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About Yerevan

 


Yerevan dates back to year 782 BC and is considered one of the most ancient cities of the world. The identification evidence of that is the Cuneiform Stone of Urartian king Argishti the First. The cuneiform states about the foundation of Erebuni fortress and is considered to be the passport of Yerevan. Yerevan is the 13th capital of Armenia and  is situated in the valley of Ararat, on the banks of Hrazdan river. At present the city is located in an area of 300 square km, consists of 12 administrative regions called communities and has about 1.3 mln inhabitants.

Population of Yerevan is monolithic, almost 98% being Armenians, followers of Armenian Apostolic Church. Yerevan is not only the administrative center, but also educational, cultural, financial center of Armenia. Yerevan has its coat of arms, anthem, flag.
 
Legend of the name.  It is said that when Noah’s ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, Noah looked out and noticing the land exclaimed “Erevats, erevats!” which means “it appeared” and hence the slightly changed name of the city came.
 
Culture:   Yerevan has a diversified and rich culture. This is mainly due to the fact that for many ages Yerevan has been influenced by various cultures and this perennial interweaving of them is noticeable in character of today’s Yerevan as well: here you can find the appearances of  modern western culture and at the same time the significant influence of the eastern civilization, pagan temples, a mosque and the first christian churches. Even the popular traditions, customs and holidays are the results of crossing of different cultures. In ancient times Yerevan was the crossroad of the caravan routes on the Silky Road and had great strategic and commercial importance. Roads between east and west were  laid through Yerevan, which also affected the formation of multilayered and rich culture. 

Yerevan is distinguished by specific architectural designs. According to the project of the Chief Architect of Yerevan in the beginning of 20th century Alexandr Tamanyan,an imaginable continuation of all main avenues of the city lead to the historical Mount Ararat. 
Almost all buildings in the historical center of Yerevan are faced with pink tuff, giving it the name of “Pink Capital”. 

Holidays: One of the most popular festivals in the city is Vardavar. Earlier the holiday was devoted to Astghik, the goddess of beauty, love and water. The tradition to pour water on each other on Vardavar has continued to this day although the festival itself has been transformed into Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ which is considered to be one of the main holidays of the Armenian Christian calendar. The “Consecration of Grapes” is another spiritual festival widely celebrated in Yerevan. As Armenia is the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD, Christian holidays are quite popular here.  

Erebuni-Yerevan or Yerevan Day which is celebrated on 10-11 October with a lot of enthusiasm by the locals. The song “Erebuni- Yerevan” was written for this special day, and later on went to become the anthem of Yerevan.

A Walk in Yerevan:  Start the walk tour in Yerevan from the Republic Square where you can see the dancing fountains and light-show program. Abovyan Street follows next with its historical buildings and houses. Keep on walking and the Northern Avenue will open a totally different picture to you - high-rise buildings with modern architectural design, western-style cafes and famous boutiques. The avenue leads to the Opera House and Swan Lake. Nearby are the Cascade stairs, a favorite among the tourists, who refer to it as "Endless stairs to the sky." The Yerevanian panorama in the observation deck on the top of Cascade is a beautiful conclusion of the walk tour. 

People of Yerevan love to go to the theatre and opera. There are many museums and libraries and different cultural centers in Yerevan. In 2012 Yerevan was announced as the World book capital.

Places to be visited in Yerevan: Visitors of modern Yerevan have the opportunity to feel the spirit of ancient times by visiting the Erebuni museum. This open-air museum is of huge archaeological value for the world. Many local and international scientists to this day continue excavations and researches in this area.

Matenadaran- the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots - is one of the oldest depositories of books and manuscripts. About 17,000 manuscripts are kept in Matenadaran. In addition to historical and cultural values, those manuscripts are also a valuable source of information about the whole region and include various spheres of science and culture. Visitors of Matenadaran can have a look at the world's largest Armenian manuscript, weighing 34 kg and next to which is the smallest prayer book weighing a mere 12 grams. Along with the Armenian books Matenadaran also keeps the manuscripts in foreign languages, the originals of which do not exist anymore. Nowadays all the literary heritage of Matenadaran is digitized and placed on the website of the institute.

Tsitsernakaberd Memorial is dedicated to the memory of 1.5 million Armenians killed in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. The memorial consists of 3 main buildings: the Memorial Wall, the Sanctuary of Eternity and the Memorial Column “The Reborn Armenia”. The 12 stone slabs around the Eternal Flame represent 12 regions of Western Armenia. The Memorial was built in a way to show that the stone giants also bowed in memory of the 1.5 million innocent victims of genocide. The memorial is one of the most impressive monuments of the world. In 1995 the Armenian Genocide Museum opened its doors on the Tsitsernakaberd hill. The museum exhibits documents, evidences and photos of genocide witnesses.

History Museum of Armenia with its more than 400,000 museum pieces and the National Gallery represent the aggregate picture of the Armenian culture and history from prehistoric times to the present days.

Visits to the of houses museums of famous film director Sergey Parajanov, artist-painter  Martiros Saryan, writer Hovhannes Tumanyan guarantee vivid impressions and beautiful memories.

Leisure. Almost everywhere in Yerevan you can see beautiful and comfortable cafes, restaurants and clubs, where in addition to pleasant music, you can also enjoy the cuisine of different countries. Jazz and karaoke clubs, discos and play stations offer a youthful and interesting leisure time while modern sports facilities and spa salons are there for those who opt for a healthy one. Numerous fashionable brand boutiques and Vernisage- the Yerevan fair- are waiting for the shopping fans. 

Walks along the beautiful parks of Yerevan are also a form of good entertainment.

Climate. Yerevan has short cold winters and hot dry summers. The amount of precipitation is not big, the average summer temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius and -5-6 in winter. 

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