Armenia is a part of the Caucasus region. It is situated between Asia and Europe. The country has a rich and ancient culture that extends for over 3,000 years. And it is the only country that remains visible on 3,000-year-old maps of Anatolia.
Armenia became the world’s first Christian country more than 1,700 years ago in 301 AD. The Armenian Catholicos in Echmiadzin is the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region also includes other interesting Monasteries of Geghard and Khor Virap.
The Armenians have historically inhabited the “Armenian Highlands”, a vast section of mountains and valleys. Armenia’s many mountains and valleys create a great number of microclimates, with scenery changing from arid to lush forest at the top of a mountain ridge. Some isolated churches and monasteries are in the high mountains.
And Lake Sevan, a high-altitude lake in the eastern region is surrounded by ancient monuments, churches, and monasteries. The world’s largest Khachkar cemetery is found there.
Armenian kingdoms and empires have risen and fallen in different parts of the country throughout history. Much of Armenia’s history has been spent under the domination of the great powers of the region. Armenia was under Byzantine rule for long periods and under the Persian or Russian rule, too These empires fought their wars on Armenian soil and using Armenian soldiers. Despite the wars, Armenians managed to hold onto their language and church and prosper whenever given a chance.
The capital of Armenia is Yerevan. The city is the main economic and cultural center of the country.
Ethnic Armenians make up 98.1% of the population. The Yazidis make up 1.2%, and Russians 0.4%. Armenia is the official language. Though due to the Soviet past, most of the older population can speak Russian well.
Armenian cuisine is closely related to eastern and Mediterranean cuisine; various spices, vegetables, fish, chicken, lamb, or beef, and fruits combine to present unique dishes. Try Kuften that is meatball made with Armenia spices or herbs. The cook will take a hunk of meat that is usually beef or lamb, grind, beat and whirl it into the finest paste, roll it into a big ball, and broil it. And Armenian fruits and nuts are special. One should try to taste Armenian apricot, peach, grapes, and pomegranate. Armenia is known to make fruit brandy and jam. Also, the Armenian bread is very tasty as well.