Flag of Armenia

Language: Armenian

Currency: Drarm (AMD)

Calling Code: 374


Armenia (in Armenian: Հայաստան, Hayastán), officially Republic of Armenia, is a country of the South Caucasus and without exit to the sea. It shares borders with Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east and Iran and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan to the south.

Armenia is a former Soviet republic, a unitary, multiparty state in a process of democratization that has its roots in one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Endowed with a rich cultural heritage, it stood out as the first nation to adopt Christianity as an official religion in the early years of the fourth century (the traditional date is 301) Although Armenia is a secular constitutional state, the Christian faith plays a important role in its history and in the identity of the Armenian people.

Culturally, historically and politically, Armenia is considered part of Europe, but its location in the South Caucasus places it on a supposed imaginary frontier between Europe and Asia: in reality it is a transcontinental country, halfway between two geographical areas. These classifications are arbitrary, as there is no easily definable geographical difference between Asia and Europe.

Armenia is currently a member of more than 35 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 Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization. He is one of the members of the Association for Peace of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as of the military alliance Organization of the Treaty of Collective Security (CSTO). He is also an observer member of the Eurasian Economic Community, the Francophony and the Non-Aligned Movement.


Travel Destination in Armenia

Ararat Province

Khor Virap Monastery offers a great view of the mountain Ararat. According to Old Testament this was the mountain where Noah's Ark have landed after the Great Flood.


Armavir Province

Etchmiadzin Monastery is an ancient Christian complex that is made up of Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, church of Hripsime, Gayane basilica


Kotayk Province

Geghard Monastery originally found in the 4th century AD is one of the oldest Christian monasteries. It is situated in Goght, Kotayk Province of Armenia.


Lori Province

Akhtala Monastery is located 185 kilometers (115 mi) north of Armenian capital of Yerevan near a town of Akhtala of Lori Province.

Debed Canyon is located in Armenia and stretches for 178 km. This picturesque valley is an important highway between Armenia and neighboring Georgia.

Haghpat Monastery located in Haghpat, Lori Province of Armenia was found in 10th century by Saint Nishan (Sourb Nshan).

Kobayr Monastery is located just of the Highway 6 in a Lori Province of Armenia. The name is derived from a village of Kober or Kobyar that is located near by.

Odzun Monastery in Lori Province, Armenia is a medieval monastery that was built during early Medieval period in a remote plateau on the left bank of Debed river.

Sanahin Monastery was constructed in the 10th century on the slopes of Mount Tchantinler, although first references of a Christian church on this location date back to the 4th and 5th centuries. 


Yerevan Province

Erebuni Fortress was built 782 BC by King Argishti I on a strategic hill overlooking Armenian capital of Yerevan below.



The toponym "Armenia" goes back to the Hurrian name of the Armi- region adjacent to Melitene, located on the Armenian Highlands. This name passed into the Old Persian language through the Aramaic ˊarmǝn-āiē, and in the form “Arminiyaiy” it occurs 6 times in the Behistun inscription of 522 BC. The ancient Greek form of the name is ancient Greek. Ἀρμενία. The ancient Greek name for Armenians used before the spread of Ἀρμένιοι (Arménioi) was Μελιττήνιοι (Melittínioi).

According to the Armenian historian of the 5th century Movses Khorenatsi, the name "Armenia" and the corresponding ancient Greek and ancient Persian toponyms are given by the name of the Urartian king Aram.

In Armenian, the name of the country sounds like Hayk (Arm. Հայք). In the Middle Ages, the place of the Armenian toponymic suffix "-k" was taken by the borrowed Iranian suffix "-stan" and the country began to be called Hayastan (arm. Հայաստան). The name of the country is associated with the legendary progenitor of the Armenians, Hayk, who defeated the army of the Babylonian king Bel in battle and founded the Armenian state. Presumably, this happened in 2492 BC. This year is considered the first in the ancient Armenian pagan calendar. Another version connects this name with the ancient state of Hayas (XVI-XIII centuries BC). According to the third version, the self-name of Armenia comes from the Urartian name of Melitene - Ḫāti.


State symbols


The flag of Armenia is a rectangular panel of three equal horizontal stripes: the top is red, the middle is blue and the bottom is orange. The ratio of the flag's width to its length is 1:2. The flag of Armenia was adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia on August 24, 1990. On June 15, 2006, the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia adopted a new law "On the State Flag of the Republic of Armenia".

The Armenian government interprets the meaning of flowers as follows:
The red color symbolizes the Armenian Highlands, the constant struggle of the Armenian people for existence, the Christian faith, freedom and independence of Armenia. The blue color symbolizes the desire of the Armenian people to live under a peaceful sky. The orange color symbolizes the creative talent and diligence of the Armenian people.


Coat of arms

The coat of arms of Armenia was adopted on April 19, 1992 and specified by the law of June 15, 2006.

The emblem consists of the following elements: the shield - in the center - Mount Ararat, which is a symbol of the Armenian nation, on its top is Noah's ark, because, according to the Armenian tradition, after the flood, the ark stopped on Mount Ararat (according to the Bible - on the mountains of Ararat). The shield is divided into 4 parts, which symbolize the four independent Armenian kingdoms of different times (clockwise): Arsacids, Rubenids, Artashesids and Bagratids.

Lion and Eagle, which support the shield, symbolize wisdom, pride, patience and nobility. The main color of the coat of arms of Armenia is golden, the kingdoms of historical Armenia are red and blue, Mount Ararat in the center of the coat of arms is depicted on an orange shield. These colors were traditionally used in the coats of arms and banners of the royal dynasties of Armenia and are similar to the colors of the flag of the Republic of Armenia.

At the bottom of the shield are five more elements: a broken chain, a sword, ears of wheat, a branch and a ribbon.



The anthem of Armenia is the composition "Our Motherland" (arm. Մեր Հայրենիք, "Mer Hayrenik", literally - "Our Fatherland"). Approved on July 1, 1991, re-approved by the law of December 25, 2006. The anthem of the First Republic of Armenia of 1918-1920 is taken as the basis. The author of the poems is Mikael Nalbandyan (1829-1866), the author of the music is Barsegh Kanachyan (1885-1967). When singing the anthem at most official events, only the first and fourth stanzas are used.


History of Armenia


Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe, skirt, and wine-producing facility.

According to the story of Hayk, the legendary founder of Armenia, around 2107 BC Hayk fought against Belus, the Babylonian God of War, at Çavuştepe along the Engil river to establish the very first Armenian state. Historically, this event coincides with the destruction of Akkad by the Gutian dynasty of Sumer in 2115 BC, a time when Hayk may have left with the “more than 300 members of his household” as told in the legend, and also during the beginning of when a Mesopotamian Dark Age was occurring due to the fall of the Akkadian Empire in 2154 BC which may have acted as a backdrop for the events in the legend making him leave Mesopotamia.

Several Bronze Age states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittites (at the height of their power), Mitanni (southwestern historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1500–1200 BC). The Nairi people (12th to 9th centuries BC) and Urartu (1000–600 BC) successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highlands. Each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenians A large cuneiform lapidary inscription found in Yerevan established that the modern capital of Armenia was founded in the summer of 782 BC by King Argishti I. Yerevan is the world's oldest city to have documented the exact date of its foundation.

During the late 6th century BC, the first geographical entity that was called Armenia by neighbouring populations was established under the Orontid Dynasty within the Achaemenid Empire, as part of the latters' territories. The kingdom became fully sovereign from the sphere of influence of the Seleucid Empire in 190 BC under King Artaxias I and begun the rule of the Artaxiad dynasty. Armenia reached its height between 95 and 66 BC under Tigranes the Great, becoming the most powerful kingdom of its time east of the Roman Republic.

In the next centuries, Armenia was in the Persian Empire's sphere of influence during the reign of Tiridates I, the founder of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia, which itself was a branch of the Parthian Empire. Throughout its history, the kingdom of Armenia enjoyed both periods of independence and periods of autonomy subject to contemporary empires. Its strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by many peoples, including Assyria (under Ashurbanipal, at around 669–627 BC, the boundaries of Assyria reached as far as Armenia and the Caucasus Mountains), Medes, Achaemenid Empire, Greeks, Parthians, Romans, Sasanian Empire, Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Seljuk Empire, Mongols, Ottoman Empire, the successive Safavid, Afsharid, and Qajar dynasties of Iran, and the Russians.

Religion in ancient Armenia was historically related to a set of beliefs that, in Persia, led to the emergence of Zoroastrianism. It particularly focused on the worship of Mithra and also included a pantheon of gods such as Aramazd, Vahagn, Anahit, and Astghik. The country used the solar Armenian calendar, which consisted of 12 months.

Christianity spread into the country as early as AD 40. Tiridates III of Armenia (238–314) made Christianity the state religion in 301, partly, in defiance of the Sasanian Empire, it seems, becoming the first officially Christian state, ten years before the Roman Empire granted Christianity an official toleration under Galerius, and 36 years before Constantine the Great was baptised. Prior to this, during the latter part of the Parthian period, Armenia was a predominantly Zoroastrian country.

After the fall of the Kingdom of Armenia in 428, most of Armenia was incorporated as a marzpanate within the Sasanian Empire. Following the Battle of Avarayr in 451, Christian Armenians maintained their religion and Armenia gained autonomy.


Middle Ages

After the Sasanian period (428–636), Armenia emerged as Arminiya, an autonomous principality under the Umayyad Caliphate, reuniting Armenian lands previously taken by the Byzantine Empire as well. The principality was ruled by the Prince of Armenia, and recognised by the Caliph and the Byzantine Emperor. It was part of the administrative division/emirate Arminiya created by the Arabs, which also included parts of Georgia and Caucasian Albania, and had its centre in the Armenian city, Dvin. Arminiya lasted until 884, when it regained its independence from the weakened Abbasid Caliphate under Ashot I of Armenia.


In 1045, the Byzantine Empire conquered Bagratid Armenia. Soon, the other Armenian states fell under Byzantine control as well. The Byzantine rule was short lived, as in 1071 the Seljuk Empire defeated the Byzantines and conquered Armenia at the Battle of Manzikert, establishing the Seljuk Empire. To escape death or servitude at the hands of those who had assassinated his relative, Gagik II of Armenia, King of Ani, an Armenian named Ruben I, Prince of Armenia, went with some of his countrymen into the gorges of the Taurus Mountains and then into Tarsus of Cilicia. The Byzantine governor of the palace gave them shelter where the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia was eventually established on 6 January 1198 under Leo I, King of Armenia, a descendant of Prince Ruben.

Cilicia was a strong ally of the European Crusaders, and saw itself as a bastion of Christendom in the East. Cilicia's significance in Armenian history and statehood is also attested by the transfer of the seat of the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the spiritual leader of the Armenian people, to the region.

The Seljuk Empire soon started to collapse. In the early 12th century, Armenian princes of the Zakarid family drove out the Seljuk Turks and established a semi-independent principality in northern and eastern Armenia known as Zakarid Armenia, which lasted under the patronage of the Georgian Kingdom. The Orbelian Dynasty shared control with the Zakarids in various parts of the country, especially in Syunik and Vayots Dzor, while the House of Hasan-Jalalyan controlled provinces of Artsakh and Utik as the Kingdom of Artsakh.


Early Modern era

During the 1230s, the Mongol Empire conquered Zakarid Armenia and then the remainder of Armenia. The Mongolian invasions were soon followed by those of other Central Asian tribes, such as the Kara Koyunlu, Timurid dynasty and Ağ Qoyunlu, which continued from the 13th century until the 15th century. After incessant invasions, each bringing destruction to the country, with time Armenia became weakened.

