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Armenia honeymoon

Armenia, a historic homeland and reborn republic with rugged beauty and a fascinating culture

Destination celebration

You are cordially invited to attend the wedding of your dreams in Armenia. Under the majestic backdrop of Mount Ararat, or at the millennia-old church of your choice, spend your most special day in the most special of all places. Armenia recently celebrated its 1700th anniversary as the first nation to embrace Christianity as a state religion. What better place to hold a holy ceremony of your own?

armenianweddingArmenia is likewise becoming a more popular place for families to baptize their children. It is uplifting to see the resurgence of faith in a nation where people were ridiculed and persecuted for being religious. By christening your child in Armenia, you can plant the seed in him or her forever instilling the concepts of homeland, nation, faith, and the future.

Your long lost family

Your long lost family welcomes you home. Whether you are an Armenian who has grown up on the shores of a different country, or a world traveler looking for the ideal mix of culture, adventure, and relaxation, Armenia welcomes you with open arms. At the crossroads of cultures east and west, at the intersection of trade routes near and far, Armenia has a veritable trademark on hospitality and receptivity. The recent growth of the tourism sector means more and more opportunities for Armenians to showcase their welcoming spirit, their gracious warm-heartedness and their generous nature.

Armenia is home to close-knit extended families always ready to accept a new member, be prepared to be adopted by an Armenian family, at least in spirit! Leave behind of world of indifference and monotony and try Armenia's antidote of one part congeniality and one part hospitality.

© ATDAAgeless Armenia: the cradle of civilization wants to rock you

It is as old as the mountain ranges of the southern Caucasus and the cryptic several thousand year-old rock carvings which adorn their strewn boulders. As young as the new apartments, schools, and hospitals as Armenia's infrastructure is constructed one building at a time. From the profound wisdom of Armenia's elderly generation, having overcome genocide, world wars, and decades of suppression, to the innocence of the newborn children of a free Armenia, the hope of the future of a country which has a chance to stand on its two independent feet for the first prolonged time in 600 years.

The people of Armenia, old and young, stand in concert and with open arms welcoming first-time visitors, the investor community, or those looking to call Armenia their permanent home.

10 highlights of Armenia

A treasure trove of art, culture, architecture, spirituality and heritage

garniGarni Temple

Our first stop along our journey is at the exhilarating Garni Temple, the pre-eminent example of Hellenistic culture in Armenia today. The temple was built within a fortress in the 3rd century BC on a triangular plateau over a deep canyon, enjoying natural protection on three sides by the deep valley and rocky cliffs. Throughout its history, the temple mirrored Armenia itself, rebuilding itself after foreign invasion and destruction only to stand tall once again. Today the temple stands as it did two millennia earlier adorned by two dozen ionic columns.

Ughtasar

Syunik are the remnants of an ancient fortress. Only the determined should plan for the climb to this rooftop of the world, and only during the warmest summer months. More than 2000 ancient rock engravings (petroglyphs) at Ughtasar depict various sacred rituals, hunting scenes, folk and religious dances and other traces of Paleolithic influence dating back seven millennia. The petroglyphs, strewn among the scattered rocks around a pristine lake in the mountains, are deservedly regarded among the most mysterious and interesting attractions in Armenia. The reward is undeniable for those who can overcome the logistics of getting to the mountain peak in a sturdy 4x4.

Zvartnots Temple

Christianity, the oldest national church in the world, Echmiadzin, which means "The Descent of the Only Begotten Son." Etchmiadzin, located in the town of the same name, dates back over 1700 years and is the residence of the Catholicos of all Armenians and the spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. A walk around the grounds will reveal a beautiful cathedral, museum, and seminary among the most significant edifices of this holy site. The nearby architectural masterpiece of Zvartnots was built in the middle of the 7th century. Damaged by an earthquake in the 10th century and unearthed nearly a thousand years later in the early 20th century, the cathedral sheds light on the highly evolved architectural and spiritual development of the Armenian nation from the days of early Christianity. Its three-tiered construction has been deduced from written history and from the ruins of the structure itself by the combined efforts of archaeologists, historians, and architectural specialists.

The Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

Located in close proximity to each other on the banks of the Debed River in the forested Lori region are the Cathedrals of Haghpat and Sanahin, two of Armenia's Unesco World Heritage sites. Constructed and expanded over several hundred years starting in the 10th century, these resplendent ecclesiastical and academic centers are reminders of Armenia's years of past glory, intellectual activity, and cultural heritage. It is believed that the great Armenian troubadour and poet Sayat-Nova was born in Sanahin, the birthplace of his mother. After his life in Tiflis and his fame as a court minstrel, he became a monk, relocating to Haghpat to serve the monastery, where he continued to express himself with his favorite stringed instrument the saz.

