Armenia is a country of ancient culture and it is often called an open-air museum. The Ararat Valley is the “main hall” of that museum. It is mountainous and land-locked country. Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. It is situated in the north-east part of the Ararat Valley.
Yerevan is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and only to the south it freely descends down to the Arax River Valley. The city is divided into two parts by Hrazdan River.
The climate in Yerevan is dry and strictly continental. Yerevan was mentioned first as a capital in chronicles dated to the 14th century. It is greatly suffered from Ottoman and Persian invasions in the XV-XIII centuries. After the unification of Eastern Armenia with Russia in 1828, Yerevan became the center of the Yerevan province. The city grew and by the turn of the twentieth century occupied a territory of some 102 sq. km with a population of 30.000 people. Since the early Soviet era, the city has been developed by the prominent Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian’s design. Successfully incorporating both national tradition and global influences, the city has taken the form of radial-circular arrangement, most appropriate for the local relief. Today the population of Yerevan is estimated at more than a million.
Visitors should start sightseeing from the hill where archeologists have reconstructed the ruins of Erebuni fortress. It was once surrounded by huge walls in three rows. In the Erebuni museum you can see bowls, Urartian seals, bronze artifacts, jewelry, and coins. In 2005, Yerevan celebrated its 2787th anniversary. The central part of the city involves three main squares: the Republic Square, the Shahumian Square and the Azatutyan Square. The Republic Square is the heart of the city, Here you can see the building of Government, the Ministry buildings and the hotel Armenia designed by Alexander Tamanyan in the best tradition of Armenian architecture. The History Museum and the Art Gallery are also to found on Republic Square. The Azatutyan Square is neighbouring to the State Opera and Ballet House making up a picturesque ensemble. The Hrazdan Stadium and the Victory Bridge with the Wine and Cognac Factories represent another composition genuinely fitting with the Hrazdan canyon. Mashtots Avenue, one of the main arteries of the city, starts here and goes up north, ending at the steps of Matenadaran – a unique research institute and museum of ancient manuscripts named after Mesrob Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. High up the hill, behind Matenadaran, the monumental statue of Mother Armenia stands on. The Baghramyan Avenue takes you further north to the buildings of the Academy of Sciences, the National Assembly and many Embassies. Today Yerevan is a big beautiful city. Visitors can enjoy walking the city streets and see many historical and cultural sights. Armenian’s rich history and culture are well documented in over 100 museums. Most of them are in Yerevan.