In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid dynasty of Iran divided Armenia. From the early 16th century, both Western Armenia and Eastern Armenia fell to the Safavid Empire. Owing to the century long Turco-Iranian geopolitical rivalry that would last in Western Asia, significant parts of the region were frequently fought over between the two rivalling empires. From the mid 16th century with the Peace of Amasya, and decisively from the first half of the 17th century with the Treaty of Zuhab until the first half of the 19th century, Eastern Armenia was ruled by the successive Safavid, Afsharid and Qajar empires, while Western Armenia remained under Ottoman rule.

From 1604, Abbas I of Iran implemented a "scorched earth" policy in the region to protect his north-western frontier against any invading Ottoman forces, a policy that involved a forced resettlement of masses of Armenians outside of their homelands.

In the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan and the 1828 Treaty of Turkmenchay, following the Russo-Persian War (1804–13) and the Russo-Persian War (1826–28), respectively, the Qajar dynasty of Iran was forced to irrevocably cede Eastern Armenia, consisting of the Erivan and Karabakh Khanates, to Imperial Russia.

While Western Armenia still remained under Ottoman rule, the Armenians were granted considerable autonomy within their own enclaves and lived in relative harmony with other groups in the empire (including the ruling Turks). However, as Christians under a strict Muslim social structure, Armenians faced pervasive discrimination. When they began pushing for more rights within the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in response, organised state-sponsored massacres against the Armenians between 1894 and 1896, resulting in an estimated death toll of 80,000 to 300,000 people. The Hamidian massacres, as they came to be known, gave Hamid international infamy as the "Red Sultan" or "Bloody Sultan". This period is known as Russian Armenia.

During the 1890s, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, commonly known as Dashnaktsutyun, became active within the Ottoman Empire with the aim of unifying the various small groups in the empire that were advocating for reform and defending Armenian villages from massacres that were widespread in some of the Armenian-populated areas of the empire. Dashnaktsutyun members also formed Armenian fedayi groups that defended Armenian civilians through armed resistance. The Dashnaks also worked for the wider goal of creating a "free, independent and unified" Armenia, although they sometimes set aside this goal in favour of a more realistic approach, such as advocating autonomy.


The Ottoman Empire began to collapse, and in 1908, the Young Turk Revolution overthrew the government of Sultan Hamid. In April 1909, the Adana massacre occurred in the Adana Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire resulting in the deaths of as many as 20,000–30,000 Armenians. The Armenians living in the empire hoped that the Committee of Union and Progress would change their second-class status. The Armenian reform package (1914) was presented as a solution by appointing an inspector general over Armenian issues.


World War I and the Armenian Genocide

The outbreak of World War I led to confrontation between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire in the Caucasus and Persian Campaigns. The new government in Istanbul began to look on the Armenians with distrust and suspicion, because the Imperial Russian Army contained a contingent of Armenian volunteers. On 24 April 1915, Armenian intellectuals were arrested by Ottoman authorities and, with the Tehcir Law (29 May 1915), eventually a large proportion of Armenians living in Anatolia perished in what has become known as the Armenian Genocide.

The genocide was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. There was local Armenian resistance in the region, developed against the activities of the Ottoman Empire. The events of 1915 to 1917 are regarded by Armenians and the vast majority of Western historians to have been state-sponsored mass killings, or genocide.

Turkish authorities deny the genocide took place to this day. The Armenian Genocide is acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides. According to the research conducted by Arnold J. Toynbee, an estimated 600,000 Armenians died during deportation from 1915–16. This figure, however, accounts for solely the first year of the Genocide and does not take into account those who died or were killed after the report was compiled on 24 May 1916. The International Association of Genocide Scholars places the death toll at "more than a million". The total number of people killed has been most widely estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million.

Armenia and the Armenian diaspora have been campaigning for official recognition of the events as genocide for over 30 years. These events are traditionally commemorated yearly on 24 April, the Armenian Martyr Day, or the Day of the Armenian Genocide.


How to get in

Sanahin Monastery in Northern Armenia.
European Union passport holders and nationals of Schengen Agreement member states can now enter Armenia without a visa and stay for a period of up to 180 days per year. Together with other countries, that means the list of passports that don't need a visa now includes: Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan. Iranian passport holders don't need a visa to enter and stay 90 days . U.S. passport holders don't need a visa to enter Armenia.

Citizens of most other countries may obtain single-entry tourist visas at any border control point. 21/120 day tourist visas cost 3000/15000 dram. Alternatively, those eligible for a visa on arrival can arrange an e-Visa beforehand. They cost US$40 and are generally approved within two business days. Travelers arriving with an e-Visa can enter Armenia at Ayrum railway station, Bavra, Bagratashen, and Gogavan land borders with the Republic of Georgia, Zvartnots International Airport, and Meghri land border with Iran.

Passport holders of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, and Vietnam require an invitation and must apply for a visa at the nearest embassy/consulate before arriving. Holders of Indian passports are eligible to apply for e-visa and/or visa on arrival, however, e-visa is recommended, as per Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. Chinese passports are now exempt from the invitation requirement, but the e-visa facility is not available to them.

Although border guards at land crossings do accept non-Armenian currencies, they may not give you a good exchange rate, so it is best to have Armenian dram before you arrive at the border. Some travelers have been charged as much as US$20 to purchase a visa. Border guards and customs officials cannot give change for large foreign notes.

Visas bought at the Yerevan airport must be paid for in local currency. There is a change booth and an ATM at the Yerevan airport before immigration control. There is a hefty surcharge of approximately US$10 for changing traveler's cheques, which are not widely used in Armenia.


By plane
Zvartnots International Airport (IATA: EVN), 10 km west of Yerevan is the country's main airport.

The national carrier was Armavia (now defunct), and served destinations across the CIS, Europe and the Middle East. Some West Asian airlines (Syrian, Iranian, etc.) also serve the airport.

There are very frequent flights from across the CIS. Russian airlines include: Aeroflot, S7, Ural, Polet, Kuban Airlines, Saravia, Tatarstan, UTAir and Yamal. Others include Belevia (Belarus), Dniproavia (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine) and SCAT (Kazakhstan).

Several European airlines also serve Yerevan: Czech Airlines, Air France, Austrian, LOT and Atlasglobal from Istanbul Turkey.

Shirak Airport (IATA: LWN) in Gyumri has a few flights from Russia.

By train
There is an overnight train once every other day to Tbilisi, Georgia. The train links with Turkey and Azerbaijan are severed.

By car
It is possible to drive to Armenia via Iran or Georgia. The borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed. Local travel agents can arrange transport to the border; some Georgian agents can arrange transport all the way through to Tbilisi. Although more expensive than a train or bus, a private car may be more comfortable and can be used for some sightseeing along the way.

By bus
As of 2014 there is a comfortable Mercedes Vito minibus (marshrutka) service from Tbilisi to Yerevan for about US$17 (30GEL). Marshrutkas leave from the parking lot in front of the railway station (old name: vagzlis moadeni; new name and name of the metro stop: sadguris moedani) at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Reservations can be made under +995 598 57 12 12 in Russian, Georgian and possibly basic English, too. From this service, it is also possible to get out at Alaverdi (closest major town to Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries).

Marshrutka also leave from "Ortachala" bus station in Tbilisi , at least in the mornings before 11am, 30GEL.

As of Oct 2018, the price was 35 GEL and the minibus departed only in front of the railway station.

There is a daily modern bus service to Yerevan available from Tehran or Tabriz for about $60/$50; check travel agencies for that. Otherwise, the only Iran/Armenia land border at Norduz/Agarak is very badly served by public transport. On the Armenian side, you can get as far as Meghri by one Marshrutka a day from Yerevan. It leaves from the Sasuntsidavit bus stop that is near/behind the main train station. It leaves when it's full, so be there by 7:30 or 8:00 at the latest. Also be prepared for the marshrutka to be packed with luggage and people. That marshrutka might head down to Agarak after passing Meghri, though it's best to confirm this with the driver. The driver might also be able to set you up with a sleepover option close to the border in Agarak for about 10 € per night. In both directions, the marshrutka leaves quite early in the morning.

Kapan and Kajaran are more frequently served by marshrutkas, but it is a long and mountainous (and therefore expensive) stretch to the border from there. From Meghri, it is around 8 km to the border, and hitching or taking a taxi is the only option if your marshrutka didn't take you all the way to Agarak in the first place. On the Iranian side, the closest public transport can be found around 50 km to the west in Jolfa, so a taxi (around 10-15$) again is the only (commercial) choice. The border is not busy at all, so when hitching, you have to mainly stick with the truck drivers and knowing some Russian, Persian or Azeri/Turkish helps a lot here. Many truck drivers go from Norduz to Tabriz. Consider for yourself whether this is a safe option.


Get around

By day tour
One of the best options for getting to the major tourist sites - some of which have infrequent public transport - are the many day tours advertised throughout Yerevan. Starting at $6, you can choose from a variety of half to full day trips which include a good number of the country’s major attractions. Some of the more remote and exotic destinations such as the Petroglyphs of Ughtasar and many of the caves require special planning.


By mini-bus or bus
Public transportation is very good and inexpensive in Armenia, but it can be tough to get to more remote sites outside of populated areas. The system could be described as a hub and spoke system, with each city offering local transportation to its surrounding villages as well as connections to Yerevan. Most inter-city travel is by 14-seat minibuses or buses. Yerevan has several bus interchange stations that serve the whole country, so you should find out which bus interchange station services the area of your destination. Note that unlike many countries in Eastern Europe, Armenian minibuses do not sell tickets beforehand and, in fact, do not issue tickets at all. You simply pay the driver at any point during the trip (though some will collect at the beginning). Exact change is never required, but a 20,000 note for a 1,000 dram ride might present a problem. Tips are unheard of on public transportation.

By taxi or car
The average Western tourist can hire a taxi to go almost anywhere in the country on very short notice. If you are traveling with a lot of big or heavy bags, then going by taxi is the best option. Prices are about 100 drams (33 US cents) per km. Most taxis do not have meters, though, so you should negotiate a price before you leave. A taxi is a good option for longer trips, especially if you don't like waiting for hours for a minibus. Tip. Before arriving have "GG" taxi or "Yandex" taxi on your phone. They are cheap, fast and reliable.

If you are used to driving in the West and have not driven outside of America or Western or Central Europe, you should hire a driver when you rent your car, as driving in Armenia is often a difficult undertaking for the average tourist. A growing number of car rental companies may be used, including SIXT (office at Zvartnots airport), Europacar, Hertz, and Naniko.

Most main roads around Yerevan are in decent to fair shape, with some being in unusually good condition. When you travel north (Dilidjan) or south (Jermuk), roads are less well-maintained and rather bumpy, and you can feel this especially when using public transport! (Minibuses are often in bad condition, too.) Potholes are very much a part of the experience and can test your driving skills. Be careful and consider getting an all-wheel drive or sport utility vehicle when renting.

By thumb
Not as common as in the days of the post-Soviet collapse, hitchhiking is still perfectly safe and acceptable. Drivers often don't expect anything in the way of compensation, but offer anyway and sometimes they'll take the marshutni fare. Flag cars down by holding your arm in front of you and patting the air; this is how taxis, buses and marshutnis are flagged. Don't be too surprised if you befriend a driver during your ride and eventually end up staying at his house for a few days with his family!

By bicycle
Due to the mountainous terrain, bicycling is not as common a mode of transport in Armenia as it is in the rest of Europe. It can be a great way to see and experience much of the countryside, though, if you can handle the inclines.

Recommended Reading: "Tour De Armenia", a cycling travel book

By train
Trains in Armenia are Soviet-style and a little slow as a means of moving around the country. Trains can be taken up to Gyumri and from there on to Alaverdi and Georgia, or they can be taken up to Lake Sevan all the way to the far side.

By plane
Domestic flights are not an option as there are only two working airports and no internal flights in this small country. Intermittent service to Karabakh has been available in the past and scheduled flights from Yerevan to Stepanakert may start up again - if passengers can be assured that Azerbaijan will not shoot them down.

