Are today's Armenians the same as the old Armenians

Armenia is a small country with a long and eventful history and an unbelievable range of landscapes as well as relics of the past that are thousands of years old. It's hard to believe that this country is still so unknown. I think Armenia is worth a place on every bucket list.

Beautiful landscapes, peppered with old monasteries and meadows of flowers, small villages and the traces of ancient civilizations in caves and on rocks, all over the country - all this and much more is waiting to be discovered by you in Armenia. But above all you should look forward to the Armenians themselves. Many who have already been here agree on this point: the Armenians are an incredibly warm and lovable people. Perhaps that is why the country is considered one of the safest countries in the world for travelers.

Discover Armenia

Facts about Armenia | history

Sightseeing in Armenia

Armenian cuisine

Facts about Armenia

Armenia surprised me - in many ways. In the following I have put together a few facts about the country for you, which you probably did not know all of them:

  • Armenia is located in the Armenian Highlands on the southern Caucasus, a high mountain range, and borders Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.
  • Armenia has no access to the sea.
  • One of largest high mountain lakes the world awaits you there. The Sewansee is twice as big as the Bodensee.
  • Armenia has been Christian for more than 1,700 years and thus thatoldest Christian country in the world.
  • Armenian and Russian are spoken in Armenia, while English is spoken almost exclusively in the capital.
  • The capital of the country, Yerevan, was founded in 782 BC and is 29 years older than Rome.
  • Just under 3 million people live in all of Armenia.
  • Armenia is aboutas big as Brandenburg.
  • There are seven geographical zones in Armenia, from deserts to lush green hills and meadows of flowers to alpine landscapes - everything is included here.
  • 90% of Armenia is more than 1,000 meters above sea level.
  • The highest mountain in the country, Aragaz at over 4,000 meters, is an extinct volcano.
  • Since Armenia is located in a mountain range of folds, the geography of which is still changing, it often occurs here earthquake.
  • It can get very warm in Armenia in summer and very cold in winter. On average it is 25 ° C in summer and -5 ° C in winter.

  • The currency of the country is that Armenian dram (AMD). 520 AMD correspond to one euro.
  • The average income of an Armenian is 100 US dollars a month.
  • The Travel in Armenia should be comparatively very safe.
  • Hitchhiking is therefore particularly easy here - after all, the people are incredibly open-minded - and a good way of getting around in the country, because the bus network is quite thin outside the cities. Taxis or rental cars are also available.
  • Armenia is one of the oldest wine producers in the world.
  • The National symbol, the biblical mountain Ararat, is no longer in Armenian territory after territorial disputes, but in Turkey. However, it is still featured on many postcards and souvenirs.
  • Armenia is known for its apricots and its brandy.
  • chess is a compulsory subject in Armenia's schools.

Armenia's dark past

Armenia's history is long, eventful and sometimes very gloomy: Over the millennia, the area has been in the hands of different rulers. Persian and Roman empires fought over the centrally located region during antiquity, later it was Eastern Stream and the Caliphate who claimed the area for themselves. The first Armenian state, which was also to be the first Christian state in the world, was founded in late antiquity. But the Armenians themselves had only temporary sovereignty over their country, which later fell into the hands of the Ottoman Empire and, after the First World War, partly into Russian hands.

Some dark events overshadow the life of the Armenians to this day: During the First World War, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire carried out a systematic one genocide on the Armenian people who claimed almost a million lives. The wave of refugees resulting from the atrocity meant that the formerly populous country was almost completely wiped out. But that's not all. At the end of Soviet rule, in the 1980s, demanded a strong earthquake another 25,000 lives and many cities were destroyed, which continues to burden the region to this day. Even after the Armenians finally declared their independence in 1991, the once strong country is no longer the same.

The country has not been able to fully recover from the many losses it has suffered. Large parts of the Armenian settlement areas are still on Turkish territory and Disputes over border areas also led to hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan. To this day it is almost impossible for Armenians to cross the border into Azerbaijan.

