INFORMATION ABOUT ARMENIA
According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s Ark came to rest on the “mountains of Ararat” after the Great Flood. The history of the Armenians dates to the Kingdom of Urartu or Ararat. Also the origin of the modern name, Hayastan binds with Mount Ararat. It comes from the story of Hayk, the brave and strong archer who, according to legend, was a greatgrandnephew of Noah. With the suffix “-stan” (earth), Hayastan means “the land of Hayk”. According to an ancient tradition, Hayk is the ancestor of all Armenians. He settled at the foot of Mount Ararat, left to help with the construction of the Tower of Babel and on the way back, in 2492 BC, he defeated the Babylonian king Bel.
Armenia, a mysterious land with a rich and colourful history, interwoven with wonders created in ancient times, including medieval churches and monasteries, fortresses, ancient bridges, rock carvings, famous caravanserai of the Silk Road and finally the khachkkars, cross-stones, the most widespread expression of Armenian culture.Nature of original contrasts, which stands on a plateau at about 1000 m, where nature changes considerably over a distance of a few kilometres. From the snow-covered peaks follow alpine meadows, canyons crossed by crystalline rivers, opulent forests, fertile fields and valleys, a paradise for those who want to discover the rich and varied fauna and flora …
Country: Republic of Armenia (RA), short: Armenia
Territory: 29.743 square km (similar to the Belgium’s and Albania’s territory sizes)
Population: 2.936.449 million (25 May, 2019). Armenia is the most homogeneous of the former Soviet Republics. More than 98.1 % of the population is Armenian, the rest are Russians, Yezidis, Kurdishes, Assyrians, Greeks, Ukrainians and Jews (According to the 2011 census results).
Capital: Yerevan, (community status) territory: more than 300 square km, population: 1.093.485
The Head of State: President
RA Legislative Body: Unicameral National Assembly
Geografical Position: Armenia lies on the southern slopes of the Armenian Mountains in the South Caucasus and is bordered by Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran. Its highest peak is Mount Aragats, 4,090 m /13,420 ft/ above sea level. Its biggest lake is Lake Sevan /1.417 sq. km/ in the east.
Language: The official language is Armenian. It is an Indo-European language with a distinct 39-letter alphabet. Russian and English are usually understood.
Flag: Tricolore – red, blue, apricot horizontal stripes
Religion: Armenia is the 1st country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion (declared by King Trdat III) in 301 AD. In 302 Gregory the Illuminator was the first to be anointed as the supreme patriarch of all Armenians. Absolute majority /94 %/ of Armenians belongs to Armenian Apostolic Church : its spiritual center is the Mother Seat of Holy Echmiadzin. The Armenian Apostolic Church is the religious unity with the supreme patriarch of all Armenians at its head. Religion is the anchor of a nation’s existence. During centuries of foreign domination, when Armenians did not have a state of their own, the Armenian Church helped to maintain a sense of collective identity. The church was developed as a strong symbol of the Armenian nation. Today, Christianity remains the country’s predominant religion.
Time Zone: Gmt + 4/GMT
Climate: Armenia is often described as a sunny country. The climate is highland continental, dry with four seasons. Temperatures can vary considerably between seasons. The summer is generally pleasant reaching 25°C, though in the Ararat valley temperatures can climb to 40°C. Springs are short, while autumns are long. Autumns are known for their vibrant and colorful foliage. Winters are quite cold with plenty of snow and the temperature fluctuates -13°C and -1°C.
Flora and Fauna: The wide range and complexity of flora and fauna in Armenia is truly astounding. This tiny country is home to most of the world’s ecological zones; half of the flora found in all of Europe and two thirds of its birds. The country is a flower lover’s haven, with 3500 species thriving on its mountainsides. The wild life includes 450 different species, out of which 76 types are mammals and 305 types are bird species (100 of them do not migrate in the winter), 45 types of reptils (more than 20 types of snakes), 6 types of amphibians and 24 types of fish. The country is also home to the rare Caucasian leopard, mountain goat, and ram.
Required clothing: Lightweight cotton clothing with rainwear for sudden cloudbursts is advised for the summer, while medium – to heavyweight clothing is necessary for the winter, be prepared for extreme low temperatures in the Ararat valley and near Lake Arpi.
Electricity: In Armenia the power plugs and sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Currency: Armenian Dram (the international recognition of AMD), that has been circulated since November 1993.
Below we present one of the most trustworthy websites – www.rate.am, where you can not only keep track of the daily exchange rates in Armenia, but also make use of online converters. The website provides currency rates not only for global and common currencies but also for quite rare ones as for example the British pound, Swiss franc, Chinese yen, the Georgian lari, etc.In Armenia, currency change will not become a problem. Already on arrival at Zvartnots International airport you will be greeted by numerous branches of local banks. However, we do not recommend exchanging the entire amount at the airport, only the minimum necessary, in order to avoid unfavourable exchange rate.
Banks: Banks are open on weekdays usually from 09:00 to 17:00. Some banks are open also on Saturdays but with shorter working day.
Visa: A visa is required for a visit to Armenia, except for citizens of certain: CIS and East Bloc countries. You can get a 3 week visa upon arrival for 3000 AMD ($6), while up to 120 days of stay visitor visa is issued for 15000 AMD ($31). Armenian entry visa is also issued at embassies or online at www.armeniaforeignministry.am. Entry visas to the Republic of Armenia are extended prior to the expiration at the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Visitor and transit visas are extended at the Passport and Visa Department of the Police of the Republic of Armenia /13A Mashtots Avenue, Yerevan, tel.+37410530182/. Please note that failure to extend visa on time is considered as an administrative violation and will result in administrative proceedings and fines /50.000-100.000 Armenian Drams/. Visitor and transit visas are extended at 500 Armenian Drams per extra day.
Meals: The traditional Armenian cuisine has a large variety of richly flavored dishes. Fresh vegetable and meat are considered to be the favourite food in Armenia. No Armenian celebratory table can be imagined without barbecue, kyufta, dolma or ghapama. There is also traditional dish called khash, which foresees a great ritual, starting from its preparatory process till the last moment at the table. The numerous restaurants in Yerevan offer authentic local food. There are also many restaurants serving the dishes of different world-known cuisines.
Public Trasportation: The following means of public transportation are available in Armenia.
Metro: Yerevan subway system has one-line stretching from the north to the Railroad Station in the southern edge of the city. There are 10 stations. The fare is 100 AMD.
Buss: There are buses running in major directions. The fare is 100 AMD.