According to Proexchangerates, Armenia is the oldest country, the first Christian state in the world and one of the earliest countries on Earth in general – already in the 9th-6th centuries. BC e. on the territory of Armenia there was a powerful state of Urartu. Since then, all the epochs that have swept over this ancient land have left their marks on it. Therefore, in terms of the number of historical and cultural monuments, this country can be considered one of the most interesting in the Old World. The main attractions are located in the vicinity of Yerevan, one of the oldest cities in the world, and are also scattered throughout the country, often even in the most “deaf corner” you can find a monument worthy of being considered the property of all mankind. Yerevan located in the middle reaches of the Hrazdan River, at altitudes from 850 to 1300 m. in the heart of the Ararat plain. Ancient Erebuni is mentioned in chronicles as early as the 8th century. BC e., and then, for many centuries, it was a major center of Eastern Armenia and one of the key trading centers of Transcaucasia. After the collapse of the USSR, Yerevan became the capital of independent Armenia. The center of the city is the Republic Square (it houses the Museum Complex, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other buildings) and Mashtots Avenue, which goes from the Matenadaran to the city market. The center’s radial layout makes it easy to navigate this small, sightseeing-filled area, bounded by a ring of boulevards. Numerous squares are interesting in the city center (first of all, the Opera Square with the Conservatory), the Yerevan Fortress (XVI century), the famous Institute-repository of ancient Armenian manuscripts – Matenadaran (more than 16 thousand manuscripts of the 50th centuries) with a monument to Mesrop Mashtots in front of the facade, the Sardarapat memorial complex (1968), the monument to the memory of the victims of the Armenian genocide Tsitsernakaberd with the Genocide Museum (1995), a memorial monument to the heroes of the Karabakh war – Yerablur, as well as many colorful buildings, the facades of many of which are lined with truly Armenian material – volcanic tuff. In the vicinity of the capital, you can find a huge number of historical and cultural monuments. The leading place among them is undoubtedly occupied by the magnificent Etchmiadzin – the center of the Armenian-Gregorian Church, the “heart of Armenia” and the residence of the Catholicos, known since the 2nd century BC. BC e. Here, in the center of the ancient city of Vagharshapat, known since the II century. n. e. and served as the capital of Armenia for many centuries, there are the Etchmiadzin Cathedral (301-483 AD), the majestic temples of Surb Hripsime (618), Surb Gayane (630) and Surb Shoghakat (1694), the Theological Academy of St. Etchmiadzin, the residence of the Catholicos, the Synod of the Armenian Church, a library (about 30 thousand of the rarest volumes) and a unique book depository, monastic cells and many ancient khachkars (traditional Armenian crosses of a special form), as well as the Museum of Local Lore and the Art Museum. Komitas. Near Etchmiadzin is the Musaler memorial, dedicated to the participants in the heroic defense of Musadagh in 1915. Kecharis Monastery with the churches of the Enlightener (1033), Surb Nshan (XI century), Katoghike (XIII century) and Resurrection (1220) is of no less interest.), which was in the XII-XIII centuries. spiritual center of Armenia. 15 km. to the east of Yerevan lies the impregnable fortress of Garni, which has existed since the 3rd century. BC e. according to the IV century. n. e. the summer residence of the Armenian kings (intensive archaeological research is being carried out here today).
