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Facts About Armenia

Armenia, a country rich in history and culture, harbors intriguing and entertaining facts that might surprise you. Here are some of them about this unique country.

First Christian Nation:

Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. Today, 97% of the country is Christian, and it is home to some of the world’s most beautiful churches.


13th-century Armenian monastery Tegher


Oldest Winery:

Armenia is home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest winery. In 2011, archaeologists discovered this winery near the village of Areni in a small cave known as Areni-1 cave. This winery predates any others discovered worldwide.

 

Chess in Schools:

Armenia is the first country in the world to make chess mandatory in schools. The sport is integrated into the national curriculum, and many Armenians play chess in their daily lives.

 


Grandmaster Levon Aronian gives a chess simul in Charles Aznavour Square, Yerevan


Ancient Leather Shoe:

Armenia is home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest leather shoe. Discovered in the Areni-1 cave, the same site as the oldest winery, the shoe is estimated to be around 5,500 years old.

 

Mono-Ethnic Population:

Armenia is one of the most mono-ethnic countries globally, with approximately 97% of the population being Armenians. The remaining 3% includes Ezidis, Molokans, Russians, and others.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

Armenia boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots, Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, Monastery of Geghard, and the Upper Azat Valley.

 



This bas-relief within Geghard Monastery depicts the coat of arms of the Proshian dynasty


Cognac Capital:

Armenian brandy, often referred to as cognac, gained international fame when it became Winston Churchill’s favorite beverage. The Ararat Brandy Company produces some of the finest brandy globally.

 

Alphabet Park:

In Armenia there is a park known as Alphabet Park, where stone sculptures represent each letter of the Armenian alphabet, offering a fascinating way to explore linguistic heritage.

 

Pagan Roots in Garni:

The Garni Temple, a Hellenistic pagan temple from the 1st century AD, stands as a testament to Armenia's diverse religious history.

 



The rear side of pagan temple Garni


Apricot Paradise:

Armenia is often referred to as the "Land of Apricots." The apricot is one of many symbols  of the country. The traditional Armenian musical instrument duduk is made of apricot tree wood!



Duduks for sale in Yerevan Vernissage


Duduk:

Armenia is home to the traditional musical instrument, the duduk. It is a double-reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood. The earliest duduk-like instruments were even made of bone or cane, but today's duduks are exclusively crafted from apricot tree wood.


In conclusion, Armenia is a country with a rich history and cultural significance. Home to world-renowned landmarks, contributions to chess and winemaking, Armenia's unique heritage makes it a beautiful country well worth a visit.

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