By tour operator
Aside from the plentiful day tours, you can take a package tour of Armenia.



Armenia is located in the northeast of the Armenian Highland between 38° and 42° north latitude and between 43° and 47° east longitude. From the north and east, the territory of the state is framed by the ridges of the Lesser Caucasus. It borders Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to the east, Iran to the south, the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijan) to the southwest, and Turkey to the west.

Despite the fact that geographically Armenia is located in Western Asia, it has close political and cultural ties with Europe. Armenia has always been at the crossroads connecting Europe and Asia. Depending on the interpretation of the border, Armenia may be in Europe or Asia.



The relief of Armenia is mainly mountainous: with an area of ​​​​the state of about 29,800 km², over 90% of the territory is located at an altitude of more than 1000 m above sea level. The highest point is Mount Aragats (4095 m), the lowest is the gorge of the Debed River (380 m). In the south-west of the country is the intermountain Ararat Valley, an important agricultural region.

The highest point of the region and the historical symbol of Armenia - Mount Ararat - has been located in Turkey since 1921.



Despite the fact that Armenia is located at the latitude of the subtropical zone, the subtropical climate is observed only in the southern part of Armenia (near the city of Meghri). In other regions, the climate is alpine, continental - hot summers and cold winters. On the plains, the average temperature in January is -5 °C, in July - +25 °C; in the middle mountains (1000-1500 m) - -10 ° C and +20 ° C, at altitudes from 1500 to 2000 m - -14 and +16, respectively. The minimum amount of precipitation in the Ararat valley is 200-250 mm per year, in the middle mountains - 500 mm, and in the highlands - 700-900 mm. The highest amount of precipitation is observed in the Lori region and Syunik regions, the territory of which is mainly covered with forests.



Soils are formed mainly on volcanic rocks. The soil cover of Armenia is very diverse, at the same time, most of the soils are infertile and difficult for economic development. According to the nature of soils, the territory of Armenia can be divided into the following belts:

Semi-desert soils are located mainly in the Ararat valley at an altitude of 850-1250 m above sea level, occupying an area of ​​236 thousand hectares. They are characterized mainly by a low content of humus (up to 2%, for solonchak-alkaline soils 2.6%). Varieties of semi-desert soils are brown semi-desert soils (occupy 152 thousand hectares, distributed in the lowlands of the Ararat foothills), irrigated brown meadow soils (53 thousand hectares on the Ararat plain at altitudes of 800-950 m), paleohydromorphic (about 2 thousand hectares in area adjacent to Yerevan), hydromorphic solonchak-alkaline soils (53 thousand hectares on the Ararat plain).
Steppe soils occupy an area of ​​797 thousand hectares at altitudes of 1300–2450 m. They are represented by chernozem (718 thousand Lori, Shirak and the Sevan basin), floodplain (48 thousand hectares in the river valleys and in areas freed up as a result of the fall of the Sevan level) soils and soils (18 thousand hectares on the coast of Sevan freed from water). Chernozems and meadow-chernozems are characterized by a relatively high content of humus (3.5–12% and 10–13%, respectively). The content of humus in floodplain soils and soils is low or very low (2–4% and 0.3–0.5%, respectively).
Dry steppe soils are represented by chestnut soils. They are located on the dry foothills of the Ararat valley, Vayots Dzor region, Syunik region at altitudes of 1250-1950 m; occupy an area of ​​242 thousand hectares. They are characterized by an average content of humus (2-4%), rockiness, unfavorable water-physical properties.
Forest soils occupy an area of ​​712 thousand ha at altitudes of 500–2400 m and are characterized by a significant content of humus (4–11%). Represented by forest brown (133 thousand ha on slopes 1800–2250 m high), brown (564 thousand ha on ridges 500–1700 m high, and on sunny slopes up to a height of 2400 m, in Gugark, Pambak, Syunik) and soddy carbonate ( 15 thousand hectares on the slopes of Gugark, Ahum, Bargushat) with soils.
Mountain-meadow soils occupy an area of ​​629,000 ha at altitudes of 2,200-4,000 m. They are distributed in the mountains throughout almost all of Armenia (with the exception of Shirak). They are subdivided into mountain meadow soils proper (346 thousand ha at altitudes of 2200–2600 m) and meadow-steppe soils (283 thousand ha at altitudes of 1800–2600 m). They are characterized by high humus content (13–20% and 8–13% for mountain-meadow and meadow-steppe, respectively).


Recreational resources

The Republic of Armenia has rich recreational resources, and in case of appropriate investments, it is possible to create a diversified highly developed system of the recreational industry and international tourism, which, in terms of socio-economic and environmental parameters, can become one of the main directions of the Armenian economy.



The bowels of Armenia are rich in ore minerals. Deposits of nonferrous and ferrous ores, rock salt, bentonite and refractory clays, perlite, diatomites, calcareous and volcanic tuffs, pumice, granites, marble, and others are of industrial importance. Industrial accumulations of semi-precious and ornamental stones were found: agate, amethyst, turquoise, jasper, obsidian.

Reserves of ores and metals are approved for 20 deposits: 3 - copper, 6 - molybdenum, 5 - polymetallic (lead, zinc, etc.), four - gold, 2 - iron and recently discovered - uranium. Most of the deposits are complex ores - copper-molybdenum or gold-polymetallic.


Water resources

On the territory of Armenia there are about 9480 small and large rivers, of which 379 have a length of 10 km or more. The total length of the rivers is approximately 23 thousand km. The main river of Armenia is the Araks with its tributary Hrazdan.

There are over 100 lakes in Armenia, the largest of which is Lake Sevan, located at an altitude of 1900 m above sea level - an important fishing region of the republic and the largest source of fresh water in the entire Transcaucasia.

Despite this, there is a shortage of water resources in the country as a whole, which is partly solved through the use of reservoirs and groundwater. There are 74 reservoirs in Armenia with a total volume of 988 million m³; the largest of them is Akhuryanskoye, with a volume of 525 million m³. Approximately 96% of the water used for drinking needs comes from underground sources.


Environmental problems

In the country over the past 30 years, under the influence of erosion and landslides, 140 thousand hectares of arable land and 300 thousand hectares of hayfields and pastures have been taken out of agricultural circulation; Of the 114 thousand hectares of eroded lands to be reclaimed, about 3.5% has been restored. The share of the territory covered with forests decreased from 11.2% to 8-9%. The state of the air environment also inspires concern. The air condition has especially deteriorated in Yerevan, Alaverdi, Vanadzor and Hrazdan.

In connection with the construction of the HPP cascade on the Hrazdan River and the use of water resources for land irrigation, the water level in Lake Sevan is lowering, which leads to a change in the regime of surface and ground waters and a violation of biodiversity.

In March 2011, American experts compiled a rating for 163 countries on the state of ecology, where Armenia ranked 76th, Georgia - 59th, and Azerbaijan - 84th place.



The territory of the Republic of Armenia is completely located in the third geographical time zone, but the time of the fourth time zone, UTC + 4, is applied (during the whole year). The use of official time is regulated by the law “On the Procedure for Calculating Time on the Territory of the Republic of Armenia”, adopted on December 5, 1997.


Animal and plant world


About 3500 plant species from 150 families are known on the territory of Armenia.

Broad-leaved forests dominated by oak and beech are widespread in the north-east of the country, more xerophilic oak forests are in the south-east. The plain parts of Armenia are characterized by steppe vegetation: feather grass steppes are typical, along with feather grass there are fescue, thin-legged, couch grass. Shrubs grow on rocky and stony soils - almonds, hold a tree, astragalus, chistets, thyme, sage and others.

In Armenia, there is the largest plane tree grove in the CIS, in which the Eastern plane tree (Platanus orientalis) grows. The grove is located in the Syunik region, in the valley of the Tsav River, within the Shikahogh Reserve. It stretches along the river for about 15 km, covering an area of ​​about 120 hectares.



The fauna of Armenia includes 76 species of mammals, 304 species of birds, 44 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians, 24 species of fish and about 10,000 species of invertebrates. In the northern part of the country there are bears (including silver Iranian bears), lynxes, wild boars, deer, forest and reed cats. In the mountain steppes there are wolves, badgers, foxes, hares, moufflons, bezoar goats. Numerous rodents also live in the steppes and semi-deserts - voles, ground squirrels, gerbils, mole rats, jerboas; of reptiles - Caucasian agama, Greek tortoise, gyurza, Armenian viper. Trout, whitefish and other types of fish are found in Lake Sevan. Raccoon dogs are acclimatized in Armenia.


Protection of Nature

As of 2011, 452 plant species, 40 mushroom species, 308 animal species (including 153 vertebrate and 155 invertebrate species) are included in the Red Book of Armenia.

There are about 108 endemic plant species and 339 endemic animals in the country. Relatively more endemics are observed in the eastern and southern parts of Armenia. Of the total number of animal species found in Armenia, 7% are endemic. Among fish species, 30% are endemic, among reptile species - 12%. Among the endemics, the Sevan trout, or Ishkhan, is of commercial importance.



The history of development

In Soviet times, industry began to develop in Armenia: Armenia supplied machine tools and equipment, textile and other industrial products to the domestic market of the USSR in exchange for supplies of raw materials and electricity. Agriculture developed on the basis of large agro-industrial complexes.

The Karabakh conflict, the severing of intra-union economic ties, and the closure of the Turkish-Armenian border led to a serious economic downturn in the early 1990s. Many plants and factories stopped due to the lack of raw materials and energy resources, agriculture returned back to the small-scale economy. After gaining independence, a number of market reforms were implemented in Armenia, including privatization, pricing reform and the transition to a frugal fiscal policy, but geographic isolation, limited export resources and monopolization of the main economic sectors made Armenia particularly sensitive to the crisis in the global economy and economic downturn in Russia. In 1994, the Armenian government initiated an IMF-supported economic liberalization program that reduced inflation, stabilized its currency, and privatized most small and medium enterprises.

In the mid-2000s, the annual growth of the Armenian economy exceeded 10% for several years, but in 2009, due to the global financial crisis, Armenia experienced a sharp economic downturn, GDP fell by more than 14%, despite large loans from international organizations. The main causes of the crisis were a sharp contraction in the construction sector and a decrease in cash receipts from workers who left to work abroad. In 2010, some revival of the economy began.


Structure and key indicators

Armenia is an industrial-agrarian country. The structure of GDP accounts for: agriculture - 31.1%, industry - 21.8%, trade - 8.7%, construction - 8.5%, transport - 5.1%, other areas - 24.9%. Leading industries: mechanical engineering and metalworking, chemical and petrochemical, non-ferrous metallurgy, production of building materials (including those based on deposits of colored tuffs, perlites, limestones, granites and marbles), food, light.

The country has significant reserves of copper-molybdenum and polymetallic ores, bauxites, building stone, mineral waters, deposits of precious metals (gold), semi-precious and ornamental stones.

The structure of GDP, according to the US CIA, in 2014 had the following form: services - 46.6%, industry - 31.5%, agriculture - 21.9%.

Armenia joined the WTO in 2003. Since 2015, Armenia has been a member of the Eurasian Economic Union.

In the economy of Armenia, 5 economic regions are distinguished, differing in natural and economic-geographical conditions and industrial specialization:

Ararat (electricity, engineering, chemical industry, production of building materials, agriculture),
Shirak (textile industry, mechanical engineering; animal husbandry),
Pridebedsky (copper industry, chemical industry; agriculture, engineering),
Sevan-Agstevsky (electricity, livestock, grain and tobacco),
Syunik (mining, agriculture, hydroelectric power and engineering).

The main industrial center of Armenia is Yerevan, followed by Gyumri and Vanadzor.

