- Acession to the European Council : 2001
- Area : 29,743 km²
- Population : 2.98 million inhabitants (2014)
- Capital : Yerevan
- Official language : Armenian
- Predominant religion : Christianity
- Government type : Republic
- Head of State : Armen Sarkissian, President, elected on Mars 2, 2018.
- Head of Government : Karen Karapetyan, Prime Minister since September 2016
- Official currency : Dram (AMD)
- International code : +374
- National holiday : September 21
Converted to Christianity in the late third century AD, Armenia has a long history characterized by the constant threat of invasion by foreign powers, including the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Mongols, Arabs, Ottomans, and Russians. As a result, there have been many struggles for power in Armenia over the centuries, especially between the Ottoman and Persian Empires. As Armenia does not have access to the sea, relations with its neighbors remain unstable. Relations with Turkey are uneasy because the events of 1915, and relations with Azerbaijan are similarly uncertain.
- 878 : The war between Russia and Turkey for control over Armenia comes to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Berlin.
- 1894-1896 : Abdul Hamid organizes the Armenian massacre, which resulted in the death of 300, 000 Armenians. This tragic event led to a mass exodus from Armenia.
- 1915-1918 : Forced Islamization, confiscations of land, and mass genocide result in the death of over 1.5 million Armenians during the Genocide of 1915.
- 1918-1920 : Armenian declares its independence with the singing of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.
- 1920 : Under the Treaty of Sèvres, President Wilson granted the Armenian Republic a large portion of land. However, in September, Armenia was invaded by the Turkish army. In December, the two parties struck an accord. Unfortunately, Armenia was soon after invaded by the Red Army, ultimately becoming a part of the Soviet Bloc.
- 1921 : The borders of Transcaucasia are officially established under the Treaty of Kars between Turkey and Russia. Armenia loses some territory.
- 1922-1991 : Armenia becomes a part of the USSR.
- September 9, 1988 : Despite a large Soviet military presence, 100,000 protesters in the Armenia capital of Yerevan swear loyalty to the tri-colored Armenian flag of Independence.
- 1990 : The Armenian National Movement wins the national elections. In August, the Parliament adopts the Declaration of Independence.
- September 21, 1991 : By national referendum, Armenia declares its independence.
- 16 octobre 1991 : Levon Ter Petrossian becomes the first president of Armenia, elected by universal suffrage.
- March 2, 1992 : Armenia joins the United Nations.
- May 1994 : A cease-fire is signed between Armenia and Karabakh.
- May 1995 : A new constitution is adopted.
- 1996 : Partnership and Cooperation Agreements with EU.
- March 1998 : M. Robert Kotcharian becomes the second president of the Republic.
- 2001 : Accession to the Council of Europe. France officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
- 2004 : Armenia benefits from the European Neighbourhood policy.
- 2008 : Accession to the International Organisation of La Francophonie, as an associated State.
Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world. One can admire an ancient inscription engraved on the stone in 782 BC, referring to the construction of a fortress called Erebuni, built by King Arghisti I, which gave its name to the city.
Capital of Armenia, located on the river Razdan, the city of Yerevan is the major economic, administrative, and scientific hub of the country. It was mentioned for the first time in the sixth century BC, yet it only became the administrative center of Eastern Armenia in 1440, before passing into the hands of the Russian Empire in 1828. Because of the forced migrations in the history of the Armenian people, the city is not only the capital of the country, but also the capital for all Armenians scattered around the world. Since Armenia obtained its independence, the city of Yerevan has freed itself from the symbols of the communist regime. Names of major avenues and squares were renamed, while the statues of the heroes of the Soviet Union were taken down.
The city has evolved through several civilizations over the centuries. Yerevan houses the Matenadaran foundation, which is one of the oldest and richest libraries in the world, recognized by the “Memory of the World” UNESCO program.
Picture : Odzun church © wikimedia commons
Architecture is a very important aspect of Armenian heritage. The various civilizations in Armenia have left astounding works of architectural behind, which are recognized around the world. From the beginning of Christianity, the country experienced a new era in architecture, and temples and churches were erected that are now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Three sets of monuments are particuarly famous: the Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the archaeological site of Zvartnots (2000), the Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley (2000), and the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin (1996).
Picture : Odzun church © wikimedia commons
What do the colours of the Armenian flag refer to ?
An iconic symbol of Armenia, the flag has three horizontal stripes of equal width, each of which has a special meaning.
The red color at the top represents the constant struggle of the Armenian people to survive. The blue color in the middle symbolizes the will of the Armenian people to live in a peaceful environment. Finally, the yellow stripe on the bottom represents creativity and perseverance, which are considered to be the two defining characteristics of the Armenian people.