Friday, November 14, 2008
Posted by Welcome to Armenia at 3:01 AM
Posted by Welcome to Armenia at 2:55 AM
Monday, November 10, 2008
Armenia is a country of stones. When someone asks Armenia which is the richness in their country, in most cases they will definitely mention the stones. There are many types of stones on this land.
Therefore it is not surprising, that Armenians used their wealth in expressing their belief in God and being the first Christians. This expression is found on Cross Stones (in Armenian Khachkar). Khachkars are carved stones, on which one can usually find a cross. There are thousands of Khachkars in Armenia and no 2 of them are identical.
In the center of Khachkar is usually depicted a cross and is decorated with different Christian symbols or scenes from the bible or pictures of saints.
First Khachkars date back to the 9th century. The oldest known Khachkar was created in 879, found in Garni. It was dedicated to the wife of Armenian King Ashot I Bagratuni - Katranide. The carving of Khachkars reached its peak in 12-14 centuries. The carving of Khachkars was in decline after Mongols invaded Armenia in 14th century. But in the end of the 16th century it revived.
However, the tradition of carving Khachkars has not disappeared fully. Even now in Armenia there are people who are still carving Khachkars. Of course these newly carved Khachkars are not as precious as the old ones but they will gain their values with time.
There are about 40.000 Khachkars today. The most famous ones are the Khachkar in Geghard, created in 1213, and the Khachkar in Goshavank, created in 1291. Most of the Khachkars are situated near churches and other holy places, including the graveyards. Some of them are presented in museums of Yerevan and in the holy cathedral of Echmiadzin.
So if you come to Armenia, you are going to find thousand of Khachkars that you probably will not find in any other country… And if you have already found them in other countries, you have definitely felt the spirit of Armenian culture and history!
Posted by Welcome to Armenia at 6:26 AM
Thursday, November 6, 2008
One of the most famous pearls of Armenia is Lake Sevan. It is the one the most visited places by Armenians in Armenia. Not only because there is no access to see in Armenia, but because it is incredibly beautiful and once you visit it, you want to return and admire its beauty over and over again.
Sevan is a place where one can relax, have some swim and just watch the waves of the lake or how the sun is hiding itself behind the mountains.
Sevan constitutes about 5% of the all territory of Armenia, situated about 2000 meters above the sea level. One the Russian writers, Maxim Gorky, after visiting Sevan said it looked like as if a piece of sky came down to the surface of the earth among the Geghama mountains.
Like almost all places in Armenia, Sevan is also a bearer of Armenian culture. Sevanavank is a monastery located near the lake on a peninsula. It was founded in 874 by Princess Miriam, the daughter of the king Ashot I. To reach the monastery, one has to walk up the stairs for almost 10 minutes by feet. But when you reach the top, the monastery, you never regret finding yourself there. From the monastery the lake Sevan becomes even more beautiful. The panorama is admiring.
With the years, the level of water in Sevan fell, discovering the historical cultural secrets hidden under the lake, near the shore. Some of archeological artifacts found date to the 1st century B.C, some of them coming from the Bronze Age.
The temperature of the water of Sevan is about 18-22 Celsius in summers. The lake is rich of different kind of fishes that are very popular among Armenians. Many Armenians go to Sevan for eating fish there.
Posted by Welcome to Armenia at 5:53 AM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Posted by Welcome to Armenia at 2:41 AM
When I am asked what it feels like to live in Armenia, I cannot answer immediately. Not because I do not know the answer but because there are so many that I do not know to which of them I should give priority…
Living in Armenia is pride and responsibility at the same time. I am proud that I live here, on the crossroad of Eastern and Western civilizations. At the same time I have the sense of responsibility to preserve my country and introduce it to the whole world. After all, there are not many countries in the world where you can find the 1st Christian church built in the 4th century, where hospitable people live who are always nice to their guests and do their best to make visitors people feel like they are at home.
Armenia is a small country and it is hard to find it from the first look at the map. But it is a diverse country where one can find diversity and something memorable in every city and even every village of this country.
The first city where people usually go when they are in Armenia is Yerevan. They will probably be shown the Matenadaran where ancient manuscripts are kept, or Opera House which is the symbol of culture or the Republic Square which is the heart of our city, heart of our country. But there are so many beautiful places outside Yerevan. Though I have lived all my life in Yerevan and it is my home, I find much more interesting things outside of Yerevan, in the proud mountains of our country. The monastery of Tatev, Goshavank, Haghartsin, Karahunch, Zvartnots are the places where you feel the breath of centuries. Armenia is a place where everybody will find something familiar or amazing. It is the place where you always find new answers to your questions and new questions without answers. It is the place where you hear the wind speaking and the mountains whispering…
Posted by Welcome to Armenia at 2:28 AM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Armenian history dates back by thousand years, to the Stone Age, the Paleolithic Era. First Ancestral Armenian Empire, Urartu appeared in 1250 B.C. Soon it became one the rivals of Assyrians and Babylonians. The first Armenian state was founded in 190 B.C. after the destruction of the Seleucid Empire. At the peak of its power, it extended over the territories that now are eastern Turkey. Later it became part of the Roman Empire, adopting its political, philosophical and religious views.
In 301 A.D Armenian were the first to adopt Christianity as a state religion. In the 6th century Armenian Church gained independence from Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Armenian Church played a crucial role in preserving the Armenian identity and unity through centuries. Armenia was ruled by Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Turks and others between 4th and 19th centuries.
The first Armenian republic was established in 1918 and existed until 1920. Later, communists came to power and in it became part of the Soviet Union. On September 23, 1991 Armenia declared its independence fro0m the Soviet Union. Now it is an independent republic, the home of more than 10 million Armenians that live all around the world.
Posted by Welcome to Armenia at 12:46 AM