In the December 2014 Forbes ranking of “best countries to do business”, Armenia was ranked 56th in the world. As of June 2015, the country ranks 35th in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking. According to the Canadian Fraser Institute's Global Economic Freedom Index published in 2016, Armenia ranks 18th in the world in terms of economic freedom.

In 2020, Armenia ranked 81st in the UN Human Development Index and was included in the group of countries with a high level of development. In the same year, the country was ranked 32nd in the world in the Economic Freedom Index.

In 2014, Armenia ranked 94th out of 175 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index, ahead of neighboring Azerbaijan (126th) and Iran (136th) and lagging behind neighboring Turkey (64th) and Georgia ( 50th place).

Raw copper, molybdenum and other non-ferrous metals account for the largest share in the value of export deliveries from Armenia. A serious imbalance in foreign trade, caused by economic isolation from neighboring countries - Turkey and Azerbaijan, is offset by some international assistance (including from the Armenian diaspora), remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. Despite significant economic growth, the unemployment rate remains high.



The monetary unit of Armenia is the dram, which is equal to 100 lumas. Dram has been in circulation since November 22, 1993. Before the introduction of the dram into circulation, Soviet rubles were used, subsequently exchanged at the rate of 200 rubles. for 1 AMD In monetary circulation there are coins in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 drams, as well as banknotes in denominations of 1000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 drams. The design of all modern banknotes was developed by the English company Thomas de la Rue. The design of banknotes of the 1993-1995 sample was developed by the German company Giesecke & Devrient. Coins of the 1994 sample (except for 10 drams) and banknotes of the 1993-1995 sample are not currently used.



According to the official data of the Armenian Statistical Service for 2020, 27% of the population lives below the poverty line. Of these, 51.1% live in rural areas, 48.9% of the population lives in cities (21% in Yerevan). Moreover, 1.2% of the rural population lives in extreme poverty. Tens of thousands of people from Armenia regularly go to work as guest workers, mainly to Russia (since there is a visa-free regime and Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Union), and some of them subsequently settle there with their families, receiving local citizenship

Meanwhile, the level of poverty of the population, until recently, was slowly declining, and this was noted even by international observers. The subsequent COVID-19 pandemic again accelerated the growth of the country's slow reduction of poverty, which had just begun, and the same World Bank predicted a decrease in the already slow pace of poverty reduction and the risks of a financial and economic recession.



Modern industry in Armenia was created during the Soviet era, when the country supplied machine tools and equipment, textile and other industrial products to the domestic market of the Soviet Union in exchange for supplies of raw materials and electricity. As mentioned above, in the 90s of the last century there was a serious decline due to many negative factors, and most industries did not work due to lack of resources. After the adoption of measures to save the economy in 1994, the industry gradually began to recover but never reached the scale of the Soviet period. Every year, since 2001, the region's largest universal trade and industrial exhibition forum Armenia EXPO has been held in Armenia.


Manufacturing industry

After 1953, the government of the USSR directed Armenia towards the development of the chemical industry, non-ferrous metallurgy, metalworking, mechanical engineering, the textile industry, the production of building materials, as well as the production of wines, brandy and cognacs. Later, precision instrumentation, the production of synthetic rubber and plastics, chemical fibers and electrical appliances were added to this list. In terms of the volume of electrical products produced, Armenia ranked third among the Union Republics of the USSR, and in terms of the volume of machine tool production, it ranked fifth. However, the most important industry was the chemical industry, which produced mineral fertilizers, synthetic stones for the production of tools and watches, and fiberglass (based on the processing of local tuffs and basalts).

As of 2015, Armenia leads among the EAEU countries in terms of industrial production growth. Thus, in instrumentation, growth was 140.9%, in chemistry and pharmaceuticals - 116.3%, metallurgy - 107.6%, food industry - 118.6%, light industry - 103.3%.


Mining industry

The share of the mining industry in Armenia's gross output is approximately 5% (1990s). Armenia produces refined copper, primary aluminum (based on imported alumina), rolled aluminum and foil, molybdenum, zinc, lead, barite in concentrates, gold, silver, tellurium, selenium, rhenium (in sludge and concentrates), copper sulphate, sulfuric acid and other.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Armenian government enacted a new law regulating the exploration and development of mineral deposits. This law is known as the Mining Code and has been in existence since 1992. It was developed with the participation of specialists from the European Union and is based on the "Western" model of such acts. It sets out the procedures for acquiring licenses, the rights and obligations of their owners, which contribute to attracting foreign investment. In addition, at the beginning of the 21st century, two large projects were developed and are being used in the republic - "Remet" and "Molybdenum", which provide for the creation of a scientific and industrial base for the metallurgical processing of copper, molybdenum, gold-bearing, polymetallic concentrates with the production of high-purity metals.



Many energy facilities in Armenia are Russian-owned and/or under Russian management. The gas transmission and distribution systems operated by Gazprom Armenia are owned by Gazprom. The Hrazdan TPP is also owned by Gazprom, and the Sevan-Hrazdan HPP cascade is owned by RusHydro. In 2002, the power distribution networks were privatized and in 2015 they became the property of the Tashir group of the Russian billionaire of Armenian origin S. Karapetyan.

Nuclear power
In 1977-1979, a nuclear power plant with two power units was built in Metsamor near Yerevan. The Armenian nuclear power plant was shut down shortly after the Spitak earthquake for fear that aftershocks would lead to catastrophic consequences. In connection with the energy crisis, the nuclear power plant was put back into operation in 1996.

Hydroelectric power station
In 1962, the construction of the Sevan-Hrazdan irrigation complex and the cascade of hydroelectric power stations, which began in 1937, was completed. Six hydroelectric power stations were built on the Hrazdan River and many irrigation canals and reservoirs, and tunnels were laid in the mountains to discharge river waters into Lake Sevan in order to replenish its water reserves. As a result, part of the electricity generated in the republic was exported to Georgia and Azerbaijan in exchange for natural gas. Gas-fired power plants were built in Yerevan, Hrazdan and Vanadzor. In 1970, they provided more energy than hydroelectric power plants.



Gross agricultural product in 2014 amounted to 993.4 billion drams, of which 605.7 billion - the share of crop production, 387.64 billion - the share of livestock.

According to official data, the level of self-sufficiency of the most important foodstuffs in the country is about 60%. According to 2013 data, the level of self-sufficiency of food products: wheat - 46.8%, sugar - 92.6%, potatoes - 102.5%, vegetables and fruits - more than 99%, eggs - 96.3%, beef - 86.2 %, pork - 46.3%, lamb and goat meat - 100%, chicken - 19.8%, milk - 85%, etc.

About 46.8% of the territory of Armenia is suitable for agriculture. Ararat plain, Shirak plain and other lands are used. Cotton, grapes, almonds, olives, cereals, and vegetables are grown. Pastures and hayfields occupy about 28% of the entire territory. In 2014, about 74% of the country's agricultural land was cultivated.

Crop production
It is known that Armenia is one of the oldest centers of grape culture, and the oldest winery in the world was also found on the territory of Armenia.

Armenian grapes have a high sugar content, delicate aroma and delicate taste. Some table varieties are classified as the best in the world assortment, while others are highly valued as raw materials for the production of strong dessert wines and cognacs. Particularly noteworthy are cognac varieties, which are almost unparalleled. Vineyards in Armenia are found at an altitude of 1400 m, where they bear excellent fruit.

Fruit growing is inferior to viticulture both in terms of its place in the gross agricultural output, and in terms of marketability and industrial significance. Stone fruits are more common than others (about 2/3 of all fruit trees in the republic), especially apricots and peaches, then plums and cherry plums, cherries and cherries, goof, dogwood, and from pome fruits - apples, pears and quince. The proportion of walnuts, hazelnuts, and subtropical figs, pomegranates, and almonds is insignificant. Some Armenian varieties of apricots, peaches, walnuts, quince are superior in quality to the best varieties in the world or equal to them.


Animal husbandry

At the same time, land-poor Armenia is distinguished by the richness of natural fodder lands. Pastures and hayfields occupy about 28% of its entire territory. The leading livestock sectors of the country are cattle breeding and sheep breeding.

Cattle breeding is developed, first of all, on the Lori plateau, which is also considered the traditional center of breeding cattle, then in Shirak, in some districts of the Ararat plain, the Sevan basin and Zangezur.

Among the successes of cattle breeding, one can note the successful breeding of a new breed of cows - the Caucasian Brown. Cows of this breed are well adapted to the most diverse natural and forage conditions in almost all regions of the republic and are characterized by fairly high productivity.

Sheep breeding in the republic has favorable conditions for successful development. Small cattle are more adapted to grazing. It is developed on the steep slopes and rugged surfaces of high mountainous regions where alpine pastures lie, namely in the Arna basin, in Zangezur, in the Sevan basin, on the western slopes of Aragats. In a number of other mountainous regions, sheep breeding develops in parallel with cattle breeding.


In the ponds of Armenia with emersed vegetation and soft bottom soil, carp, silver carp and grass carp are bred. In narrow ponds with concrete walls and bottoms, the main types of fish bred for sale are: rainbow trout, brook trout, Sevan trout, Siberian sturgeon. Recreational fishing is allowed in all water bodies, except for those located in protected areas.

The main fish resources of Armenia are concentrated in Lake Sevan, however, due to the overuse of fish resources during the years of perestroika, they have drastically decreased. At the moment, commercial fishing in Sevan is prohibited for a period of 3 years. The main types of fish living in Armenia are: Sevan trout, whitefish, Sevan khramulya, carp.

Many birds and animals have been hunted in Armenia for a long time, including quail, rock partridge, mallard, rock dove, foxes, wolves (hunting them is now even rewarded), deer, wild boars, mouflons. The populations of many game species have declined drastically, and hunting of many of these mammals is now prohibited. Snakes, including the Armenian viper and Gyurza, are collected and used in folk medicine.



The main tourist centers are Tsaghkadzor, Jermuk, Arzni and Dilijan, etc. The cities of Kajaran, Sisian, Meghri are known for their mineral springs, similar in composition to the springs in Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. The Geghard monastery complex, the pagan temple of Garni, Noravank, Lake Sevan, the ruins of the Zvartnots temple, the Amberd fortress and Matenadaran are also very popular among tourists.

According to the Ministry of Economy, in 2015 there were 186 registered hotels in Armenia, as well as 337 hotel facilities - hotels, motels, sanatoriums, hostels, boarding houses, rest houses and tourist camps. 1.9 million tourists visited Armenia in 2019


Sights of Armenia

Armenia is a country rich in cultural and natural monuments, which is why it is called “an open-air museum”. There are over 4 thousand unique monuments in Armenia. Among them are monuments of the pre-Christian era: the ruins of the Urartian Erebuni, Teishebaini, the ancient Armenian capitals of Armavir, Artashat, the Hellenistic temple of Helios Garni and others.

Armenia is especially rich in monuments related to Christian architecture. These are the cathedral in Vagharshapat, the monasteries of Noravank, Geghard, Khor Virap, Goshavank, Sevanavank, the ruins of the ancient church of Zvartnots, the cemetery of khachkars in Noraduz and many others. Among the natural monuments, one can note the unique Lake Sevan, the waterfall in Jermuk, the Parz and Kari lakes, the cliffs of Khndzoresk, as well as the most beautiful and diverse mountain landscape of the country.


State structure

Fundamentals of the state system
Armenia is a unitary republic.

The main institutions of Armenian statehood were formed in the first years of the country's independent development.


The president

The nominal head of state is the president, currently Vahagn Khachaturian.

The president is elected by the country's parliament for a term of 7 years. The same person cannot hold the presidency for more than one term.

The President of the Republic, after the beginning of the term of office of the newly elected National Assembly, appoints the candidate represented by the parliamentary majority as Prime Minister. In other cases, the President of the Republic shall immediately appoint as Prime Minister the candidate elected by the National Assembly.


