Geographical Outline• Armenia(Հայաստան, transliterated Hayastan, officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն , Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun,is a landlocked mountainous country in theCaucasus region of Eurasia. Situated at the juncture of Western Asia and Eastern Europe,it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.• After independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia quickly became drawn into a bloody conflict with Azerbaijan over the mostly Armenian-speaking region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
One of the earliest Christian civilisations, its first churches were founded in thefourth century. In later centuries, it frequently oscillated between Byzantine,Persian, Mongol or Turkish control, as well as periods of independence.Its rich cultural and architectural heritage combines elements from differenttraditions. The Armenian language is part of the Indo-European family, but itsalphabet is unique.Divided between the Persians and Ottomans in the 16th century, easternArmenian territories became part of the Russian Empire in the early 19thcentury, while the rest stayed within the Ottoman Empire.Between 1915 and 1917, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians died atthe hands of government troops in the Ottoman Empire.Yerevan wants Turkey, and the world, to recognize the deaths as genocide,and some countries have done so.Howver, Turkey says that there was no genocide and that the dead werevictims of World War I, and that ethnic Turks also suffered in the conflict.The governments of the two countries agreed to normalise relations in October2009, although Turkey has said opening the border will depend on progress onthe Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.An independent Republic of Armenia was proclaimed at the end of the firstworld war but was short-lived, lasting only until the beginning of the 1920swhen the Bolsheviks incorporated it into the Soviet Union.
• When Soviet rule collapsed in 1991, Armenia regained independence but retained a Russian military base at Gyumri.• In the mid-1990s the government embarked on an economic reform programme which brought some stability and growth. The country became a member of the Council of Europe in 2001.• Unemployment and poverty remain widespread. Armenias economic problems are aggravated by a trade blockade, imposed by neighbouring Turkey and Azerbaijan since the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.• Despite these problems, Armenias economy experienced several years of double-digit growth before a sharp downturn set in in 2008.• The conflict over the predominantly Armenian-populated region in Azerbaijan overshadowed Armenias return to independence.• Full-scale war broke out the same year as ethnic Armenians in Karabakh fought for independence, supported by troops and resources from Armenia proper. A ceasefire in place since 1994 has failed to deliver any lasting solution.• Armenia receives most of its gas supply from Russia and, like some other republics of the former Soviet Union, has had to face sharp price rises. Russian gas arrives via a pipeline running through Georgia.• Armenia has a huge diaspora and has always experienced waves of emigration, but the exodus of recent years has caused real alarm. It is estimated that Armenia has lost up to a quarter of its population since independence, as young families seek what they hope will be a better life abroad.
Khosrov Forest Preserve• Khosrov Forest Preserve was established in the 3rd century by the Arshakuni King Khosrove The Great.• It has rich flora and fauna. Armenian mouflon (wild sheep) and Bezoar goat are widespread in fauna. You can see also leopard, grizzly bear, wild boar, fox, rabbit, hare lynx, marten, wolf,etc.Forest is particularly rich in bird world. You can see black kite, eagle, wild pigeon, seagull and etc...There are many reptiles; particularly a poisonous viper.• Geghard, Havuts Tar, Kakavaberd, medieval bridge and many other historical monuments are located in Khosrov forest. A deep river Azat flows through it, on the tributaries of which there are many magnificent waterfalls.
Etymology and History• The native Armenian name for the country is Hayk’. The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Hayastan, by addition of the Iranian suffix -stan (land). The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk (Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great- grandson of Noah, who according to Moses of Chorene defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC, and established his nation in the Ararat region.
History• Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat, upon which, according to the Bible, Noahs Ark came to rest after the flood. Recent archeological studies have found the earliest leather shoe, skirt, and wine- producing facility in Armenia, dated at about 4000 B.C, pointing to an advanced early civilization In the Bronze Age,
• The Nairi people (12th to 9th centuries BC) and the Kingdom of Urartu (1000–600 BC) successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland .• Around 600 BC, the Kingdom of Urartu was established under the Orontid(Երվանդունիների) Dynasty. The kingdom reached its height between 95 and 66 BC under Tigranes the Great, becoming one of the most powerful kingdoms of its time within the region. Throughout its history, the kingdom of Armenia enjoyed periods of independence intermitted with periods of autonomy subject to contemporary empires. Armenias strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by many peoples, including theAssyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Persians , Ottoman Turks and Russians.
Christianity• In 301 Armenia adopted Christianity.It was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion.The date is very important for all Armenians because Christianity helped us to survive and to develop our national culture and service.• In 2003 we celebrate the 1700years’ anniversary and a magnificent cathedral was built on a small hill in Yerevan to commemorate this event.