Perhaps the most famous monument of the ancient period is also located here – the temple of the sun god Mithras (1st century). On the left bank of the Araks is the first capital of Armenia and the oldest city in the country – Armavir, founded as a fortress in the 8th century. BC e. At the confluence of the Metsamor River in the Araks lies the second capital of the country – Artashat, “Armenian Carthage”, founded in the 2nd century BC. BC e. Nearby is the medieval capital of the country – Dvin, which performed the functions of the capital from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Almost to the ground destroyed by conquerors and merciless time, Gyumri (former Leninakan) – the capital of Shirak Ashkhar and one of the oldest cities in Armenia (known from the 2nd century BC), located 126 km. northwest of the capital of Armenia, on the Shirak mountain plateau. The city is known as a center of traditional crafts, Armenian architecture, science, healthcare and tourism. A terrible earthquake in 1988 almost destroyed the city, wiping its many sights off the face of the Earth. At present, the city is almost completely rebuilt. Picturesque landscapes, archaeological sites are still attractive in the vicinity of Gyumri, many ancient temples and monasteries are well preserved, including the ruins of the Gyumri fortress (XIX century), the Harichavank monastery complex (VII-XIII centuries), the Marmashen monastery (988 -1029), a cathedral in the former capital of the Bagratid kingdom – Ani (XI century), the ruins of the 5th century basilica in Anipemza and the famous Arich Monastery (the summer residence of the Catholicoses, 7th century) with the church of St. Astvatsatsin (XII-XIII centuries). No less interesting are the ruins of the Loriberd fortress (X-XII centuries) not far from Stepanavan, excavations of settlements of the III millennium BC. e. near Vanadzor, Khorakert Monastery (XII-XIII centuries), Sanahin monastery ensemble (presumably IX century) and the unique Sanahin bridge (XII century), Haghpat monastery (X century), Nor Getik or Goshavank monastery (1188), Haghartsin monastery complex (XII-XIII centuries), Makaravank monastery (X century) and others. And, of course, the famous Dilijan resort, which is located in the beautiful wooded spurs of the mountains of the Aghstev river basin, deserves special attention.
The southeast of the country – Vayots Dzor and Zangezur – is severe and beautiful with its magnificent mountain landscapes. Mountain valleys and plateaus, narrow gorges, turbulent rivers, alpine pastures, small lakes and colorful settlements, literally stuck to the mountain slopes – these are the main attractions of the area. Here they produce the best honey in the country and are proud of the most beautiful landscapes of Transcaucasia. Here are such famous historical monuments as the Shatinvank Monastery (929), the Church of Surb Zorats in Alayaz (XIII century), the oldest of the Zangezur churches – Sisavan (VII century) with the ruins of the Vorotnavank Monastery nearby, the Tatev Monastery (IX century BC).), the ancient bridge in Vayotsdzor, the ruins of the fortress of Galidzor, the Noravank monastery complex (XIII century) with the tomb of the Orbelian family, the Church of Surb Hakob in Vernashen with its Museum of Gladzor University (one of the most famous centers of education of the Middle Ages, today it is almost completely destroyed), cave settlements of Bartsravane, Keres, Khndzoresk and Shinuayre, as well as the Jermuk resort with its famous warm mineral waters and the protected plane tree grove in the gorge of the Tsav River. Thousands of other unique historical and architectural monuments of past centuries are scattered throughout the country. Worthy of mention are the monasteries of Hadavank-Khatravank, Dadi, the Church of St. Stepanos in Togh and the desert of Koshik, in whose walls dozens of skillfully ornamented khachkars are inserted, which fully demonstrate the art of folk craftsmen and the inexhaustible imagination of stone-cutters. Khachkar, the Armenian cross, is a true symbol of the country. Stone crosses, scattered all over the country in abundance, symbolize the suffering, blood and sacrifice that a cruel history demanded from this small ancient people. Khachkars can be found in the fences of temples, and in ancient cemeteries, More than 1,700 historical and architectural monuments have been recorded in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), including about 600 monastic complexes and more than 500 churches, such as the church of Hovhannes Mkrtich in the Gandzasar monastery complex (1216-1238), the cathedral church of the Dadi monastery (1214.), the main church of Gtchavank (1241-1248), the cathedral church of Hadavank (1204) and the unique temple frescoes of Khutavank. It is worth visiting the ruins of the palace of Khachen (XIII century) north of Hokhanaberd, the Avaptuk monastery (1163) 5 km away. south of Gandzasar, the Vachara cemetery with a church made of hewn basalt stones, the Mamakan church in Tsmakahogh, the Kachaghakaberd fortress (IX century), the famous Surb Hakoba monastery (presumably VI century), etc.