Executive branch

The President, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, appoints the members of the government and dismisses them from office.

According to the law adopted in May 2019, the government consists of the prime minister, 2 vice-premiers and 12 ministers.

The law provides for the activities of the following ministries:
the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs;
Ministry of Health care;
the Ministry of Justice;
Ministry of Defence;
Ministry of Emergency Situations;
Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports;
the Ministry of the Environment;
Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures;
Ministry of Industry and High Technologies;
Ministry of Economics;
Ministry of Finance.



The highest legislative body is the National Assembly. The National Assembly is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. A citizen of the Republic of Armenia, at least 25 years of age, who has permanently resided on its territory for at least three years prior to election day, can become a deputy.


Judicial branch

The highest judicial instance of the Republic of Armenia, except for issues of constitutional justice, is the Court of Cassation, which is called upon to ensure the uniform application of the law. Constitutional justice in the Republic of Armenia is exercised by the Constitutional Court. The independence of the courts is guaranteed by the constitution and laws. The Council of Justice is formed and operates in accordance with the procedure established by the constitution and law.


Administrative-territorial division

Armenia is a unitary state, which is subdivided into 10 regions (marzes) and the city of Yerevan.

The regions are made up of urban and rural communities. Some communities are enlarged and include several settlements. Regional leaders are appointed and dismissed by the government. Local self-government is carried out in communities by councils of elders and community leaders (city mayor, village headman), elected for three years. The Mayor of Yerevan is elected by the Council of Elders of Yerevan.

As of 2007, there were 915 villages, 49 cities and 932 communities in the republic, of which 866 were rural.


Army and security services of Armenia


The armed forces of Armenia include four types of troops - ground forces, air force, air defense forces and border troops. The Armed Forces of Armenia were formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and with the establishment of the Ministry of Defense in 1992. The Armed Forces of Armenia are subordinate to the Government of the country. Minister of Defense - Vagharshak Harutyunyan. Chief of the General Staff - Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan. According to 2011 data, 48,570 people are in service.

Armenian units (border, including contract military personnel, police troops) guard from the border with Georgia and Azerbaijan, while Russian troops continue to control the Armenian borders with Iran and Turkey. Since 1992, Armenia has been a member of the CSTO. In 2017, an agreement was ratified with Russia on the creation of the Joint Group of Forces, which will cover the land part of the border between Russia and Armenia and protect borders in the airspace. The treaty provides for the creation of a joint air defense (AD) system.

Armenia is a party to the CFE Treaty, which sets limits on the main types of conventional weapons, such as tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, combat aircraft and helicopters, and provides for a reduction in the number of troops to the number stipulated in the agreement. The Armenian authorities, according to the terms of the agreement, comply with the restrictions.

In 2019, the military budget of Armenia will amount to $ 647 million.

At the moment, Armenia is participating in a peacekeeping mission in Syria and Kosovo. Also, Armenian peacekeepers participate in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and in 2005-2008 they were in Iraq.

Men who have reached the age of 18 are called up for military service for a period of 2 years. Contract servicemen also serve in the army.

Since 2016, the National Defense Research University has been operating under the Ministry of Defense.


Domestic politics

Democracy building

In 2018, the British magazine "The Economist" recognized Armenia as the country of the year for achievements in building democracy. Being classified on the Democracy Index as a hybrid regime, it has achieved the largest improvement in its performance in the region. In a similar study for 2019, Armenia moved up another 17 positions and took a leading position in the region and in the EAEU.

According to V-Dem, an independent Swedish institute for the study of democracy, as of 2021, Armenia is the most democratic country in the South Caucasus, ranking 54 out of 179 countries in the world democracy ranking published by the organization in 2022. Among the former Soviet republics, only the Baltic countries and Moldova outstripped Armenia in this rating.


Fight against corruption

In the annual publication "Corruption Perceptions Index" for 2019 among the countries of the CIS and the region, Armenia made the biggest breakthrough over the year - from 35 to 42 points, rising from 105th position to 77th.


Human rights

According to Freedom House, the human rights situation in Armenia is generally better than in most countries of the post-Soviet space, but has significant problems, and is somewhat similar to the situation in Georgia. According to the same organization, Armenia belongs to the so-called "partially free" countries.


Foreign policy

As of September 2011, the Republic of Armenia maintains diplomatic relations with 149 UN member states. There are 26 embassies in the capital Yerevan.

Armenia, together with some other former Soviet republics, is part of the CSTO - a military-political union created on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty, as well as the CIS Joint Air Defense System.

In October 2014, Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union.



According to K. Zatulin, "Armenia is the only official military-political and economic ally of Russia in the Caucasus."

The 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri is located on the territory of Armenia, carrying out combat duty as part of the Joint Air Defense System of the CIS countries.

Trade turnover with Russia amounted to 20.8% of the foreign trade of the republic (2010). Russia is one of the main investors in the Armenian economy: the total volume of Russian investments exceeded $240 million.

Many large Armenian enterprises are owned by Russian companies. Gas monopoly "Gazprom Armenia" is wholly owned by the Russian "Gazprom". The Russian Federation owns the Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant, which supplies electricity not only to Armenia, but also to Iran and Georgia. The power plant, along with several other Armenian enterprises, was transferred to Russia in 2002 to pay off the state debt of Armenia.



Armenia and Azerbaijan are negotiating the status of Nagorno-Karabakh within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. It is often repeated in Baku that if the negotiations fail, Azerbaijan is ready to return the uncontrolled territories by military means.

On November 2, 2008, the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia signed a declaration concerning the Karabakh conflict. The leaders of the three states agreed to work together to improve the situation in the Caucasus.

Azerbaijan's foreign policy is aimed at removing Armenia from regional projects. In 2006, in an interview with the Arabic-language Al Jazeera TV channel, I. Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan was and would continue to pursue a policy aimed at driving Armenia into an energy and transport impasse until it regained its control over Nagorno-Karabakh.



Greece was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Armenia on September 21, 1991, and one of those that officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. Armenia also recognizes the Greek Genocide. Relations between Armenia and Greece are very close due to cultural, historical and political ties. Greece is the second military partner of Armenia after Russia and the closest ally in NATO.



Cyprus was a supporter of Armenia in its struggle for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, economic stability and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, with respect for the will of the NKR population. Armenia, on the other hand, stands for a united Cyprus after the Turkish invasion in 1974 and supports a peaceful solution to the Cyprus conflict. Cyprus also openly supports the European integration of Armenia. Today, relations between Armenia and Cyprus include cooperation in the areas of trade, military, intelligence services, foreign policy and culture.



Since Armenia's border with Turkey and Azerbaijan is closed and Armenia has no access to the sea, Georgia plays a crucial role for Armenia in terms of exports and imports of various products and goods. There is a railway between Armenia and Georgia. Armenia exports electricity to Georgia. In 2009, Armenia ranked 4th in terms of imports of Georgian goods (7.9% of total exports).


European Union

Armenia has declared its intentions regarding European integration and has even declared joining the EU as a long-term goal. Armenia has been participating in the European Neighborhood Policy since 2004, and in the Eastern Partnership since its inception in 2009.

Armenia has signed a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU, which is expected to be ratified in 2020.

On the border of Iran and Armenia, there is an automobile crossing Karchevan, which has been actively operating since the early 1990s. There are projects and agreements on the construction of a railway between the two countries.

In May 2004, the main contract for the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline was signed. The grand opening of the gas pipeline took place on March 19, 2007 in the presence of the Presidents of Armenia R. Kocharian and Iran M. Ahmadinejad.

Diplomatic relations were established in 1996. As of 2014, Armenian exports to China amounted to $171 million, and imports - $417 million. China ranks 2nd in Armenia's foreign trade (11.7%).

The United States of America recognized the independence of Armenia on December 25, 1991 and opened an embassy in Yerevan in February 1992. Even before Armenia gained independence in 1991, the US Armenian lobby represented the interests of Armenia.

Turkey officially recognized the independence of Armenia on December 24, 1991, but still refuses to establish diplomatic relations with it. Relations between Armenia and Turkey are complicated by Armenia's demands and Turkey's refusal to recognize the 1915 Ottoman Armenian genocide. During the Karabakh conflict, Turkey announced a blockade of the Armenian-Turkish border, which is officially explained by the participation of Armenian troops in the Karabakh war. As a result, trade and economic relations between the two states are difficult and unofficial.

On September 6, 2008, Turkish President A. Gul paid a visit to Armenia. On October 10, 2009, Turkish and Armenian Foreign Ministers A. Davutoglu and E. Nalbandyan signed in Zurich (Switzerland) the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations"; The documents provide for the creation of a joint commission of "independent historians" to study the issue of the 1915 Armenian genocide. On October 11 of the same year, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry criticized Turkey for signing agreements without resolving the Karabakh conflict.

In March 2022, Armenia announced its readiness to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey.

Pakistan does not recognize Armenia. High-ranking Pakistani officials explain this with Azerbaijan's support in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.



In terms of population, Armenia, according to some estimates, ranks 135th. Population censuses note the declining population of the country and a very homogeneous ethnic composition; Armenia is the only country of the former USSR with a practically mono-ethnic population (98.11% of which are Armenians). An important factor influencing the dynamics of the country's population is emigration, primarily to Russia. In 2001, the first population census since independence in 1991 was conducted in Armenia, according to which the permanent population of the country was 3,213,011 people. The resident population as of mid-2010 was estimated by the UN to be 3,092,000.

The population of Armenia, according to the results of the census on October 12, 2011, amounted to 2,871,771 people of the actual population (accounted for by the census on the territory of Armenia without temporarily leaving the country, a decrease of 130,823 people was noted compared to the 2001 census) or 3,018,854 of the permanent population ( including those temporarily absent from the country, there was a decrease in the resident population of 194,157 compared to the 2001 census). According to official data, as of January 1, 2016, the permanent population was 2,998,600 people.



The country is highly urbanized (63.35%), but the share of the urban population is declining: the decline in the urban population in the 2001-2011 intercensal period was −7.5%; over the same period, the decline in the rural population was -3.4%. In total, as of 2013, there were 49 cities in the republic, the largest of which is the capital of Armenia Yerevan (1,061,000 people), and the smallest is Dastakert with a population of 300 people.



The state language of Armenia is Armenian. The Armenian language is one of the Indo-European languages ​​and stands out there as a separate branch[206]. It is one of the ancient written languages; the Armenian alphabet was created by M. Mashtots in 405.

In 2019, "Armenian type art and its cultural manifestations" are included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In the country, in addition to the Armenian (more precisely, Eastern Armenian) language, Russian is widespread (it is spoken by about 70% of the population) and English, as well as Kurdish as the language of the largest national minority.

The Russian language functions in an informative role: the newspapers Republic of Armenia, Golos Armenii, etc. are published in it. The Russian language continues to have a humanitarian function: it is necessary for reading literature in Russian, including professional, which reflects its importance as a translator scientific and special knowledge, and also gives the opportunity to familiarize with Russian culture.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia approved the regulation on the functioning of schools with in-depth teaching of the Russian language. There are more than 60 such schools in Armenia. The country also has 40 general education and 3 private schools that have Russian classes. In all such classes, teaching is carried out according to the programs and textbooks of the Russian Federation. In ordinary schools, the Russian language is taught at school from the second to the eleventh grades, while other foreign languages ​​are taught only from the fifth.



Religiously, the majority of the population of Armenia (almost 93% according to the 2011 census) are Christians belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The fundamentals of the doctrine of the Armenian Apostolic Church are taught in the schools of Armenia. Article 18 of the first chapter of the current Constitution of Armenia proclaims: "The Republic of Armenia recognizes the exclusive mission of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church as a national church in the spiritual life of the Armenian people, in the development of their national culture and the preservation of their national identity." In Yerevan there is the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator, which, along with the Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi, is the largest in Transcaucasia.