Geghard Cathedral

Just a few minutes drive from the temple at Garni is the sheer wonder of Geghard. Feelings of solemn spirituality are interwoven with incredulous awe upon entering a church literally hollowed out from a mountain of solid rock. This stop on our cultural map is not to be bypassed. As if the architectural magnificence is not enough, the history of Geghard is noteworthy in its own right. The name Geghard, meaning 'spear' or 'lance' in Armenian, harkens back to the times of Jesus, when a spear was used by a Roman soldier to pierce the body of Christ during the Crucifixion. The spear was long housed at Geghard, but is presently in the museum of the Cathedral at Echmiadzin. By the way, if your explorations happen to occur during the performance of Armenian spiritual hymns in the vestibule of the church, you will concur that the resonant rock chamber's acoustics are indeed heavenly.

The Matenadaran Institute

The state depository of manuscripts houses an extraordinary collection of over 13,000 handwritten books. Presiding over the Yerevan city center, the building itself is a dignified edifice, with statues of Armenian luminaries and intellectuals such as Movses Khorenatsi, Toros Roslin, Grigor Tatevatsi, Anania Shirakatsi, Mkhitar Gosh and Frik as well as of the founder of the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots watching over the premises. The newly renovated repository has excellent guides who will shed light on the most noteworthy of the ensemble of tomes of treasure on display.

The Ararat Cognac Factory

As active as any explorer is, all need to find time to enjoy the finer things in life. In Armenia, this may very well mean a trip to the most famous producer of brandy in the country. The favorite drink of none other than Winston Churchill, who regularly enjoyed this Armenian specialty, brandy has a special place in the hearts of the eloquent toastmasters and orators among us. Sir Winston himself mused, "Always remember that I have taken more from brandy than brandy has taken from me." Partially owned and managed by Pernod Ricard, the brandy factory has expanded its production and market penetration in recent years while concurrently helping support the local grape industry.

Old Dilijan

Nestled in the heart of the forests of northern Armenia, Dilijan is the epitome of quaint. Home to many famous composers, artists and cinematographers, this reclusive town of 23,000 boasts a historic refurbished city center with rows of houses with typical early twentieth century interiors and others displaying handicrafts or musical instruments. This popular vacation destination is like a piece of Switerzerland sequestered within the Armenian highlands.

National Gallery

© ATDAFounded in 1919, during the pre-Soviet independent republic, the National Gallery of Armenia has the most impressive collection of art in Armenia. From classical to modern, from Armenian to western, the History Museum is an inviting indoor stop along the meandering journey among outdoor artistic masterpieces to a collection of them indoors.

The Fortress at Erebuni

Our whirlwind tour of Armenia ends with a visit back to the establishment of Yerevan, at the archaeological site on the outskirts of the modern day capital nearly 3 millennia after its founding. The fortress at Erebuni, the Urartian precursor to Yerevan has been excavated and transformed into an outdoor museum, housing over 12,000 artifacts unearthed from this thriving center of ancient civilization.

About Armenia

Armenia is situated at a cultural, historical, and religious intersection and located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, in the southern Transcaucasus. The country spans 29,743 square kilometers (11,490 square miles, about the size of Belgium or Maryland) of mountainous terrain centered around the Ararat Valley, the heart of the Armenian nation since biblical times. Ancient geographers called the Armenian Highlands the "Island of Mountains" or the "Rooftop of Asia Minor." In fact, the average altitude of the country is over a mile high, at about 1800 meters above sea level. Presently, the country is landlocked and has no navigable waterways, in contrast to Historic Armenia, which at its height under King Tigran the Great, stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and was more than ten times the current size of the present day Republic. Armenia has borders with Georgia to the north, with Turkey to the west and south, with Azerbaijan to the east and southwest, and with Iran to the south. Looming above the Yerevan skyline as an ominous reminder to its glorious past and as a beacon to a future of hope rises majestic Mount Ararat. Located southwest of the capital Yerevan in present day Turkey, Mount Ararat dominates the national landscape, psyche and character. Mount Aragats, the highest point within the Republic's boundaries (4090 meters at its summit) is a hiker's less explored paradise.© ATDA

The people of Armenia

Following the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the rebirth of the independent Armenian state, the Republic of Armenia reemerged as the latest embodiment of Armenia's perseverance as a nation. Of the approximately three million people who live in Armenia, over 95% are ethnic Armenians. In addition, Russians, Yezidis, Kurds, Greeks, and Assyrians are among the minorities who call Armenia home. Two third of the residents live in urban areas, while about one third are in rural communities. The bustling and rapidly developing capital, Yerevan is home to slightly over a million people. 

Source: www.armeniainfo.am

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