The official date when Armenia adopted Christianity is set at 301 CE, making it the very first nation in the world to do so. Before the religion started to spread into the country as early as 40 CE, Armenia was a Zoroastrian country.
Lake Sevan is the largest lake both in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is also one of the largest freshwater alpine lakes in Eurasia, located at an altitude of 1,900 m (6,234 ft) above sea level. The lake is filled by 28 rivers and streams, and only one comes out of it.
Lake Sevan plays an important role in the cultural, economic, and recreational development of the country. 90% of the fish caught in Armenia comes from Lake Sevan, while many locals spend their summer vacation at the sandy beaches of the lake.
The cognac-style alcoholic beverage has deep roots in Armenian agricultural history. Made from Armenian white grapes and spring water, the beverage is one of the proudest things for many locals. The most famous brand is Ararat, which has been produced by the Yerevan Brandy Company since 1887. Its ordinary brandies are aged between three and six years, while the premium ones are aged between 10 and 30 years.
This snow-capped latent synthesis of a volcano and a natural border between Turkey and Armenia consists of two major cones: Greater Ararat, which is the highest peak in Turkey, and Little Ararat at an elevation of 3,896 m (12,782 ft).
Armenians believe that the “mountains of Ararat” mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the resting place of Noah’s Ark do specifically refer to Mount Ararat. Therefore, it is considered a sacred mountain for many locals and has been featured in art and literature. However, this has not yet been proven by scholars.
Simone Monasebian is the Director of the Office on Drugs and Crime at the headquarters of the United Nations. Appointed in 2010, she has been charged with handling human trafficking problems around the world.
Armenian script, developed around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, is one of the most unique languages in the world. The original alphabet had 36 letters, and two more were added a bit later. It is generally agreed that the Armenian alphabet is modeled after the Greek one, supplied with letters from various sources for Armenian sounds not found in Greek.
Lavash is the traditional flatbread of Armenia. Made in a tandoor, the flatbread has spread all over the Caucasus and Western Asia. Since 2014, the preparation, appearance, and meaning of traditional Armenian bread as an expression of culture has been listed by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Armenian carpets and rugs have been part of the country’s culture since pre-Christian times. Traditionally, these rugs were used in Armenia to decorate interior walls, cover floors, sofas, beds, and tables. Carpet and rug-making has been a must-do activity in Armenian families and an occupation for women for centuries. The carpets are composed of different ornamentation and sacred symbols that reflect the beliefs and religion of the country.
Also known as an Armenian cross-stone, a khachkar is a carved stele showing a cross with interlaces, rosettes, and botanical subjects on it. It is an example of medieval Christian Armenian art, which has also been inscribed in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Pomegranates are a symbol of Armenia. In local mythology, the fruit symbolizes good fortune and fertility. It was a guard against the evil eye. The importance of pomegranates in Armenian culture is even seen in historical manuscripts and stone carvings, where it was used as a common ornament.
Armenia is home to world-famous artists, singers, composers, and sportsmen. For instance, Cher, Kim Kardashian, the band System of a Down, and Garry Kasparov are just a few of the famous people you might not even know are Armenian.