There is a small community of the Armenian Catholic Church (36 parishes), whose followers are called "Franks" by the rest of the Armenians. There are also small communities of Orthodox Christians - Russians, Greeks, Ukrainians, etc., as well as a community of Russian Molokans.

Followers of Islam also live in Armenia - this religion is practiced by Kurds, Persians, Azerbaijanis and other peoples. However, due to the exodus of Azerbaijanis due to the Karabakh conflict, the Muslim community has declined. The Blue Mosque operates in Yerevan for Muslims.

More than 40 thousand Yezidis (1.3% of the population) also live in Armenia, who mainly practice Yezidism. On September 29, 2012, the Yazidi temple "Ziarat" was solemnly opened in the Armavir region of Armenia. This is the first temple built outside the original homeland of the Yezidis, Iraqi Kurdistan, designed to satisfy the spiritual beliefs of the Yezidis of Armenia.


Transport, infrastructure, communications

The total length of the Armenian railways, according to 2001 data, is 852 km. The roads are electrified and have a high capacity, but they need to be reconstructed. The Armenian railway operating on the territory of Armenia has connections with the Georgian (the only open connection), as well as with the Azerbaijani and Turkish railways, which are not used due to closed borders with these states. Thus, the railway communications of Armenia with foreign countries are provided only through the territory of Georgia.

The prospective Iran-Armenia railway will allow Armenia to use an alternative transportation route. According to various sources, the cost of building the Armenia-Iran railway may amount to $3-4 billion, the length will be about 300 km.

Automobile transport
The length of paved roads is 8.4 thousand km. A significant part of the roads is in a worn condition. In mountainous regions and in the provinces, they are often simply absent, all transportation is carried out along gravel and gravel roads, which are quite difficult to pass without the help of local residents.

In 2012, the construction of the North-South highway with a total length of 556 km began in Armenia. The cost of the project was estimated at about $ 2 billion. For 2019, less than half of the work has been completed.

According to the draft budget for 2020, three times more roads are planned to be built and repaired in Armenia than from 2015 to 2018.

Air Transport
In the conditions of the closed border with Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as the unstable situation on the Georgian-Russian border, air transport is actually the main type of international passenger traffic. Regular passenger air transportation is carried out through 2 airports - Zvartnots (Yerevan) and Shirak (Gyumri). The possibility of building an additional alternate airport was discussed.

Zvartnots International Airport is located 10 km west of Yerevan. It was built in 1961 as the "Western" airport, then in 1980 it was rebuilt and renamed "Zvartnots". In 1998, a new cargo terminal was opened, and in the summer of 2007, a new international passenger terminal. Flights to 70 cities of the world are made from here.

Shirak Airport is located 110 km north of Yerevan, 5 km from Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia, located in the northwestern part of the country, and has been operating since 1961. Regular passenger air transportation is carried out mainly by budget airlines Pobeda and Ryanair. The airport is convenient for residents of northern Armenia and Javakhetia (Georgia).

Erebuni Airport is located in Yerevan, 7 km south of the city. It is mainly used for military needs: the aircraft of the Armenian Air Force and the Russian Air Force are based here, which jointly carry out duty to protect the southern borders of the CSTO member countries. Private passenger charter flights to the CIS countries are made from the airport, as well as an irregular tourist helicopter service with the Stepanakert (Khojaly) airport located in Nagorno-Karabakh (de jure - on the territory of Azerbaijan; de facto - on the territory of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic).

The capitally restored, expanded and re-equipped airport in the city of Kapan in the Syunik region was scheduled to be put into operation in 2020. Flights from Yerevan will last about 45 minutes.

There are ropeways in Armenia in Yerevan, Tsaghkadzor (tourist center in the Kotayk region), Jermuk (tourist center in the Vayots Dzor region), Alaverdi (tourist center in the Lori region). In 2010, the world's longest cable car was built to the Tatev Monastery (tourist center in the Syunik region). There are also commercial ropeways, for example, near the city of Kajaran (serves the mining industry in the Syunik region).

Pipeline transport
A network of gas pipelines with a total length of 900 km has been laid in Armenia. At present, the international gas pipelines Armenia-Georgia and Armenia-Iran are in operation.

Mobile communication and Internet
Currently, there are 3 mobile operators in Armenia: Telecom Armenia CJSC (formerly VEON Armenia and Armentel, currently operating under the Beeline brand), Mobile TeleSystems (a subsidiary of K-Telecom ”, operating under the VivaCell MTC brand), “Ucom”.

As of 2019, according to a report by Freedom House, Armenia shares the 8th place with France in the list of countries with the freest internet.

The Internet is quite widespread throughout the country. According to 2015 data, the level of Internet penetration in Armenian households reaches 75%.

.am is the ccTLD for Armenia. A domain in the .am zone can be registered by anyone, both a resident and a non-resident of Armenia. Restrictions on registration of well-known brand domains have been lifted. According to the "DomainWire Global TLD Report" in 2016, the Armenian national domain is in the top three world leaders in terms of growth.



As the authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica notes, Armenia is one of the oldest centers of world civilization. Armenian culture has its roots in ancient times. On the territory of Armenia, there were repeatedly figurines, figurines, ornaments, crafts dating back to the 2nd-1st millennium BC. By the beginning - the middle of the 1st millennium BC. Armenian mythology is being formed, which has taken an exceptional role in the formation of Armenian culture, and from the VI century BC the development of pagan architecture begins. The dominion of the Macedonians and the era of Hellenism that followed it had its influence on culture.

One of the main roles in the development and preservation of Armenian culture and the strengthening of Armenian self-consciousness was played by the adoption by Armenia of Christianity in the first years of the 4th century and the creation of the Armenian alphabet in 406 by M. Mashtots. The general rise of Armenian culture covers the period up to the 7th century inclusive. The adoption of Christianity became the reason for the creation of one of the most important layers of Armenian culture - church architecture, and the creation of the alphabet marked the beginning of the development of Armenian literature. A huge number of fairy tales, songs, epics have been created. In the era of the Middle Ages, the art of sculptural relief, ornamental carving began to develop rapidly in Armenia, and the art of miniature reached a high level. The art of church architecture reached its peak. The subsequent significant development begins at the end of the 9th century, and it is connected with the restoration of the independent Armenian kingdom in 885, which marked the beginning of a new golden age in Armenian history. The period of cultural upsurge continued until the 13th century inclusive and is characterized by some authors as the Armenian Renaissance.



Until the 6th century, only the ancient Armenian calendar was used. According to tradition, the chronology according to the ancient Armenian calendar begins with the victory of the legendary progenitor of the Armenian people Hayk over the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC. In 584, a new church calendar was adopted. As the beginning of the era, the date corresponding to July 11, 552 of the European chronology appears in the ancient Armenian chronology.



In the III-I centuries BC the Armenians had special “priestly writings”, which were used to create temple books and annals. Of the pre-Christian Armenian authors, Olump, the author of the "Temple History", is known. The monuments of pre-Christian literature of Armenia were destroyed in the 4th century during the adoption of Christianity as a new state religion.

A century later, in the 5th century, a new Armenian literature arose, and classical ancient Armenian became the language of writing. Among the early medieval Armenian poets, the most famous are Stepanos Syunetsi, John Mandakuni (V century), Davtak Kertog, Komitas Akhtsetsi (VII century), Saakdukht, Khosrovidukht (VIII century), and others. Famous early medieval Armenian historians are Movses Khorenatsi, Lazar Parpetsi, Favstos Buzand , Yeghishe (V century), Sebeos (VII century), Ghevond (VIII century), Tovma Artsruni (IX century), Hovhannes Draskhanakertsi (X century), theologians - Yeznik Koghbatsi (V century), Vrtanes Kertog (VI century), John Mairavanetsi (VII century), Hovhannes Odznetsi (VIII century), Anania Narekatsi (X century). Since the 10th century, after the restoration of the Armenian kingdom, a new era of rebirth begins in Armenian culture.

At the beginning of the 11th century, the greatest medieval Armenian poet Grigor Narekatsi completed his lyrical-mystical poem "The Book of Lamentations". In the High Middle Ages, the secular poetic word continued to develop in the work of the 11th-12th century poets Hovhannes Imastaser, Nerses Lambronatsi, Nerses Shnorhali. In the 13th century, Frik, the founder of the poetry of social protest, and Kostandin Yerznkatsi, the initiator of love lyrics in Armenian literature, wrote in the Middle Armenian literary language. In the poetry of the authors of the XIV-XV centuries, Hovhannes Tulkurantsi, Mkrtich Nagash, love and social lyrics develop. The largest representatives of the genre of the poem are Khachatur Kecharetsi, Arakel Syunetsi, Arakel Bagishetsi, and others. Significant historical works by Stepanos Taronatsi, Aristakes Lastivertsi (XI century), Matthew of Edessa (XII century), Kirakos Gandzaketsi, Vardan Areveltsi (XIII century) and others were created. Fiction is also developing. In the XII century, Mkhitar Gosh created fables, in the XIII century - Vardan Aygektsi. In the Middle Ages, Armenian fables were collected in the collection Agvesagirk (Fox Book).


In the 16th-18th centuries, poetry developed in the works of such authors as Grigoris Akhtamartsi, Nerses Mokatsi, Nahapet Kuchak, Baghdasar Dpir, Petros Gapantsi, Nagash Hovnatan and the ashug poet Sayat-Nova. Historiography has been revived again. Historians Arakel Davrizhetsi, Zakaria Kanakertsi, Grigor Daranagetsi and others wrote. Classicism became the main trend in Armenian literature in the second half of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The beginning of the new Armenian literature and the victory of the new Armenian literary language was marked by the historical novel “The Wounds of Armenia” by Kh. Abovyan. Famous Armenian poets of the middle of the 19th century M. Peshiktashlyan, P. Duryan. In 1860, the work of G. Sundukyan and A. Paronyan, the Armenian realistic dramaturgy was born. During this period, the largest Armenian novelist Raffi began his creative activity. By the end of the 19th century, critical realism became the leading trend in Armenian literature. The genre of the novel reaches significant development. The greatest prose writers of the time were Nar-Dos, Muratsan, A. Arpiarnyan, V. Papazyan, G. Zohrab, A. Shirvanzade, and others. The work of O. Tumanyan and A. Isahakyan dates back to the end of the 19th—beginning of the 20th century. At the beginning of the century, the poet V. Teryan worked. At the same time, a new generation of poets appeared, among which the most famous are Siamanto, D. Varuzhan, M. Metsarents and R. Sevak.

The outstanding poet Charents began his literary activity in the mid-1910s. The most prominent representatives of the diverse Armenian prose of the 1920s-1930s were A. Bakunts, S. Zoryan and V. Totovents, D. Demirchyan entered a new phase of creative activity. In the post-war years, R. Kochar, G. Sevunts, H. Dashtents worked in the genre of the novel, and V. Ananyan worked in the genre of the story. Such authors as G. Emin, S. Kaputikyan, H. Shiraz, V. Davtyan, P. Sevak, S. Khanzadyan, A. Sagiyan, G. Hovhannisyan, A. Saginyan and others gained fame and continued their fruitful creative activity a few more decades. From 1950-1960, a new generation of writers entered the literary arena - G. Matevosyan, V. Petrosyan, R. Davoyan, A. Ayvazyan and others.

The history of ancient Armenian translated literature begins from the beginning of the 5th century. Its first rise covers the era from the 5th to the beginning of the 8th century, when the Bible, the works of Aristotle, Plato, Philo of Alexandria, Galen, Aesop, and dozens of other authors of ancient literature were translated into Armenian. Many Armenian translations are unique, since the originals of these works have been lost, and the texts have been partially or completely preserved only thanks to the Armenian translation. Translation literature developed later. So, in the 11th century, the "Beginnings" of Euclid were translated, in the 14th century the works of Thomas Aquinas, in the 17th century - the Koran, in the 17th-18th centuries a large number of monuments of European literature.



