Yerevan: One of the smallest countries in the world Armenia is located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. The tiny country conserves its rich traditional heritage. Since tourism is one of the key sectors to the Armenian economy, the country warmly welcomes visitors. Armenia receives maximum footfalls from Russia, EU states, the United States and Iran.
Though the country has 4,000 years old rich history, the legendary patriarch Hayk was the founder of the first Armenian nation, its society has a great saga of struggle. People of Armenia faced scaring genocides by Ottoman rulers which caused the deaths of as many as 1.5 million people between from 1914 to 1923. Interesting history and amazing buoyancy against deadliest aggression from outside make Armenian society really special. Despite it went through a series of inhuman events in the past, Armenians managed to conserve its beauty and led a cheerful life. Albeit each spot in the country has a sorrowful story, divine tranquility can be felt. The beauty of the country narrates the great conquer of joy over grief. The walls of the monuments emit a positive wave that makes visitors realize that God himself protected Armenian civilization.
Interestingly, Armenia has a deep connection with India. Around 600 Armenians live in Indian cities mainly in Kolkata and Mumbai. It is believed that they came to India with the army of Alexander the Great.
Armenia has 3 UNESCO world heritage sites:
Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries
Registered in UNESCO’s World Heritage List In 1996, Haghpat Monastery is a medieval church founded by Queen Khosrovanuys in 976. The complex, the pride of Armenian spiritual center, was built in Haghpat town, Lori Region. The architectural beauty of the Monastery makes it a global attraction. Another Monastery Sanahin is also recognized by UNESCO’s World Heritage. The monastery was built in the 10th century in the Lori Province. Sanahin houses an Armenia’s oldest and biggest library which is known for its uniqueness. The books in the library have silver and gold decorated covers and beautifully painted pages. There is a big book weighing half a ton.
Cathedral Church of Echmiadzin (Vagharshapat)
Echmiadzin Monastery, a spiritual center of Armenia, is considered to be the first cathedral built in the country and one of the oldest in the world. After converting himself to Christianity in 301 AD, Saint Gregory Enlightener built the church. It is located in Vagharshapat (Echmiadzin) town. Addition to it, the archaeological site of Zvartnots is also a major attraction in the country. The ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral make a rare scene when sunlight comes through 80 arch and 32 round windows. It creates an impression of angels and the whole temple floods with light.
Monastery of Geghard, Upper Azat Valley
Geghard monastery, a medieval architecture, was previously known as “Ayri Vank” which means “the Monastery of Cave”. The new name of the monastery is Geghard, which means “Spear”. It is said that the spear that wounded Jesus at the crucifixion was there. It was built in the 4th century by Gregory Enlightener.
Apart from these three tourist spots, the country has many other attractions that hold religious and traditional significance. Few of them are Tsaghkadzor, Jermuk, and Dilijan known as mountainous resorts.