Armenia

Country Information:

About 4 million people live in Armenia and the country was founded in 1991. The capital is Erevan and the official language is Armenian. The primary religion is Christianity, without about 95 percent of Armenians as followers. The top exports are hard liquor, copper ore, gold, ferroalloys, and rolled tobacco.

A fascinating fact about Armenia is that it hosts the first state church built in the world; named Holy Etchmiadzin, it was built in the early 4th century and is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world. For wine lovers, Armenia is also one of the oldest wine producing countries across the globe.

Travelers should visit Erevan, also known as the “pink city” because its buildings are made with beautiful volcanic rocks in varying shades of pink. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, built roughly 29 years before Rome. Excellent museums and historical sites can be found here, as well as gorgeous views of snow-capped Mount Ararat.

For chess connoisseurs, a fun fact is that chess is a mandatory subject in Armenian schools.

Jim’s Perspectives:

I had a chance to visit the USSR in 1987, with my Russian history professor Dr. Willis Brooks and about 15 other students. The trip took us to see the top destinations in the country.

After going to Moscow, we traveled down to visit Tbilisi, the current capital of Georgia. The regions around Tbilisi served as one of the USSR’s most important political and cultural regions, and also a producer of food, including fruits, vegetables, wine and meat. All food items were produced on Soviet collective farms (where people were forced to farm for the “motherland”).

Afterwards, we spent time in Yerevan, the current capital of Armenia where we toured the city centre, the Opera House, and walked up the giant stairwell.

More photos of Tbilisi and Erevan:

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