Ancient epic tales, myths, examples of epic poetry, novels have been preserved in the writings of ancient Armenian authors. Already in the 5th century, David Kertog undertook a poetic adaptation of the epic legend "Tigran and Azhdahak". Greco-Roman authors also transmit data on the ancient mythology of the Armenians, for example, Strabo in the 1st century reports that “The cult of Anaitida is of particular honor among the Armenians, who built sanctuaries in various places in honor of this goddess, including Akilisen.” The most ancient Armenian myths are about Hayk, Aram, Ara the Beautiful, Tork Angeh, Artavazd, Vahagn, Tigran and Azhdahak, Yervand and Yervaz, about vishaps. The main deity of the pre-Christian Armenian pantheon was Aramazd. Anahit occupied an important place in the Armenian pantheon. Fragments from the epic cycles "Persian War" and "Taron War" have been preserved in Armenian sources of the 5th-7th centuries. In the VIII-X centuries, the Armenian epic David of Sasun was formed, which tells about the struggle of the heroes from Sasun against the Arab invaders. The monument is included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In the 14th century, the epic legend Heroes of Kashta arose, telling about the national struggle against the troops of Tamerlane.



The earliest known examples of Armenian fresco painting date back to the middle of the 5th century, these are fragments of frescoes from the Poghos-Petros church in Yerevan and the Kasakh basilica. The following early examples belong mainly to the 7th century (Lmbatavank, Aruchavank, etc.) and testify to a stable tradition of interior painting. A fragment of the frescoes of the Tatev Monastery in Syunik, which has survived to this day, dates back to about 930, and fragments of frescoes with images of the halo of Christ in the apse, the figure of the seated Virgin, and an unknown saint (artist Yeghishe) in the Gndevank Monastery date back to 914.



Early medieval Armenian sculpture is represented by stone stelae, ornamental and narrative reliefs of the 4th-5th centuries. The earliest are the reliefs of the slabs of the arcosolium of the tomb of the Armenian Arshakids in Akhts, dating back to 364. The capital of the memorial column in Kasakh (around the 4th century) and 2 reliefs of the end of the 4th century on the facade of the cathedral of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral have been preserved. In general, early medieval Armenian sculpture is represented by three main schools - Ayrarat, Tashir and Syunik. In the 6th-7th centuries, a new flowering of sculptural art began (round sculpture and reliefs), distinguished by a wealth of decorative details, and stylistic trends were distinguished. The Zvartnots temple, built in 640-650, becomes a masterpiece of architecture and fine art of this era. Figured plot reliefs appear (in the churches of Ptghni, Mrena), high-relief images of ktitors (Sisian).

In the 5th-7th centuries, the art of khachkars begins to take shape - sculptural monuments, which are a stone stele with a carved image of a cross. Khachkar art reaches its highest development in the XII-XIII centuries. In total, there are several thousand khachkars on the territory of Armenia, each with its own unique pattern, although all patterns are usually designed in the same style.



In the history of the fine arts of medieval Armenia, the leading place was occupied by book miniatures - the earliest samples date back to the 6th-7th centuries. Of the approximately 30 thousand Armenian medieval manuscripts that have survived, about 10 thousand are illustrated, of which 5-7 thousand are full-fledged miniatures. A feature of the Armenian miniature is the variety of styles of various local schools - Cilicia, Gladzor, Tatev, Vaspurakan, etc. Among the early examples of Armenian miniature art are the “Gospel of Queen Mlke” (862), the Gospel (986), the “Echmiadzin Gospel” ( 989), “Mugni Gospel” (XI century), “Lviv Gospel” (XII century), etc. The miniature of the XIII-XIV centuries is distinguished by a special variety of styles and techniques, when a number of original local schools of Armenian miniature developed. Famous Armenian miniaturists of the Middle Ages Hovhannes Sandkhkavanetsi, Grigor Mlichetsi, Toros Roslin, Hovhannes Arkaehbair, Toros Taronatsi, Hakob Dzhugaetsi, etc.


Easel painting

Armenian easel painting was formed at the turn of the 17th-18th centuries. One of its first representatives, Nagash Hovnatan, became the founder of the Hovnatanian dynasty of artists. Among the famous representatives of the Armenian easel painting of the 18th century are Hovnatan Hovnatanyan, Hovhannes Mrkuz, Hovhannes Tiratsu, and others. At the beginning of the 18th century, the talented graphic artist Grigor Marzvanetsi worked. In the history of the development of the fine arts of Armenia, the accession of Eastern Armenia to Russia at the beginning of the 19th century was of great importance. In the first half - the middle of the 19th century, artists Hakob Hovnatanyan, Stepanos Nersisyan, Hovhannes Katanyan, and others worked. Since the 1880s, a new galaxy of professional artists has appeared. The largest of them are the landscape painter Gevork Bashinjaghyan, the master of historical and historical genre Vardges Surenyants, and others. At the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, Yeghishe Tatevosyan (story paintings, landscapes), Stepan Aghajanyan (portraits), Panos Terlemezyan, Zakar Zakaryan (still life), Emmanuil Magtesyan, Vardan Makhokhyan (landscape) and others worked. At the beginning of the 20th century, his creative activity begins Martiros Saryan. Graphics develops in the work of Arshak Fetfajyan and Vano Khodjabekyan. Already in 1916, the "Union of Armenian Artists" was founded in Tiflis through the efforts of Armenian artists. During this period, Armenian professional sculpture was formed - Andreas Ter-Marukyan (the author of the first monument in Armenia - the statue of Abovyan (1913), Hakob Gyurjyan.


Arts and Crafts

The applied art of medieval Armenia is represented by rich and diverse ceramics: glazed ceramics with painting and engraving, non-glazed ceramics with indented and relief ornaments, and painted faience vessels. The main centers of ceramic production were located in the cities of Ani and Dvin, which flourished until the 12th-13th centuries. Embroideries of the 14th century, metal art products, including chased silver gilded folds of the 13th-14th centuries, church items, silver and gold settings for handwritten books (for example, the setting of the Cilician Gospel of 1255) have been preserved. In Ani, during the excavations of the Gagikashen church, a copper lampadophore chandelier dating back to the 11th century was discovered. Highly artistic samples of woodcarving are known, the earliest examples of which date back to the 10th century. A separate place in this art is occupied by the wooden doors of churches (the door from Mush, 1134, the doors from the church of Arakelots on Lake Sevan, 1176, etc.).


Carpet weaving

The Armenian carpet is a term that defines pile and lint-free carpets that were woven by Armenians living both on the territory of the Armenian Highlands and beyond its borders from the pre-Christian period (until the 4th century AD) to the present day. Carpet weaving, being one of the types of Armenian arts and crafts, is inextricably linked with other types of Armenian arts and crafts, continuing the traditions of other types of national fine arts. Medieval authors preserved numerous information about Armenian carpets. Their main difference from Persian, Azerbaijani and other carpets is that stylized images of animals and people are used as ornamental motifs. Traditionally in Armenia, floors are covered with carpets, interior walls of houses, sofas, chests, seats and beds are covered. Numerous carpets with woven dating have been preserved, the earliest of which dates back to 1202. Developing from ancient times, carpet weaving in Armenia has been an integral part of life since ancient times, since almost every Armenian family was engaged in carpet weaving, despite the fact that "carpet weaving was everywhere an ancient female occupation of Armenians."



In the 1st millennium BC, in the era of a slave-owning society, the most ancient Armenian theater developed, associated with the cult of ancestors, singing the exploits of heroes, etc., the Armenian tragic theater of the zainarku-gusans and vokhbergaks arose. The ancient Armenian comedy theater is also associated with the cult of Gisane-Ara, with the celebration of the return of spring and bacchanalia in honor of the goddess of fertility “Anahit”, the actors of which were katakergaks and katak-gusans.

The theater of Armenia is one of the oldest theaters in the world of the European type, along with the Greek and Roman ones. In 69 BC in the capital of Greater Armenia - in Tigranakert - under the influence of Hellenistic traditions, an ancient Armenian theater arose. According to the Greek historian Plutarch, it was founded by King Tigran II the Great (95-55 BC) in the style of the Hellenistic amphitheaters in Syria. It is also known that the son of Tigranes, King Artavazd II (56-34 BC), who also wrote tragedies, created a theater of the Hellenistic type in the northern capital of Armenia, Artashat (which the Romans called the “Carthage of Armenia”). Starting from the 1st century BC numerous historical facts confirm the continuity of the existence of the Armenian professional theater, diverse in genres and types. For example, in Armavir, the capital of ancient Armenia, inscriptions in Greek were found with excerpts from the tragedies of Greek authors or, possibly, the Armenian king Artavazd II. There is evidence of theatrical performances also in the first centuries of the new era.

The Armenian theater continued its development after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion in the early years of the 4th century. The existence of theatrical art in Armenia is also reported by the authors of the 6th-7th centuries. The earliest surviving dramatic works (dramatic poem) date back to the 13th-14th centuries, the earliest surviving tragedy is 1668. The first Armenian amateur performances of the New Age date back to 1810-1820. In 1836, the Shermazanyan Darbas Armenian theater was founded in Tbilisi, the Aramyan Tatron Armenian professional theater operated in 1844-1866, and Armenian theaters were also founded in 1860-1870.


Music and dancing

In the III century BC the qualitative originality of Armenian music was already formed. In the works of ancient Armenian authors, individual samples of even pre-Christian Armenian musical creativity have been preserved. The history of pre-Christian Armenian music is primarily associated with the gusans, who in the Hellenistic era originally served in the temple of the ancient Armenian god Gisane.

At the beginning of IV, Armenian Christian music arises, which, along with Aramaic, Jewish, Cappadocian, underlies the general Christian musical culture. In the 5th century, Armenian hymnography was formed - the work of sharakans. At the turn of the 8th-9th centuries, the Armenian system of musical notation, khazy, was formed. Prior to this, the Armenians used the letters of the alphabet to record music. The theory of acoustics was developed in early medieval Armenia. In the 10th century, tags appeared - relatively voluminous monodies of spiritual and secular content. In the era of the High Middle Ages, the Armenian musical notation was improved. From the middle of the 16th century, the art of the Armenian ashugs began to take shape, among its first representatives Nagash Hovnatan, Baghdasar Dpir and Sayat-Nova. Already at the beginning of the 17th century, Khachgruz Kafaetsi compiled the first collection of Armenian folk songs.


Armenian classical music began to take shape in the 19th century. In 1861, Grigor Sinanyan organized a symphony orchestra - the Sinanyan Orchestra. In 1868, Tigran Chukhajyan created the opera "Arshak II" - the first Armenian national opera and the first opera in the musical history of the entire East. From the end of the 19th century in Armenian classical music, a new movement begins in the collection and processing of ancient folk songs by professional composers, the largest among whom was Komitas. Composers Makar Yekmalyan, Christopher Kara-Murza, Armen Tigranyan, and others worked at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. Alexander Spendiarov made an important contribution to the development of Armenian symphonic and operatic art.


Armenian musical instruments

Armenia is rich in folk musical instruments. Their history spans many centuries and millennia. One of the most ancient Armenian folk instruments is the duduk. In ancient Armenian sources, references to musical instruments have been preserved. For example, Favstos Buzand in the 5th century mentions instrumentalists playing drums, strings, knars and trumpets, the historian of the beginning of the 10th century Hovhannes Draskhanakertsi mentions a stringed instrument with a plectrum. Information in the field of instrumental music and Armenian musical instruments is very scarce, however, a description of some musical instruments and their names have come down to us. So, the wind group included: sring - a type of flute, ekhdzherapokh - horn, poh - copper pipe, percussion group included: tmbuk - drum, string group: bambirn - an instrument with a plectrum, pandir, knar - a type of lyre, jnar - a kind of knar, vin is a kind of knar. The music of the Armenian duduk has been recognized as a masterpiece of the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage.



