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Welcome To Armenia

Official name: Republic of Armenia (RA), briefly - Armenia
National flag of RA: Three horizontal stripes - red, blue, orange
Head of the State: President of RA
Supreme legislative body: National Assembly
Official language of RA: Armenian
Capital of Armenia: Yerevan
Administrative and territorial unit region: (11 regions in all including Yerevan city)
National currency: dram
Photogallery Geographical information: Territory - 29.74 thousand square km (is comparable with the territory of Belgium or Albania).
Population:  3.79 Million, 98% of which are Armenians.
Average elevation:  1800 m.
The greatest height: Aragats mountain - 4090 m.
The least height:  Debed river canyon - 380 m.
The greatest extent:  360 km.
Climate:  dry, continental.

History of Armenia (in brief) Contemporary scholarship suggests that the Armenians are descendants of various indigenous people who meld (10th through 7th century BC) with the Urarteans (Ararateans); while classical historians and geographers cite the tradition that the Armenians migrated into their homeland from Thrace and Phrygia (Herodotus, Strabo), or even Thessaly (Strabo). These views are not necessarily contradictory, since present-day Armenians are undoubtedly an amalgam of several peoples, autochthonous (Hayasa-Azzi, Nairi, Hurrians, etc.) and immigrant, who emerged as one linguistic family around 600 BC.
Armenian tradition has preserved several legends concerning the origin of the Armenian nation. The most important of these tells of Hayk (Hayg or Haig), the eponymous hero of the Armenians who called them-selves Hay (Hye) and their country Hayk' or Hayastan. The historian of the 5th century, Movses Khorenatsi, also relates at some length the valiant deeds of Aram whose fame extended far beyond the limits of his country. Consequently, the neighboring nations called the people Armens or Armenians.

Contemporary scholarship suggests that the Armenians are descendants of various indigenous people who meld (10th through 7th century BC) with the Urarteans (Ararateans); while classical historians and geographers cite the tradition that the Armenians migrated into their homeland from Thrace and Phrygia (Herodotus, Strabo), or even Thessaly (Strabo). These views are not necessarily contradictory, since present-day Armenians are undoubtedly an amalgam of several peoples, autochthonous (Hayasa-Azzi, Nairi, Hurrians, etc.) and immigrant, who emerged as one linguistic family around 600 BC.

Armenian tradition has preserved several legends concerning the origin of the Armenian nation. The most important of these tells of Hayk (Hayg or Haig), the eponymous hero of the Armenians who called them-selves Hay (Hye) and their country Hayk' or Hayastan. The historian of the 5th century, Movses Khorenatsi, also relates at some length the valiant deeds of Aram whose fame extended far beyond the limits of his country. Consequently, the neighboring nations called the people Armens or Armenians.

Archeology has extended the prehistory of Armenia to the Acheulian age (500,000 years ago), when hunting and gathering peoples crossed the lands in pursuit of migrating herds. The first period of prosperity was enjoyed by inhabitants of the Armenian upland in the third millennium B.C. These people were among the first to forge bronze, invent the wheel, and cultivate grapes.

The first written records to mention the inhabitants of Armenia come from hieroglyphs of the Hittite Kingdom, inscribed from 1388 to 1347 B.C., in Asia Minor. The earliest inscription to be found directly upon Armenian lands, carved in 1114 B.C. by the Assyrians, describes a coalition of kings of the central Armenian region referring to them as "the people of Nairi."

By the 9th century B.C., a confederation of local tribes flourished as the unified state of Urartu. It grew to become one of the strongest kingdoms in the Near East and constituted a formidable rival to Assyria for supremacy in the region. The Urartians produced and exported wares of ceramic, stone and metal, building fortresses, temples, palaces and other large public works. One of their irrigation canals is still used today in Yerevan, Armenia's capital - a city which stands upon the ancient Urartian fortress of Erebuni. In the 6th century Urartu fell to the Medes, but not long after, the Persian conquest of the Medes, led by Cyrus the Great, displaced them.

The tumultuous changes occurring throughout the Soviet Union beginning in the 1980's inevitably had repercussions in Armenia. In 1988, a movement of support began in Armenia for the constitutional struggle of Nagorno Karabagh (Artsakh) Armenians to exercise their right to self-determination. (This predominantly Armenian populated autonomous region had been placed under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan by an arbitrary decision of Stalin in 1923.)

That same year, in 1988, Armenia was rocked by severe earthquakes that killed thousands, and supplies from both the Soviet Union and the West were blocked by the Azerbaijani Government fighting the Armenians in Nagorno Karabagh. Both of these issues have dominated Armenia's political arena since the first democratic election held in Armenia during the Soviet era.

In 1990, the Armenian National Movement won a majority of seats in the parliament and formed a government.
On September 21, 1991, the Armenian people overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence in a national referendum, and an independent Armenia came into being.





 

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