Armenia is a small country with a very big history, having been a crossroads of the world’s greatest empires throughout its history. Armenia, part of the former Soviet Union until 1991, lies on the Silk Road, and was the first country to adopt Christianity in about 300AD. The Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Persians, Ottomans, and Russians have all had an influence on this small country.
Its rich cultural and architectural heritage combines elements from different traditions. The Armenian language is part of the Indo-European family, but its alphabet is unique.
The whole country of Armenia is like an open-air museum. It’s rich in stone structures, temples and churches created throughout the ages. The stone carvings on the rock formations of the Geghama Mountains, situated near Lake Sevan, serve as evidence of early civilization, and are the reflection of the early mythological thought, lifestyle, hunting practices, astronomical knowledge and other features of local prehistory. In the Ararat Valley, you will find the remnants of the Medzamour Bronze and Iron Age settlements – symbols of early urban civilization in Armenia.
The Armenians trace their history to the Sixth Century B.C. Throughout history, Armenia has been a battlefield for many invaders, contending empires, and a bridge for many cultures and civilizations. During the past 2,700 years, Armenia was conquered by the Persians, Alexander the Great, Rome, Byzantium, the Ottoman Turks and Russia. Invaders such as Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols, Tatars and Safavids also crossed Armenia.
In addition to our set group departures, Caravan-Serai Tours can also craft an independent tour. Visit our sample itineraries or the group departure itineraries for ideas, and give us a call.
Suggested Pre-Trip Reading
Below are a selection of books about Armenia – history, culture, travel, international relations, food and language – available on Amazon. These are just suggestions to help you familiarize yourself a bit before you travel. Of course there are many more books to read on the subject, but hopefully these will get you started.
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