Armenia

COUNTRY WHERE FAMILIES ARE HAPPY

If I am asked where is the place on the earth that one can come across many miracles, I would name Armenia. Involuntarily you are surprised in such a small place on the earth it is possible to meet such monuments and such people, who can be the ornaments and pride of the whole world.

 

Rockwell Kent

Geography

Armenia is located in the South Caucasus, in the north-western part of the Armenian Highland and has no access to the sea. It shares borders with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey. The country area is 29,800 square kilometers, of which 90% are located at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. The highest point is Mount Aragats (4090 m), and the lowest – Canyon of the River Debet (400 m). The relief is mountainous, with fast flowing rivers and few forests. Mountain ranges occupy 47% of the total area, which greatly complicates the agriculture.

Nature

The nature in Armenia is picturesque and diverse. More than 3000 species of plants are growing here, which is considered the half of the species composition of the Caucasus. All this is explained by the complex and diverse relief, soil and climate as well as an interesting location at the crossroads of different floristic provinces: Caucasian wet and drier Central-Atlantic and Armeno-Iranian. Forests cover only 13% of the country. Here you can find the following types of trees: oak, beech, pine, linden, maple, ash, hornbeam and others.

Flora

The variety of plant-life in Armenia is truly astounding - 3500 species - more than half of the 6,000 that can be found in the entire Transcaucasia region . The country has everything from desert plants to oak, beech and pine forests, wet marshland and sub-tropic plants to alpine meadows teeming with wild flowers. There are even virgin fields of wild grain, the forebears of the first wheat in the ancient world, believed to have been cultivated in Armenia 12-15,000 years ago. Known by their genus names Triticum Urartu and Triticum Araraticum, the wheat is native to the Ararat valley and can be found in small protected fields between Yerevan and Garni. 

Fauna

Fauna in Armenia is diverse given the country's relatively small geographic size, owing to the varied habitats created by the area's mountainous terrain. The wildlife of Armenia includes wild boars, porcupines, various lizards, snakes and 350 species of birds. Endangered species living in Armenia are the Caucasian bear, Caucasian bearded goat, the Armenian mouflon (sheep) and the leopard. Research suggests that about a quarter of the animal species in Armenia are internationally endangered. 

Language

The official language is Armenian. It is considered a separate branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The Armenian alphabet was created by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 and consists of 39 letters.

At this time, the Armenian language is divided into two branches: Eastern and Western. Eastern Armenian is spoken by Armenians living in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, and Iran. Western is the language of the diaspora living mainly in Europe and the United States.

Religion

Armenia is the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the oldest Christian churches. The church is called Apostolic in honor of the apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew, who were the first to preach Christianity in Armenia. It is also called Gregorian in honor of Gregory the Illuminator, who was the first Catholicos of all Armenians. Armenia, also known as the “Land of Churches”, has over 4,000 monasteries and churches, which can be found all over the country. 95% of Armenians are followers of the Christian belief.

The Pre-Christian History

While most of the Armenian churches were built on top of pagan temples, one temple managed to survive the Christianization of the country. Garni, which is currently the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in the territory of the former Soviet Union. The Garni Temple is the best known symbol of Pre-Christian Armenia, yet more temples are being discovered throughout the country. The excavation of the pagan temple Hoghmik were resumed in 2003, revealing more information about the forgotten Armenian pagan past.

Education

Armenia has stressed free access to education. A national policy directed at the elimination of illiteracy began in the first republic (1918–1920) and continued in Soviet times, resulting in a nearly 100 percent literacy rate.

Women enjoy equal rights at all levels of education.

A private higher education system was introduced in 1992.

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