Top 50 Interesting Facts About Armenia and Armenians

Armenia stands as a distinctive country in Transcaucasia, sharing commonalities with its neighboring states in the region. Yet, it also stands as an exceptional nation with its unique customs, rich history, and vibrant culture. In this article, we’ve compiled 50 intriguing facts about Armenia and its people, offering insights to help you form an initial impression and plan your visit to this remarkable destination.

50 Fascinating Facts about Armenia and Armenians

Embark on a journey through the history, traditions, and landmarks of this extraordinary country.

Historical Insights

1. The earliest traces of human presence in modern Armenia date back 800 thousand years, marked by the discovery of the oldest stone tools by archaeologists.

2. The mythical roots of Armenia trace back to 2492 BC, as Hayk, the founder of the kingdom and ancestor of all Armenians, defeated the giant Bel, establishing the borders of his dominion around Mount Ararat and three lakes—Van, Sevan, and Urmia.

3. According to biblical legends, Armenia’s history predates even further, with many believing that Noah’s ark, escaping the Flood, found refuge on Mount Ararat. Enthusiasts continue to search for remnants of the ark.

4. The year 331 B.C. marked the emergence of the first independent Armenian state—Great Armenia—occupying an expanse ten times larger than present-day Armenia.

5. In the 4th century A.D., Armenia became the world’s first nation to embrace Christianity as its state religion, resisting Persian attempts to impose Zoroastrianism.

6. The Middle Ages brought successive invasions, starting with the Byzantines, followed by the Arabs, and ultimately the Seljuks, resulting in a significant territorial reduction.

7. The early 19th century saw Armenia becoming part of the Russian Empire, later evolving into one of the republics within the USSR after its collapse.

8. Armenia regained its independence in 1991.

Armenia Today

9. Present-day Armenia functions as a parliamentary republic, consisting of 10 administrative divisions known as «marzes» and one city of republican subordination.

10. The etymology of the name «Armenia» is rooted in the Hurrian language. Armenians, referring to themselves as «Hai,» identify their country as «Haik.»

11. The capital city is Yerevan, founded in 782 B.C., with its name linked to the Eri people who once inhabited the region.

12. Currently boasting a population just over 1 million, Yerevan stands as the largest and most modern city in the republic.

13. Armenia, a landlocked nation, shares its borders with Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, with a total border length of 1570 kilometers.

14. Ranking as the 138th largest country globally, Armenia covers an area of 29.7 thousand square kilometers and is home to slightly over 3 million people.

15. The dram serves as Armenia’s official currency, divided into 100 lums, although lum coins are largely obsolete and out of circulation.

16. Armenia’s economic landscape is a blend of industry and agriculture, with copper and molybdenum as primary exports, sourced from the rich deposits in the Caucasus.

17. The average salary in the country hovers around $400, but in major cities and specific economic sectors, it can reach up to $650.

18. Armenian is the official language, with many Armenians proficient in Russian or English. Kurdish is spoken by the national minority.

19. With over 98% of the population being Armenians, Armenia is not considered a multinational country. Yezidis (Kurds) constitute the largest national minority.

20. While Armenia is recognized as a secular state, nearly 93% of the population adheres to Christianity. The Armenian Apostolic Church, with distinct differences from Catholicism and Orthodoxy, is the predominant religious institution.

21. Armenia operates in the +4 UTC time zone, placing it 4 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Attractions of Armenia

22. The primary allure of Armenia lies in its breathtaking mountains enveloped by picturesque valleys, crisscrossed by myriad small rivers.

23. Testifying to the nation’s grand history, ancient temples stand as captivating landmarks, with the ruins of Zvartnots, a 7th-century temple, holding particular allure, showcasing only its initial tier.

храм Звартноц

24. Another ancient temple, synonymous with the country, is Garni, fashioned after the Greek Parthenon. Erected at the turn of the era, it stands as one of the unofficial symbols of Armenia.

25. In proximity to Garni lies the famed Symphony of Stones Gorge, featuring walls adorned with hexagonal stone pipes resembling an organ. These geological formations are a mesmerizing creation of nature.

26. The picturesque Geghard Monastery, dating back around 1700 years, houses the renowned spear of Longinus, alleged to have pierced the body of Jesus on Golgotha by a Roman legionary.

Хор Вирап

27. Khor Virap, known as the deep dungeon, is another iconic monastery where Gregory the Illuminator, the first Catholicos of all Armenians, endured imprisonment.

