History and Culture of Armenia
Armenia (Hayastan in Armenian), officially the Republic of Armenia is situated between Europe and Asia, in Transcaucasia occupying 29.800sq/km area. Armenia is divided into 11 regions (Marz). The capital of the country is Yerevan. The population of Armenia is 3.2 million people. The country has a very homogeneous ethnic composition, 97.9% of the population is of ethnic Armenian origin. Among other minorities are Russians, Yezidi, Assyrians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Georgians, and Belorussian. Armenia has a very large Diasporas, as an average of 8 million Armenians live world.
Culturally, historically and politically, Armenia is considered to be a part of Europe. However, due to its location in the southern Caucasus, on the conventional boundary between Europe and Asia, we can say that it’s an intercontinental country. Endowed with rich cultural heritage, Armenia is considered to be the first country to officially accept Christianity in the IV century (301).
Armenia is a country without access to the sea located in the Caucasus, in the southern Caucasus, the north-east of the Armenian Plateau, between the Black and Caspian Seas. The relief is mainly mountainous, with mountain rivers and few forests, extinct volcanoes, deep canyons, high plateaus, formed from lava, crossed by deep ravines. Most of the country is located at 1800 meters above sea level. The highest point is Mount Aragats (4092m), while the lowest is located in Debed valley (400m).
Armenia stands out with a large variety of landscapes, including 7 geographic zones, from deserts and semi-deserts to alpine and sub-alpine meadows. Because of the numerous mountain formations, which block the influence of seas, and the high location of the territory above sea level, the climate is continental with a large difference between the seasons, including hot summers and cold winters. Average summer temperatures exceed 25 º C, while in winter the temperature is -5 º C. The best time to visit the country is from April to October.
The official language is Armenian, while Russian and English are also frequently used. Armenian language is a separate branch of Indo-European language family, between groups of Slavic and Greek languages. The Armenian alphabet, created by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD, has been used until now, without any changes over the centuries.
The national currency is AMD, with notes of 1000, 5000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000, 100.000 drams, as well as coins of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 drams. In all banks and exchanges you may freely change the currency and there are no limits on currency exchange.