Despite the sometimes gloomy past, the Armenian population does not have that Lust for life and lost pride in their country and history. Not without good reason, because many cultures left their traces on Armenian soil and the first churches and monasteries found their place here. Without bitterness, even with cordiality and hospitality The Armenians, who are still very Christian, welcome the rare visitors to their beautiful country today, probably because they are really happy when vacationers are interested in their country.

Sights in mystical Armenia

Especially in summer (approx. From April to October), when the landscapes of Armenia are littered with colorful flowers and lush green grass and apricots and grapes fall from the trees on the orchards Vacation in Armenia particularly attractive.

At a Road trip or while hiking you can explore the landscapes in their most beautiful splendor, discover abandoned monasteries, picturesque villages and deep gorges - especially the big cities are then full of life. I have put together the most beautiful sights and must-do's for you, so that your Armenia vacation becomes a real experience.

Cities and Spas | Mountains and lakes | Monasteries and churches | Observatory

Lively cities and historical spas

The Armenians are a happy and lively people. Accordingly, you will find a bustling center in Armenia's capital. While strolling through the streets of the city, you will quickly make new friends among the warm and open-minded Armenians. But the people also understand peace and quiet. There are many old health resorts in Armenia that immediately enchanted me.

Yerevan - the pink capital

Now you are probably asking yourself: “Why pink?” The answer follows immediately: The cities of Armenia - and therefore also Yerevan - became the dominant one in the region Volcanic rock built. This rock is characterized by its pink to red-brownish color. So if you walk through Armenia's cities, this warm color will greet you happily at every corner.

Except for the ancient rock, however, the city is characterized by more modern architecture. The Soviet influence led to the fact that the traditional architecture in many larger towns was replaced by simple and Soviet-modern buildings. What is exciting, however, is that after the end of the Soviet Union, many construction projects that had been started were discontinued and so around Yerevan and also in the countryside many “haunted houses” and even entire “Ghost towns“Originated. This fact alone makes a visit to the country extremely exciting - at least for the adventurers among us.

The Northern Avenue and the Abovyan Street are popular and busy streets in Yerevan.

But despite the modern, simple and sometimes somewhat neglected appearance, the city has not lost its charm. Many restaurants and cafes invite you to linger in the squares and in the streets of the city. You will find out later what you get to eat there. Definitely stroll through the city center, where you can find the majestic Republic Square will come across. A colorful show with singing fountains, fireworks and music takes place here every evening at 9 p.m. You shouldn't miss it, because this event inspires the whole city and has become a ritual for many. That too Genocide Museum is definitely worth a visit, where you can learn more about the exciting history of the Armenian people.

If you come to Yerevan exactly 14 weeks after Easter, you should also be prepared for something, because then you will find it Vardavar festival instead of. At the bizarre water festival, which is firmly anchored in the tradition of the Armenians, unsuspecting passers-by are splashed with water, especially by children and young people. It's a real one Water bomb battlethat covers the whole city. Even Kanye West took part in the spectacle when she visited the city and bathed in the fountain on Republic Square.

Historic town of Odzun

Odzun is a beautiful town that has largely been spared from communism. The beautiful, historical city lies on a plateau above the gorge of the river Debed, from which one can get one breathtaking view over the surrounding landscape, especially if you climb the tower of the graceful, old basilica from the 7th century. Particularly on this cathedral is a large, horseshoe-shaped tomb, the meaning of which has not yet been fully clarified, and which can only be found once more in Armenia.

Dilijan - Armenian Switzerland

Dilijan, also written Dilidjan, is one of the most popular health resorts in Armenia and is located in the same nameNational park. The place is surrounded by a dense pine forest and is known for its particularly clean air, but also for its mineral water fountains with healing properties. It is also the perfect starting point for a hike through the park to the Haghartsin and Gshavank monasteries. There are enough hotels here, so you can take a day to explore the place and its surroundings. You should definitely visit Schamberyan Street, where traditional craftsmen offer their goods.

