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History of Armenia
Armenian Plateau. The Combination of Old and New

The Armenians have an ancient civilization whose history is long, complex, and in many ways epic and heroic. They are the descendants of Aram the Brave and Наук, the forefather and establisher of the first Armenian kingdom in the third millennium ВС. Armenia is a country of old legends and Biblical stories. It is said that on his descent from Ararat, Noah first stepped onto this land and as a result of his blessings and Christian faith, Armenia has survived many foreign invasions through centuries and is a thriving republic presently.

Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, ia a landlocked mountainous country in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Southern Caucasus. It borders Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan to the south. It is a mountainous country characterized by a great variety of scenery and geologic instability. In the eastern part of Armenia, the Sevan Basin, containing Lake Sevan (525 square miles) and hemmed in by ranges soaring as high as 11,800 feet, lies at an altitude of about 6,200 feet. In the southwest, a large depression, the Ararat Plain, lies at the foot of Mount Aragats and the Geghama Range; the Aras River cuts this important. plain into halves, the northern half lying in Armenia and the southern in Turkey and Iran. The northwestern part of the Armenian Highland contains Mount Aragats (Alaghez), which is the highest peak (13,418 feet, or 4,090 m.) in the country. Armenia is comprised of 11 regions (marzes): Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Gegharkunik, Lori, Kotayk, Shirak, Syunik, Armenian Plateau, Tavush and the capital Yerevan.

The native Armenian name for the country is "Наук". The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Hayastan, by addition of the Iranian suffix - stan (land).

The name has traditionally been derived from Наук, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, who according to Moses of Chorene defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 ВС, and established his nation in the Ararat region.

Armenians are nation, who could surmount many obstacles since their subsistence; permanent wars with Azerbaijan and Turkey, the genocide Of 1915, the severe earthquake in 1988, the conflict of Nagorno-Karabagh which is unsolved up to these days. Religion is the main invisible force that has kept this ancient nation from annihilation. This small nation, which has survived against all odds thanks to their faith in God All Mighty. Armenians pride themselves to be the first nation to adopt Christianity as the official religion of their state; they are the people who through a number of restrictions adopted Christianity in 301 A.D., as the official religion of their state. Throughout the centuries the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church has been the eternal flame of this faithful nation, the flame which has guided this nation through dark and treacherous roads and ensured their survival to this date Throughout the centuries they have been persecuted and harassed by neighboring countries and empires: the Persian Empire. Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire. Byzantium, the Arabs, Seljuqs. Mongols. Tatars, the Ottoman Empire. Safavid Persia, and the Russian Empire, but through all the turbulence and foreign domination, however. Armenians created a rich and a colorful culture under various kings and princes, their own alphabet created by Saint Mesrob Mashtots and a socioeconomic structure that has allowed them to preserve their distinct way of life.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia emerged as Democratic Republic of Armenia (DRA), and today we officially celebrate Armenia's independence on September 21 every year.

Because of the Nagomo-Karabagh conflict, Armenia has been the subject of an economic blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan for the past three years.

Armenia is currently a member of more than 40 international organizations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Asian Development Bank, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the World Trade Organization and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

Present Armenia is a thriving republic, with its own religion, culture and art.

The topography of land and the man-made wonders of the centuries old architecture, ruins, churches and monasteries bring to life the history of one of the world's most ancient nation and culture. Life today is assimilated with the harmonious fusion of past and present. People take great pride in their traditions, culture, religion, arts and crafts, delicious cuisine and sincere hospitality. From museums to theaters, an opera house, parks, restaurants, open cafes, casinos, discos, clubs, jazz restaurants, and other entertainment spots, Yerevan is alive, bustling and inviting.

Our world-famous masters of art and music, such as Komitas. founder of Armenian classical music. Sayat - Nova. "King of Armenia Songs", Aram Khachaturian (Composer) Martiros Saryan (painter) Hovhannes Ayvazovski (painter). Mikael Nalbandian (writer), whose work "Song of the Italian Girl" has served as the inspiration for the Armenian national anthem "Mer Hayrenik", Eghishe Charents (writer), Avetik Isahakyan (writer). Hamo Beknazarian (director). Sergei Parajanov. one of the 20th century's greatest masters of cinema, who created "The Color of Pomegranates", and many others have been popular with the local as well as foreign readers and art appre-ciators. Our music is even today famous throughout the world due to our masters Aram Khachatryan, Rouben Amirkhanyan, Arto Tunchboyaciyan, Charles Aznavour, and even alternative metal band "System of a Down", where all have Armenian background, although only bassist Shavo Odadjian was born in the country.

Armenian cuisine is as ancient as the history of Armenia, a combination of different tastes and aromas. There food often has quite a distinct smell. Closely related to eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, various spices, vegetables, fish, and fruits combine to present unique dishes. Armenia is also famous for its wine and brandy. In particular, Armenian cognac is renowned worldwide, and was considered by the late British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, as his favorite. It has often been referred to as the food of today the pomegranate, with its symbolic association with fertility, is the national fruit.

Armenia is rich with its picturesque tourism places, mountains and stones. Worth mentioning are Garni Geghard with magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture - Geghard monastery, Dilijan with its serene nature, Jermuk with its curing waters, Holy church of "Echmiatsin" , Lake Sevan, Tsakhadzhor and others.

Should your interests lie in the beautiful Armenian Plateau, visit our country and personally experience the beauty of the country and its people.

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