The Armenia is situated in the south of Transcaucasia. To the north and east the Georgian and the Azerbaijan, while its neighbours to the west and south Turkey and Iran.
It has a territory 29,800 square kilometers. It is a mere 360 kilometers long and 200 kilometers wide, with most of its territory lying 1,000 metres 2,500 above sea level. Armenia’s highest mountain is Aragats (4,090 metres) whose jagged summit is snow capped all year round except for a short period in late summer.
Armenia is often described as “sunny” and it is a fact that the Ararat Valley has almost as much sunshine as Egypt – 2,700 hours a year. Yet the republic’s terrain is such that winter the temperature sometimes drops to -46o
C. Although it is situated on the same latitude as Spain, Italy and Greece, its climate
ranges from dry subtropical to cold mountain weather. In the plateaus and foothills (where Yerevan is located), the climate is dry and continental with hot summers and moderately cold winter. The temperature in July is steady +24o
C, and -5o
C in January. The best time of the year in Armenia is definitely autumn when there is long span of clear crisp weather with rich harvests of grapes, fruits and vegetables.
Armenia has been dubbed a “geological museum” and for good reason. It has deposits of virtually all the minerals and rocks to be found in he Earth’s crust – cooper, molybdenum, gold, polymetallic and iron ores, etc. Add to that the curative mineral water springs of which there are about a thousand.
More than 100 mountain lakes number in Armenia. Sevan is the world’s biggest lake at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres above sea level.
Armenia – an Ancient Land.
The powerful state of Urartu was founded on the Armenian Highland in 9th century B.C. The ruins of the once impregnable fortresses along with other archaeological discoveries bear the hallmarks of a high degree of civil civilization.
Urartu ceased to exist in the 6th century B.C., and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Armenia which united the local tribes, including the Haiasi and Armens.
In the reign of the Artashesid (2nd-1st centuries B.C.) and the Arshakid (lst-5th centuries A.D.) dynasties, trades and handicrafts flourished in the kingdom. Its celebrated cities—Yervanda-shat, Armavir, Zarekhavan, Zarishat, Artashat and Dvin—served as capitals at different times. The development of the economy, trade and handicrafts brought about a great spiritual advancement, and Armenia became the cradle of a great civilization. Its architects built marvelous structures, of which the pagan tem¬ple in Garni (1st century A.D.) is a wonderful example. The Armenian theatre dates back to about the same time.
Armenia was converted and embraced Christianity as its official state religion in 301. In 405 Mesrop Mashtots, the scholar, invented the Armenian alphabet, which is still in use today.