In 2017, the traditional group dance "Kochari" was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.



From the VI century BC. pagan architecture developed in ancient Armenia, from the beginning of the 4th century BC. - Armenian Christian architecture. Xenophon in the 5th century BC e. reports that the dwellings of the ancient Armenians had towers. Plutarch calls Artashat "Armenian Carthage". The most significant monument of Armenian ancient architecture is the temple of Garni, built by the king of Great Armenia Trdat I in the 70s of AD.

Among the earliest examples of Armenian church architecture are the one-nave hall churches of Shirvandzhukh (5th century), the three-nave basilica churches - Kasakh (4th century), Yereruk (5th century), etc. Armenian architecture experienced a huge rise in the 7th century, when the church of St. . Hripsime, Talin Cathedral, Aruchavank, Mren, Mastara, Sisavan, etc. The Zvartnots temple, built between 641-661, is considered a masterpiece of Armenian architecture of the 7th century. The next rise of Armenian architecture dates back to the 10th century, the period of the development of the sovereign Armenian state. The churches of Tatev, (895-905), St. Cross in Akhtamar (915-921), Vaganavank (911), Gndevank (930), Sanahin (957-962), Haghpat (976-991), etc. The rise of Armenian architecture at the end of the 12th-13th centuries is associated with the liberation of Armenia by the Zakaryans . A number of new stone structures were created, including a ceiling on criss-cross arches. The most famous monuments of the time: Harichavank (1201), Makaravank (1205), Tegher (1213-1232), Dadivank (1214), Geghard (1215), Saghmosavank (1215-1235), Hovhannavank (1216), Gandzasar (1216-1238), Haghartsin (1281) and some others. Some monuments of Armenian architecture (Akhtamar, X century, Gandzasar, XIII century, etc.) are currently outside the Armenian state.

Tufa, the most common building material in Armenia, plays an important role in Armenian architecture, where one of the two largest deposits of tufa in the world (the other is in Italy) is located. Tuff blocks have been used in construction since ancient times.



Vishaps (veshaps, azhdahaks) are ancient mythological creatures, which were depicted as high stone sculptures, menhirs. Vishaps are common in the mythologies of the countries of the Armenian Highlands and Western Asia. The peoples inhabiting the Armenian Highlands in the II millennium BC. e. or earlier, they carved images of vishaps from stone and installed them near underground water sources. Over time, the mythological image of vishaps has undergone changes and in the mythologies of different peoples has become associated with evil spirits, dragons, etc., often retaining the original connection with water.

Winemaking and cognac production
Ancient manuscripts and folk tales prove that winemaking and viticulture in Armenia have been practiced since ancient times, somewhere from the 15th century BC. e. The mention that excellent wines were exported from the region to neighboring countries for sale can be found in the ancient Greek historians Herodotus, Xenophon, Strabo. The wines were of high quality, aged and varied. Armenia is a country with an ancient tradition of growing grapes.


Cognac production in Armenia was founded in 1887 by the merchant of the first guild Nerses Tairyan in Yerevan at the first winery built ten years earlier on the territory of the former Yerevan fortress. At the improved plant, 2 fire distillers were installed to smoke cognac spirit.

Armenian cognacs in the times of the former USSR took prizes, often first places, for which they gained fame in many countries of the world.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are 3 groups of objects included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in Armenia:
monasteries Haghpat and Sanahin;
the cathedral and churches of Etchmiadzin (including the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the Church of St. Hripsime and the Church of St. Gayane) and the archaeological site of Zvartnots;
Geghard Monastery and the upper reaches of the Azat River.


Scientific, educational and social spheres

The Republic of Armenia ensures the right to education regardless of nationality, race, sex, language, religion, political or other views, social origin, property status or other circumstances.


Development of Science in Armenia

The first evidence of human exploration of the surrounding reality on the territory of Armenia is found from the third millennium BC, these are the stone observatories of Karahunj (Zorats-kar) and Metsamor, cuneiform records, engineering structures of the Urartian period.

The catalyst for the development of scientific thought was the creation of an alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots at the beginning of the 5th century, which Armenians use to this day. Subsequently, numerous schools were opened throughout Armenia, literary works, treatises on history, philosophy, linguistics, works on the natural sciences, geography, astronomy, mathematics, etc. were written and translated. The most prominent representatives of the so-called “golden age of Armenia” are the historian Movses Khorenatsi (V century), philosopher David Anakht (VI century), geographer, astronomer and mathematician Anania Shirakatsi (VII century), grammarian Movses Kertog (VII-VIII century), writer and astronomer Hovhannes Imastaser (XI-XII century), healer Mkhitar Heratsi (XII century), writer and legislator Mkhitar Gosh (XII century), etc.

The existence of universities on the territory of Armenia dates back to the same time: Ani (XI century), Gladzor (XIII century), Tatev (XIV century), Sanahin Academy (XII century), where, along with theology, secular disciplines were also taught: history, philosophy, grammar, mathematics, medicine, music. In 1051, Grigor Magistros, an advocate of the Armenian Renaissance, translated the geometry of Euclid into Armenian.

After the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia in 1920, the repatriation of hundreds of representatives of the Armenian scientific intelligentsia was organized, who were involved in the organization of higher education and scientific institutions in the new Armenia: numerous scientific research institutes, laboratories, centers conducting scientific research were created. On their basis, in 1935, the Armenian branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences was established, which in a short time became one of the major scientific centers of the country. In 1943, the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR was created on the basis of the branch. In the Soviet years, computers "Hrazdan", "Nairi", "Aragats" were developed in Armenia. Among the outstanding scientists of this period, Viktor Ambartsumyan is the founder of the school of theoretical astrophysics in the USSR, orientalist Iosif Orbeli, physicists Artyom and Abram Alikhanyan, mathematician Sergey Mergelyan, botanist Armen Takhtadzhyan, electrical engineer Andronik Iosifyan - founder of the Soviet school of electromechanics, and many others.

During the period of independence, the scientific sphere experienced a crisis: in 1994-2011, the annual number of patent applications for inventions decreased from 233 to 140. In 2014-2018, the number of applications continued to decline and dropped to 0141 in 2018.

In 2015, the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory received the status of a regional astronomical center.


High tech

Information technologies are dynamically developing in Armenia. The IT sector is growing annually by 22-25%. As of 2015, there were about 450-500 IT companies operating in the country, providing 3.8% of the country's GDP. In 2015, their total turnover was about $550 million. Large international companies such as Microsoft (since 2007), National Instruments, Mentor Graphics, VMWare and others operate in Armenia.

In 2014, the first technopark in Armenia was opened in the city of Gyumri, and in 2016 it is planned to open the Vanadzor technopark.

In 2019, the Ministry of High-Tech Industry was established.



According to the constitution (art. 38), every citizen has the right to receive free higher or other professional education in state educational institutions on a competitive basis. Education in Armenia is supervised by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports.

In 2005, Armenia officially joined the Bologna Convention.

Secondary education
Secondary education in Armenia is carried out in three-level general education schools for 12 years at the following levels:
elementary school (grades 1-4),
secondary school - the first cycle of secondary education lasting 5 years (grades 5-9),
high school - the second cycle of secondary education, carried out for 3 years (grades 10-12).

The presence of a certificate of secondary (complete) general education or another certificate recognized as equivalent to it is a necessary condition for admission to universities. Admission to all higher education programs is carried out on a competitive basis based on the results of entrance examinations.

Educational institutions in Armenia use a 10-point grading scale.


Higher education

There are 27 public and 25 private higher education institutions in the country.

One of the leading scientific centers in Armenia is Yerevan State University. YSU was founded on May 16, 1919. The first classes began in February 1920. About 13,000 students study at 22 faculties of the university. 200 out of 1200 teachers have the academic title of doctor of science and more than 500 have a candidate.

Yerevan State Linguistic University named after V. Ya. Bryusov is the leading university in Armenia specializing in linguistics and philology. Founded in 1935. During its activity, the university has trained over 50,000 specialists in the field of Russian, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, political science, regional studies, international tourism, international journalism and other specialties.

The National Polytechnic University of Armenia (former State Engineering University of Armenia) was founded in 1933 and is a national technical education leader providing multi-stage engineering education. SEUA has 3 branches in Gyumri, Vanadzor and Kapan.

Yerevan State Medical University Mkhitar Heratsi was founded in 1920. It is one of the leading universities in the country.

The Yerevan State Conservatory named after Komitas was founded in 1921, at first as a music studio, and 2 years later as a higher musical educational institution. The conservatory has a student symphony orchestra, chamber orchestras, an orchestra of folk instruments and a folklore choir, and various chamber ensembles.

The American University of Armenia, the French University in Armenia, the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) State University and others also operate in Armenia.



The system of primary health care of the population is primarily aimed at disease prevention and received support from the World Bank, which undertook the financing of the program for the establishment of the institute of family doctors. The offices of family doctors are equipped with modern equipment and staff who have received appropriate training and education. Within the framework of the WB loan program, 2 departments for the training of family doctors were established in Armenia.

Residents of cities, at their discretion, can choose either a family doctor, or a local therapist and a local pediatrician for children. As a result of the reform of primary health care, a new type of doctor should be formed. In 2006, the state assumed responsibility for the social sphere of health care and introduced free medical care to the population in primary health care (polyclinics, outpatient clinics).


Mass media

Print mass-media

The first periodicals in Armenian and Russian languages ​​appeared in Armenia in the middle of the 19th century, however, the printed mass media were widely developed only after the formation of the First Republic of Armenia. In the future, if the Soviet period was characterized by strict political censorship and a high degree of control by the authorities, then for subsequent times - relative freedom of the press. Radical advances in terms of press freedom occurred during the democratic reforms of the late 1980s in the Soviet Union (glasnost). During this period, there was a significant increase in the number of periodicals, the affiliation of certain newspapers and magazines to various political and social movements was clearly identified.

As of the end of the 2000s, more than 10 daily newspapers, both central and local, were published in Armenia with a total circulation of about 15,000 copies. The leading national newspapers are Zhoghovurd, Aravot, 168 Zham, Haykakan Zhamanak, Zov Gardman, Golos Armenii (Russian), Azg, Yerkir.


Electronic media

The first broadcasting organization was established in 1934. The formation of the actual national broadcasting system began immediately after the declaration of state independence.

The transition to digital broadcasting was carried out in 2016. “Armenian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network” CJSC provides terrestrial broadcasting of the digital public broadcasting network, in which 37 operating nationwide (for example, Public Television of Armenia, Armenia 2, Shant, Shoghakat, Kentron, Yerkir Media, AR, etc.) ), metropolitan and regional television companies. The most important task of the sphere is the need to use private multiplexes with nationwide coverage, which will increase the number of broadcast TV channels.



Weightlifting, football, chess, boxing, judo, wrestling, swimming, skiing and rock climbing are popular in Armenia. At the international level, Armenian athletes perform most successfully in weightlifting and various types of martial arts. In addition, Armenia is especially successful in chess. Armenian chess players are three-time champions of the Chess Olympiad.

The country regularly hosts the Pan-Armenian Games, in which teams from various countries where the Armenian diaspora is represented take part.

Armenia is a member of: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA); International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF); International Federation of Basketball Associations (FIBA); International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and others.

The sports infrastructure is expanding. In 2005, a bicycle center was opened in Yerevan. A new ice stadium was put into operation.

There is a resurgence of interest in mass sports. Since 2015, a half marathon has been held in Yerevan in October, and since 2018 a full-distance marathon has been held. A triathlon is held in Sevan, as well as various similar competitions with partial distances.