Ереван, Большой каскад

28. Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, is a city of remarkable beauty. Notable landmarks include St. Gregory’s Cathedral, the Museum of Manuscripts, Erebuni Fortress, numerous monuments and parks, along with the architectural marvel of the Great Cascade.

Character, Traditions, and Customs of Armenians

29. A defining characteristic of ordinary Armenians is their enduring warmth and hospitality. Welcoming guests with open arms, Armenians go above and beyond to ensure visitors feel cherished, sharing intriguing stories, offering treats, and creating an atmosphere of comfort.

30. In initial encounters, a customary handshake suffices; however, once you become close, expect a friendly kiss—a custom embraced by both men and women but reserved for individuals of the same gender.

на улицах Еревана

31. Armenians are notably sociable and curious, taking genuine interest in others’ lives, sorrows, and joys. Addressing their conversation partners with the term «dzhan,» meaning «dear» or «kind,» is a common expression of affection.

32. Emphasizing the significance of family ties, Armenians hold strong marital bonds and uphold deep respect for elders. Even distant relatives share warm relations within this close-knit community.

33. Celebrating the birth of a boy is a common joy in Armenian families, with brides allowed to hold another’s child during weddings, symbolizing their anticipation of future motherhood.

34. Armenian weddings, characterized by a blend of ancient traditions and modern elements, are vibrant and lively affairs, steeped in cultural significance.

армянская свадьба

35. Several traditions surround Armenian children, including refraining from displaying a newborn to others until it reaches 40 days, and sprinkling the child’s head with beans or peas upon the eruption of the first tooth to encourage the growth of subsequent teeth.

36. Funeral customs involve turning the coffin counterclockwise three times and tapping it against the house door thrice to hasten the opening of heaven’s gates, reflecting a belief in predestined fate.

37. Armenians are known for their infectious humor, readily sharing laughs and witty remarks, contributing to the overall cheerful atmosphere.

38. Entrepreneurship is deeply ingrained in the Armenian psyche, with a natural flair for bargaining considered a matter of honor, imbibed from an early age.

39. Openly showcasing wealth and celebrating achievements, particularly in their children, is a cultural norm, reflecting a prideful aspect of Armenian character.

40. Armenian cuisine, renowned for its diversity, places a strong emphasis on meat dishes, with favorites like shish kebab, dalma, kofta, and the famous Armenian beef soup, khash, gracing festive tables.

41. Armenians hold a deep appreciation for alcoholic beverages, with a belief that Noah planted the first vine on Ararat’s peak. Cognac and mulberry vodka are favored by men, while women indulge in local wines.

Nature of Armenia

42. Nestled in the breathtaking region of Transcaucasia, Armenia is positioned in one of the planet’s most stunning locales. The majority of the republic encompasses the Armenian Highlands, with the majestic Caucasus Mountains adorning the northern landscape.

43. Mount Aragats, soaring to 4090 meters above sea level, claims the title of the country’s highest point. While the iconic symbol of Armenia, Mount Ararat, now resides in Turkey.

природа Армении, Шаки

44. Armenia predominantly experiences a temperate continental climate, transitioning to subtropical in the southern regions. Noteworthy features include moderate moisture levels, significant temperature fluctuations between seasons, and climate variations based on altitude.

45. The country is crisscrossed by nearly 10 thousand rivers and streams, with only 379 exceeding 10 kilometers in length. The Akhuryan River, stretching 186 kilometers, holds the title of Armenia’s longest, while the most voluminous is the Araks.

46. Armenia boasts over 100 small mountain lakes, with Lake Sevan standing out as the largest in the Caucasus, covering an expansive area of, 1243 square kilometers.

47. The country’s terrain is categorized into five natural zones: semideserts, steppes, forests, subalpine, and alpine meadows.

48. Characterized by remarkable species diversity, Armenia’s nature, flora, and fauna are enriched by broad-leaved forests that blanket 80% of the republic. Notable species include oak, hornbeam, and beech trees.

49. The biodiversity extends to 349 bird species, 83 mammal species, along with a variety of reptiles and amphibians populating the Armenian landscape.

50. The leopard, particularly the Near-Asian leopard, stands as one of Armenia’s symbols. This graceful and captivating creature faces the imminent threat of extinction, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts.

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If you’re seeking more captivating insights into Armenians and Armenia, feel free to contribute your knowledge in the comments. This country is rich in remarkable stories, diverse culture, and unique traditions. Sharing information can be a wonderful way to broaden everyone’s understanding and appreciation for this fascinating nation. Your contributions are greatly appreciated!

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