• Vazgen Sargsyan was born in Ararat on March 5, 1959.He was the Prime Minister of Armenia for theRepublican Party of Armenia from June 11, 1999 to October 27, 1999 until his assassination in what is known as the Armenian parliament shooting. He was well-known as a military leader, the first Minister of Defense of Armenia, awarded by Artsakh hero and National Hero of Armenia (posthumously) titles. In 1992 he organized and led the "Mahaparts" special battalion. He laid the groundwork for building Armenias army.He controlled the fledgling armed forces during the height of the fighting in Karabakh, in which Armenias forces were heavily involved.
• The Armenian Army, Air Force, Air Defence, and Border Guard comprise the four branches of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia.
The Armenian Genocide• On 24 April 1915, Armenian intellectuals were arrested by Ottoman authorities and, eventually a large proportion of Armenians living in Anatolia perished in what has become known as the Armenian Genocide.• 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, however, maintain that the deaths were the result of a civil war coupled with disease and famine, with casualties incurred by both sides. According to the research conducted by Arnold J. Toynbee( a British historian ) an estimated 600,000 Armenians died during the Armenian Genocide in 1915–16.
Symbols of Armenia• Armenia is a rocky country.Legend say that God, intending to test the deligence and the patience of the nation, granted them the rockiest part of the earth.People used the stones to whorship God.They built magnificent churches in most inaccessible places and carved unique cross stones .
Mount Ararat• The Mountains of Ararat is the place named in the Book of Genesis where Noahs Ark came to rest after the great flood.That’s why it is called a HOLY MOUNTAIN. It is the highest peak of the Armenian Highland, located in present day Turkey. Ararat dominates the skyline of Armenias capital, Yerevan. The 2002 film Ararat by Armenian-Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan features Mt. Ararat prominently in its symbolism.
• The Matenadaran was designed by architect Mark Grigoryan. Located slightly north of the citys center at the foot of a small hill, construction of the Matenadaran began in 1945 and ended in 1957. The exterior was constructed of basalt but parts of the interior were made of other materials such as marble.  In the 1960s, the statues of historical Armenian scholars, Toros Roslin, Grigor Tatevatsi, Anania Shirakatsi, Movses Khorenatsi, Mkhitar Gosh and Frik, were sculpted and placed on the left and right wings of the buildings exterior. The statues of Mesrop Mashots and his pupil are located below the terrace where the main building stands.
• The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts , commonly referred to as the Matenadaran (Armenian:Մատենադարան), is an ancient manuscript repository located in Yerevan, Armenia. It holds one of the worlds richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books about history, philosophy, medicine, literature, art history and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages. The Armenian collection at the Matenadaran is rich in manuscripts dealing in all fields of the humanities, but particularly historiography and philosophy. The writings of classical and medieval historians Movses Khorenatsi, Yeghishe and Aristakes Lastivertsi are preserved here, as are the legal, philosophical and theological writings of other notable Armenian figures. The preserved writings of Grigor Narekatsi and Nerses Shnorhali at the Matenadaran form the cornerstone of medieval Armenian literature.
Armenian cuisine• We are very much interested in food.Our cuisine is more than 2 thousand years old and it is still tasty and fresh.• Bread was the most important food in Armenia .That’s why such english expressions as to have dinner supper are simply replaced by to eat bread in Armenian.Most Armenian use a lot of bread and especially lavash…
A Peace Corp Volunteer’s opinion about Armenian cuisineI have liked almost everything I have had. Most is much fresher than you can get in New York – the eggs are hours old when I eat them, the milk comes straight from the cow (with a stopover on the stove for boiling), the tomatoes are amazingly tasty and I eat bowls of raspberries that are picked from the bushes in the backyard. The khoravats (barbecued meats) are delicious, and most of the bread, butter, yogurt and cheese is homemade. I eat a lot of soups, dolma, homemade ravioli type things(they call it khinkali) and a lot of pasta, although always in butter instead of sauce. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, bread and cheese at every meal. My host mother also makes delicious apple turnover type things that I love – some nights, dinner is about ten of them. There tends to be a LOT of salt and butter in everything, lots of potatoes, a lot is fried and there is candy and cookies everywhere.
Climate• Armenia is a country of contrasts.In this small piece of land a sultry summer and eternal winter exist almost side by side.The valleys can be hot as topics,while mountains are covered with snow all year around.• Evening breezes blowing down the mountains provide a welcome refreshing and cooling effect. Springs are short, while falls are long. Autumns are known for their colorful foliage.• Winters are quite cold with plenty of snow. Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy skiing down the hills of Tsakhkadzor.