
sights in Yerevan, you will learn about the culture and history of one
of the world's oldest nations.
gain further insights into Armenian cultural achievements you must visit
her museums, theaters and concert halls. Theater in Armenia has a tradition
dating back more than 2,000 years. You can attend a wide choice of performances
ranging from concerts to puppet theater and jazz music.
At the top of Mesrop Mashtots Avenue,
the main artery of the capital city Yerevan, you will find the Matenadaran
- the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. Matenadaran boasts the world's
largest collection of ancient manuscripts (over 16,000). The collection
includes many valuable works of foreign philosophers, some of which have
survived only in their Armenian translation. Among these are works by Aristotle,
Eusebius of Caesarea and many others. Art aficionados can visit the National
Art Gallery displaying its rich collections of works by European and Russian
artists. This impressive building located in the Republic Square is also
home to the largest national collection of paintings by famous Armenian
artists such as Aivazovski and Sarian. The spirit of creativity is fostered
and promoted in Armenians from the young age. Hence, the Children's Art
Gallery, which was the first permanent exhibition of its sort in the world.
It is conveniently located at 13 Abovian street, one of the better preserved
streets of old Yerevan.
homes of many famous Armenian writes, poets, and artists are now open to
tourists. Their hours of operation vary, so please phone in advance.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Yerevan
and take in its unique architectural vistas. Yerevan's architectural character
stands out in that of the most of the buildings are constructed of various
colors of tufa and basalt, both of them products of volcanic nature. This
makes Yerevan one of the few cities with no painted buildings.
The city is enshrined with many internationally
acclaimed statues by famous sculptors, such Yervand Kochar, Levon Tokmadjian.
Most of the statues depict Armenian national heroes or glorify events of
national importance. It is advisable to check out the following:
Sasuntsi Davit, the symbol of collective
Vardan Mamikonian, hero of the battle
of Avarayr fought in 451 AD
Eighteenth century bard, Sayat Nova
Khachatour Abovian, renowned for revolutionizing
modern Armenian language and climbing Mount Ararat in search of Noah's
Outstanding Armenian poets, Hovhannes
Toumanian and Avetik Issahakian
Artist Martiros Sarian, famous for his
vivid colors and unique interpretation of Armenian landscapes
In the evening you can relax at the
Parisian style cafes of the city or stroll by the singing fountains of
the Republic Square.
and resorts in the vicinity of Yerevan
is often referred to as a museum in the open air. There are about 40,000
historical monuments spread across Armenia. In 301 AD, Armenians were the
first nation to make Christianity their state religion. As a result, much
of Armenian cultural heritage is shaped by symbols and values associated
with the Christian faith.
Many of the 40,000 surviving ancient
monuments in Armenia are Christian churches and monasteries, most of which
were built over demolished pagan temples. Hence, only one pagan temple
remains in Armenia, Garni.
In building their churches, Armenians
made a significant contribution to the world's architectural tradition.
They developed the concept of laying out the floor plan of a church in
the shape of a cross. This early Christian basilica style was later incorporated
into the Gothic architecture of European cathedrals.
Armenian khatchkars are a unique
part of the national heritage. Intricately decorated crosses are carved
on monolithic rocks. There are over 4,000 khatchkars in Armenia, and every
one of them has a singular pattern.
Etchmiadzin is the religious center
of Armenia. It is the Holy Seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Its Cathedral
was built in 301 AD on a site of a former pagan temple.
The ruins of Urartu Fortress (28 BC)
Khor-Virab Monastery and the ruins of
Dvin, the capital of Armenia during the reign of the Bagratuni dynasty
The pagan Temple of Garni (AD 1 )
Geghard monastery (AD10) hewn out of
Amberd Fortress (AD 11),
The National Ethnographic Museum and
memorial complex at Sardarapat which marks the site of the Armenian people's
famous battle for independence in 1918.
Lake Sevan nestled up in the Armenian
highlands, is the second largest lake in the world relative to its altitude.
mountainous terrain of Armenia is rich in mineral water sources, renowned
for their healing powers. Although Armenian mineral water from such sources
as Jermouk, Arzni, Bejni, Hankavan, and Dilijan is bottled and widely available
throughout the country, it is advisable to make the most of their healing
powers by visiting the sources themselves, all of them being picturesque
and popular resorts.
For instance, Dilijan, with its rolling
hills and lush forests is ideal for hiking, back-packing and camping. Its
beauty has inspired many famous composers and musicians, such as Benjamin
Britten, Aram Khachaturian, Dimitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich,
and many others who stayed here at a vacation resort for musicians.
climate in Armenia is markedly continental. Summers are dry and sunny,
lasting from June to mid-September. The temperature fluctuates between
22° and 36°C. However, the low humidity level mitigates the effect
of high temperatures. Evening breezes blowing down the mountains provide
a welcome refreshing and cooling effect.
Springs are short, while falls are
long. Autumns are remarkable for their spectacularly colorful foliage.