Armenia: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Armenia.

  • Armenia is one of the countries created when the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991. It is located at the crossroads of eastern Europe, western Asia and the Middle East.
  • The country is mountainous, with a population of about 3 million.

  • It covers an area of almost 30,000 square km and is bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Azerbaijan.
  • Armenia is often called the first Christian country, adopting Christianity in the 4th century. The Armenian Apostolic Church is said to be the world’s oldest national church.
  • Excavations have discovered the earliest known leather shoe in Armenia, which is over 5,000 years old.
  • During its history, the country has been invaded by the Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Mongols and Byzantines.
  • The country has its own unique alphabet, dating from 405 AD. Many Armenians speak at least some Russian, and English is the fastest growing language.
  • Yerevan is the capital, and one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back to 800 BC. It is known for its Blue Mosque, St. Gregory Cathedral and Institute of Ancient Manuscripts.
  • The 4th century Geghard Monastery is situated in a steep canyon. It has several churches carved out of the rock, as well as a spring with water said to keep skin young looking.
  • Although the 5,137 metre Mt. Ararat is in neighboring Turkey, the mountain is important to Armenia and appears on their coat of arms. It is said to be the place where Noah’s Ark came to rest.
  • Wrestling, weightlifting, judo and chess are popular sports in Armenia.
  • The country first competed in the Olympics in 1992, winning 3 gold medals with only 5 athletes.
  • The apricot is Armenia’s national fruit.
  • The Armenian soup khash, which is made from cow’s feet and herbs, can traditionally only be cooked by men, and is often eaten by  groups of men.

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