Armenia, Christian land

Blason de l'ArménieAccording to the Bible, Noah's Ark crashed atop Mount Ararat. Noah's grandson, Hayk, gave his name to the country: Hayastan.

His descendants, the Armenians, still call themselves the Hays.

Armenia was the smallest of the 15 republics of the USSR and today only occupies a small part of historic Armenia. The Armenians lived a turbulent history, dotted with invasions, destruction and massacres. But the stubbornness of this people, clinging to their land, despite the harsh conditions of a very rugged mountainous region, hot and humid in the east, very dry beyond Lake Sevan (1,300 km') down to the foot of Ararat (5,156 m, in Turkey), allowed him to keep his culture and his faith intact.

Armenia also has two capitals: Yerevan and Etchmiadzin.

The political capital, Yerevan, is experiencing constant population growth and attracts the majority of local industries. The rest of the country, dotted with historic sites, monasteries and churches, the oldest of which date from the 5th century, remains very agricultural.

A modern city built of tuff, a pink-colored volcanic stone, Yerevan is proud of its museums, mainly the Maténadaran (National Library) which preserves thousands of ancient and precious illuminated manuscripts.

Etchmiadzin, however, remains the spiritual capital, being the seat of the Catholicos of the Armenians. Armenia can boast of being the first state in the world to have adopted Christianity as its official religion. This happened in the year 301. 80 years before the Roman Empire! Of monophysist doctrine, that is to say recognizing only the divine nature of Christ, and not human nature, the Armenian church is neither Orthodox nor Catholic.

Despite the terrible massacres of 1915, the first genocide of the 20th century, despite the total Sovietization of part of their territory in 1920, the Armenians, firmly attached to their religion, their culture and their language, continued to safeguard their personality either in the diaspora, or in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The difficult living conditions in this rocky country with polar winters and scorching summers have shaped the character of the Armenians: patient and hardworking. In their incessant struggle against the invaders, they also acquired a sense of mutual aid and patriotism.

Let’s add fabulous hospitality!