Jermuk health resort

Jermuk is also a health resort and for its 40 hyper-thermal Mineral water sources known, whose sparkling water can even be drunk at various stations. There are also some relaxation and wellness resorts in the place surrounded by mountains, near which the second largest waterfall in Armenia rushes down over 63 meters.

Abandoned mountain village Khndzoresk

Caves in Armenia

Over 10,000 caves can be found all over Armenia. Some of them show very old ones Frescoes from ancient civilizations on, e.g. the Lastiver Cave.

The mountain village, now abandoned, was once a wealthy and meaningful place. People lived here until the 1950s, but they left the place and built the new and modern Chndsoresk at a point on the other side of the Khor Dzor Gorge, where the old dwellings were built long ago. Today the abandoned old Khndzoresk can be reached via a suspension bridge built by the local population. Climbers in particular get their money's worth here when they find abandoned ones Cave dwellings and the ruins climb the houses on the steep rock face.

High mountains and wide lakes

The Armenian nature is very diverse. Many mountains, deep gorges but also seemingly endless, wide plains characterize the landscape of the country. I am now introducing you to a selection of regions worth seeing:

Mount Aragats

At over 4,000 meters, Mount Aragats is the largest mountain on Armenian soil. Its peak is also in summer covered with snow, which is why you should think of the right clothes when climbing. But the ascent is worth it, because the mountain is littered with the ruins of old forts and monasteries and peppered with fields of flowers - a breathtaking view and the relaxing tranquility of nature are of course included. Maybe you will meet them there Yezidi, a group of shepherds who live here in tents and sell their hand-made products in the valley.

Debed Canyon

The Debed Gorge is rich in culture and thus one of the most interesting regions in the country. When hiking through meadows and forests, you not only have a great view over the gorge, but also pass the monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat, which are rightly included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site were recorded. My tip: stay in the village of Vanadzor and go hiking from here.

Lake Sevan - the blue pearl of Armenia

For the Armenians, Lake Sevan is the sea they never had, because it is by far the largest lake in Armenia. Located at an altitude of 1,900 meters, it is one of the largest High mountain lakes the world - twice the size of Lake Constance. That's why it's so popular with locals and tourists alike. Even in Soviet times, the lake was the country's most popular holiday region. Many came and still come here to cool off from the hot temperatures in summer or simply to relax on the beach. In the meantime, some hotels and entertainment options have also settled here, which take care of the physical well-being of the visitors. Diving, windsurfing, but also boat trips are offered here and there is a lot going on, especially in the city of the same name. However, as soon as you move away from the lively place, you find yourself in the pure tranquility of the infinitely wide landscape.

Monasteries and churches - a millennia-old spiritual legacy

There are an unbelievable number of churches and monasteries in Armenia, the oldest Christian territory in the world. Looking at these time-honored walls, I got a feel for the country's ancient spiritual heritage and the Spirit of the past completely fulfilled me. The buildings, surrounded by endless expanses or deep ravines, simply have a very special charisma.

Haghpat, Sanahin and Geghard monasteries

These two monasteries Haghpat and Sanahin, located in Debed Canyon, are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sanahin Monastery was built in 928, but has been expanded over and over again in the following centuries. That is why the complex now consists of several chapels and ancient graves. The Haghpat Monastery, also called Haghpatavank in Armenian, was built in 976 and impresses with its graceful medieval architecture, which particularly emphasizes the spiritual character of the building. The Gehard monastery is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because it is unique in one point: Halfway in a cave, this place conveys a very special atmosphere. In the cool caves, the noises sound slightly distorted, as if they came from another world.

Cross stones

They are found in all Armenian monasteries and churches, but also in the great outdoors. These Memorial stones, also called Khachkars, are a peculiarity of the Armenian Church and a central cultural symbol of the Armenians. Carved with cross-reliefs, which are surrounded by geometric and vegetable motifs, they serve as a reminder of certain events and the salvation of the human soul. Some even consider them to beGates to heaven.

The famous Tatev Monastery

According to the Guinness book, it is 5,750 meterslongest cable car in the world leads to Tatev Monastery.

