I have been a country of culture, history and legends for many generations.
I am “Hayastan“, the land of Hayk, my father, the founder of the Armenian nation. My place on a map is in Asia, and more specifically in the Lesser Caucasus. I am the cradle of Christianity and Indo-European civilizations, and one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the place where Noah's Ark landed. Once vast, my territory is now a mere 10th of my original size. I reached my glory in the 1st century B.C, when my kingdom was ruled by Tigran the Great. But for centuries, dynasties fought to their get hands over my land. I was weakened, but through my tormented past I have always stood up and I am proud to be who I am today.
Armenia ... does my name ring any bell? If I say “Charles Aznavour”, then of course yes. If I say: Garni, Sevan, Etchmiadzin, Gyumri, Tatev, Dilijan, Djermouk? If the answer is most likely no, then you definitely have to get to know me.
I'm a destination like no other: The heights of my plateaus provide plenty of fresh air, a climb on the slopes of my Aragats Mountain will be invigorating and you will admire Mount Ararat from the distance, a piece of my history which has become my national symbol.
My name is Armenia ... I am still quite unknown, except from those who call me “Maira Qaraq” (Motherland) ... but I have so much to offer to curious travelers!
Whoever has heard about me, knowns me mainly because of my monasteries. They are countless and as diverse as beautiful. The delicacy and the variety of my khachkars, hand carved cross-shaped stones from tuf, each one having a unique design, is overwhelming too.
I have so many gems for you to discover: Tatev ... A monastery built on my land south of Goris between the 10th and 13th century; the Garni temple and Gueghard monastery, half digged in the rocks, Khor Virap, Sardarapat ... and so much more ! But I also have a wonderful nature and places like Dilidjan to go for endless hikes, plus a ski resort, and a thermal station.
My lake, Sevan, is very big and sits at almost 1900m. I consider it as my interior sea. It covers around 1400 km2 and is a great place to hang out during my hot summer days, and to taste delicious grilled fish (Khorovats).
My food is natural, tasty, mainly prepared out of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in pure nature under the sun, with meat and fish raised in our totally preserved nature.
The head of my church has been in Etchmiadzin since 2003. Its Cathedral, which was built over an original church dating back to the 4th century, and the whole complex, is quite impressive.
I have a great sense of humor, and Yerevan, my capital, is a city that almost never sleeps, thanks to its continuously growing number of museums, cafes, concerts and events.
Proud of my origins, each and every one of my holy days is an opportunity to wear our traditional costumes and dance to the sound of our national duduk.
I have survived the 1915 genocide, becoming a URRSS belonging, the Soviet system collapse, the 1988 earthquake which entirely destroyed Spitak and ravaged my most beautiful artistic city, Gyumri, the war against Azerbaijan. None of these shut me down. Nothing has been strong enough to alter my determination to keep on existing. And now, following the Velvet Revolution, I am starting to write a new page of my history.
Who is tempted to discover my secrets gets a good chance to fall under my spell.