DISCOVER ARMENIAN BY MEANS OF ENGLISH ALPHABET
Ararat – Mount Ararat, unique symbol of Armenia, is a snow-called, dormant volcanic mountain. It has two peaks: Masis 5165 m and Sis 3896 m. According to the Bible Noah’s ark came to rest on this mountain. Byurakan – Byurakan observatory is a famous place in Armenia. It is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Armenian Academy of Sciences. It is located on the slope of Mount Aragats in Byurakan Village. Cognac – Cagnac has been produced in Armenia for many centuries, and it is a special brand that has won silver and gold medals in numerous international exhibitions. Armenian cognac (Ararat, Nairi, Yerevan, Ani, Akhtamar and etc.) has various strength and antiquity, which is shown by the stars stamped on the labels, starting with three stars. The number of stars on cognac bottles displays the number of the years it was kept in oak barrels. Duduk – Duduk is an Armenian national musical instrument. At first duduk was made of cane, but later in the Middles Ages Armenian masters began to make it from apricot tree wood. Its melody is very sad. Echmiadzin – Mother Seat of Holy Echmiadzin, which is considered to be the Vatican City of Armenia, is the spiritual center of Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia is the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Echmiadzin means: “The place where the Only Begotten has descended”. Echmiadzin complex is 20 km from Yerevan. Fruitful Armenia – When you visit Armenia you can’t help tasting Armenian apricot, grape and pomegranate as according to the world-wide opinion these fruits are very palatable and succulent. The secret of their unique taste is the scorching sunbeams and life-giving water of Armena. Garni-Ghegard – Garni-Ghegard is one of the most visited sights of Armenia. In Transcaucasia the historical monument Garni, which is half an hour drive from Yerevan, is one of the oldest pagan temples dedicated to God of Sun. Just a few minutes’ drive from Temple Garni there is a Christian miracle: Geghard (the 12th century) which is a church partially carved in the rock of the mountain. The name Geghard means “Holy spear”. This is the remarkable example of medieval Armenian architecture. Hrazdan – The Hrazdan is one of the major rivers of Armenia. It starts from the northeast extremity of Lake Sevan and flows South through the Kotayk marz (province) and capital Yerevan. It joins the Araks River along the border with Turkey. The Hrazdan River is one of the most important rivers of Armenia because fishing operating and hidro-electric plants are located along the banks of the river. Ishkhan – Ishkhan is a trout-like fish or prince fish which is the habitat of Lake Sevan. Ishkhan is very tasty, when it is boiled, fried or grilled. Armenian cuisine is famous for its fish products as rivers and lakes of Armenia are rich in fish. Besides Ishkhan Klae Sevan is known for its siga, bakhtak, koghak and beghlu. Jermuk – Jermuk is town-resort in the southern Armenian province of Vayots Dzor. It is a popular destination and famous for its hot springs and brand of mineral water that is bottled in the vicinity. The mineral water has been used for its medicine properties for centuries. Khachkar – Khachkar is typical Armenian stone carving. The word consists of 2 parts cross (khach) and stone (kar). Khachkars are free standing, rectangular cross-stones, and without exception their central motives are crosses, elaborately and elegantly craved. Lavash – Lavash is a national specific bread which is thin and oval. It is mostly baked in “tonir” (a stove dug in the ground). Armenians use lavash to wrap herbs, cheese, khorovats and other food. Mesrop Mashtots – Mesrop Mashtots is the creator of the Armenian alphabet. Armenian is an Indo-European language with a distinct 39-letter alphabet. Noravank – The name of this monastery compec comes from the world Nor (New) and Vank (Monastery). It is located 122 km from Yerevan. This is a 13th century complex which is best known for its two-storey Saint Astvatsatsin Church. The Monastery was built on the high hill, and the magnificent landscape of mountains, surrounding the monastery, displays a beautiful array of colours. Obsidian – Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock (stone) mostly with dark black. Armenian Highland is famous for obsidian. This stone was valued especially in Stone Age culture, because like fling it could be fractured to produce sharp blades or arrowheads and other working tolls. It was also polished to create early mirror. Pakhlava – Pakhlava is a specifically multilayered, sweet, eastern cake made of nuts and honey, it is mostly baked in ovens. Pakhlava from Gavar is very famous among Armenians. Qarahunj or “Zorats Karer” – It is an archaeological site near Sisian city in Syunik province of Armenia. Qarahunj is believed to be an ancient observatory quite similar to Stonehenge in England. The columns sit like soldiers on a hill, huddled in information. The 204 stones have been ascribed with mystical, fertility and cosmic powers. Republic Square – Republic Square, which is usually called the heart of the city, is the main Square in Yerevan. It is famous for its architecture which is designed in Armenian national style. In the evenings it has a magnificent lightening and it becomes more admirable because of the pool in front of the Museums’ building as here everybody admires the changeable laser coloring show of the “Singing Fountains”. Sevan – Lake Sevan is undoubtedly one of the most exciting sights in Armenia which is situated almost 2000 m above sea level. Its beauty as austere and majestic. This is a year-round vacation resort as it is a popular place for swimming, sailing and other recreational activities. Besides lovers of ancient architecture may visit Sevan Monastery built in the 9th century AD. Tatev – Tatev is a monastery complex of the 9th century which means “Give wings”. This complex is located in the south of Armenia in a beautiful and strategically advantageous natural setting, overlooking the Vorotan River gorges. In the Middle Ages Tatev was one of the most important spiritual centers of Armenia. Here you can find as well the longest ropway in the world (5.7 km). Urartu – Urartu is the first Armenian Kingdom. It is also known under the names Araratyan or Van’s Kongdom. Urartu rose to power in the middle of the 8th century BC. The name of Urartu comes from Assyrian sources. Vernisage – Vernisage is an open air market in Yerevan. It is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions more like European outdoor market. Here, tourists can buy many souvenirs and jewelry made by local and national masters. Western Armenia – Western Armenia is considered to be the Lost Motherland of Armenians and a part of historical Armenian land, where many religious and cultural heritages exist. Now it is a part of Turkey as at the beginning of the 20th century Armenia suffered from extremely harsh treatment by its neighbor Turkey when the West Armenians were massacred by Turkish government in 1915. Xenophon – Xenophon was Greek philosopher, theologian and poet, who left very useful information about Armenian history. In his famous work, “Anabasis”, Xenophon described daily routine of Armenians, the architectural solutions of their houses as well as wine and beer making traditions in Armenia. Yerevan – It is the 12th capital of Armenia and one of the biggest cities of Transcaucasia. Yerevan has a population more than one million and it is one of the oldest cities in the world. The earliest recorded settlement here dates back to 782 BC. King Argishti I found Erebouni Fortress in the north-eastern part of present-day’s Yerevan, with the cuneiform inscription, which says: “With the majesty of God Khald, Argishti, son of Menua, built up this inaccessible fortress and named it Erebuni…”. Zvartnots – Zvartnots is a touristic site on the way from Yerevan to Echmiadzin. It is about 15 km drom Yerevan. In Zvartnots you can see the ruins of one the architectural wonders of Armenia, which goes back to the 7th century. It had been standing about 300 years before the earthquake destroyed it. But even the ruins of the majestic structure give us an indea of its rare and unique beauty. Some of the interesting facts are displayed in the museum nearby the Cathedral. And finally Zvartnots is the name of the international airport of Armenia.