This monastery is probably the most famous monastery in Armenia. It is also one of the most beautiful and picturesque monasteriesthat I know. Surrounded by a breathtaking landscape, located on a deep gorge with the setting sun in the background, this monastery makes a beautiful and mystical picture. It was built in the 9th century on the site of an old sanctuary and is still of great importance for the population of the country today. The monastery may have been founded as early as the 4th century.

The legend of the Khor Virap monastery

This monastery, founded in the 4th century, impresses with one breathtaking panorama, because Mount Ararat, the national symbol of the Armenians, rises on the horizon. According to legend, it was founded in the 4th century when King Trdat III. Gregory the Enlightened One was imprisoned in a cave below the later monastery for 13 years because he wanted to dissuade him from the Christian faith. But after the enlightened one healed an incurable disease of King Trdat, the king was converted, founded the monastery and declared Christianity the state religion.

Armenia's access to the stars

Star gazing has a long tradition in Armenia. Prehistoric remains of observatories can be found in a few places in the country, but the modern Byurakan Observatory, which houses the largest telescope in the former Soviet Union, can be visited and is a focal point for space fans from all over the world.

Zoratskarer - The Armenian Stonehenge

Everywhere in Armenia there are so-calledPetroglyphs decorated stones. These enigmatic images are the holdovers of ancient civilizations.

An ancient civilization must have created this prehistoric observatory several thousand years ago. Hundreds of two meter high megaliths with a large hole in each stone form two huge circles here ... This ancient site is, I think, just extreme impressive and mysterious.

Experience the Armenian cuisine!

Now I have told so much about the incredibly exciting sights in Armenia, because the life and culture of today's Armenians was neglected. That's why I want to tell you about what is probably the most important thing in the everyday life of the local people and one of the most important things when traveling: the food!

Areni - the village of wine

The village of Areni is considered to be one of the main growing areas of Armenian wine, which among European wine connoisseurs is still truer Insider tip applies even though the tradition of Armenian wine-growing is one of the oldest in the world.

The food in Armenia is very healthy but also extremely tasty, because it comes from local cultivation and is mostly homemade. I already mentioned it, but at this point I have to emphasize it again: the Armenians are incredible hospitable and it will not infrequently happen to you on your journey through the country that you will be invited to dinner by people you hardly know. Don't say no because the food is fantastic. Whether in booked accommodation or on the couch of a local - for breakfast in Armenia you will always be served homemade jam, specially dried fruit and freshly picked fruit.

In contrast to breakfast, the Armenian main courses are more meat-heavy. National dishes are among others Tolma, Horovats and Harisa. Tolma is stuffed vegetables wrapped in grape leaves with meat. Horovats is the name of the traditional Armenian barbecue. Harisa, on the other hand, is a type of porridge made with roasted meat.

But the vegetarians are not neglected either, because most of the traditional ones Starters are vegetarian. For example, humus and bulgur are popular dishes. But lavash, a special flatbread, and chechil, a smoked cheese strip, are often served with meals in Armenia. Another incredibly popular and vegetarian dish is also Khachapuri, a round bread baked with cheese.

By the way: The cost of living in Armenia is extremely low, so you can get a full meal for as little as 1 to 2 €.

Armenia is a real insider tip!

Armenia is an incredibly exciting and mystical country that has its own Originality and joie de vivre preserved Has. I can really only recommend a vacation to the country in the Caucasus. This country is the ideal destination, especially for the more adventurous among you, to discover it while hiking or on an exciting road trip. But remember that the road conditions in Armenia are not comparable to European standards and people often do not speak English.

Have you ever been to Armenia and do you have a few more tips that I should definitely mention? Feel free to write it in the comments. And if you're planning a trip to Armenia, be sure to stop by Airbnb. You are sure to find a good and cheap accomodation. For example, check out this great Airbnb on the way to Tatev Monastery. The view is simply amazing! In my flight search you will also find the right flights for your trip to Armenia.

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