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Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն

Hajastani Hanrapetutjun
Republic of Armenia
Flag of Armenia
Arms of Armenia
flag coat of arms
Official language Armenian
Capital Yerevan
State and form of government parliamentary republic
Head of state President Armen Zarkissyan
Head of government Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
area 29,800 km²
population 3.0 million ( . ) (2019; estimate)
Population density 104 inhabitants per km²
Population development + 0.2% (estimate for 2019)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nom.)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 14 billion ( 133. )
  • $ 42 billion ( 119. )
  • 4,605 ​​USD ( 108. )
  • 14,177 USD ( 93. )
Human Development Index 0.776 ( 81st ) (2019)
currency 1 Dram = 100 Luma
1 € = 635.76 AMD
1 AMD = 0.002 €
(as of 23 Dec 2020)
independence May 28, 1918 (declaration)
September 21, 1991 (recovery)
National anthem Mer Hajrenik
National holiday 21st September
Time zone UTC + 4
License Plate AT THE
ISO 3166 AM , ARM, 051
Internet TLD .at the
Phone code +374
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Armenia ( Armenian Հայաստան, transcription Hajastan [ hɑjɑsˈtɑn ], officially the Republic of Armenia, Armenian Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն , transcription Hajastani Hanrapetutjun [ hɑjɑstɑˈni hɑnɾɑpɛtutʰˈjun ]) is a landlocked country in the Middle East and the Caucasus with around 3 million inhabitants. It borders Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, the Azerbaijani exclave Nakhichevan and Iran to the south, and Turkey to the west . The national territory comprises the northeastern part of the formerly much larger Armenian settlement area, which, however, rarely formed a unified empire in the eventful history of the country . The capital and largest city of Armenia with around one million inhabitants is Yerevan . Other important cities are Gyumri , Vanadzor and Vagharschapat with the Etchmiadzin Cathedral ( UNESCO World Heritage Site ).

Becoming a state

In 188 BC Chr. Is called Artaxias I. to king of Armenia. His descendants, the Artaxid dynasty , consolidated the further independence of Greater Armenia as an independent kingdom. Around 95 to 55 BC The power of the Artaxid state reached its climax under Tigranes the Great . A little later, however, the country became the plaything of the two great powers it was between, namely the Roman Empire and the Arsakid Parthian Empire . In the middle of the 1st century AD, the two powers agreed that from now on only Arsakid princes should come to the Armenian throne with the consent of the Roman emperors. When the Sassanids took power in Iran in AD 226 , the Arsacids were able to hold their own in Armenia until 428.

The acceptance of Christianity by King Trdat III are considered essential cornerstones of national independence . which, according to tradition and the official Armenian point of view, AD 301, according to historical research, however, took place around 315 (i.e. only after Emperor Constantine ), and the year 405, when the Armenian script was introduced. In late antiquity , however, there were not only Christians in the country, but also Zoroastrianism had numerous followers. After the division of the Armenian Kingdom of the Arsacids in 387 between East Current in the west and the Sassanid Empire in the east ( Persarmenia ), the Armenian settlement area was united only once, from 885 to 1045, under the Bagratids , whose capital was Ani from 961 .

Christian Byzantines and Muslim Arabs have been fighting for control of the country since the 7th century. The Seljuks conquered Armenia in 1064, followed by the Mongols in the 13th century . In 1555 the country was divided between Persia and the Ottoman Empire , a second time in 1639, when the Safavids got roughly the present state territory and the Turks got the larger western part. In the Russo-Persian War , Persia lost the province of Armenia to the Russian Empire in 1828 . During the First World War , numerous Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian genocide , and the Armenian settlement area shrank significantly. The border between Turkey and the Russian sphere of influence was established in 1922. The the Soviet Union part of Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic gained with the collapse of the Soviet Union their independence 1991st The areas to the west of it were lost to Armenia.


Topographic map of Armenia
Topography of Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan

Location and structure

Armenia is located in the Western Asia region at the transition between Asia Minor and (from a European point of view so named) Transcaucasia , between 38 ° 51 ′ and 41 ° 16 ′ north latitude and 43 ° 29 ′ and 46 ° 37 ′ east longitude . The state covers an area of ​​29,800 km² in the northeast of the Armenian Highlands and on the southern edge of the Lesser Caucasus .

With almost 30,000 km², the area of ​​Armenia is about the same size as the German state of Brandenburg . It borders Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, Iran to the southeast, the Azerbaijani exclave Nakhichevan to the south and Turkey from southwest to west . The current population is about three million.

Armenia is a mountainous country . 90% of the country's area is more than 1000 meters above sea level, the mean height is even 1800 meters. The 3000 meter high foothills of the Lesser Caucasus extend from the north . The highest point is the extinct volcano Aragaz (4090 meters) not far from the biblical Ararat , the lowest point is around 380 meters high on the Aras River on the border with Iran and Azerbaijan . The area lies in a mountain range of folds  - it was created and is still changing as a result of the collision of the Eurasian plate with the Arabian plate  - and is therefore at great risk of earthquakes due to faults . The rock is often of volcanic origin. Among the proven mineral resources, the most important are various copper oxides, which contain molybdenum , iron and gold as a by-product , as well as uranium, various semi-metals , gemstones and rocks such as tuff , basalt , marble and others. There are also mineral water springs, the water of which is used for healing purposes and in everyday life.

Landscape in Lori

The largest lake in Armenia and the whole of the Caucasus is the Sevan lake northeast of Yerevan, about 1900 meters high, with an area of ​​currently about 1242 km². Due to water abstraction, its area has decreased significantly (1984: 1262 km²). The longest rivers in Armenia are Aras , Vorotan , Kassagh , Hrasdan and Debed .


View over Lake Sevan

Through the territory of the Republic of Armenia the 40th running Latitude , which also Menorca and the northern border region of California runs and in the nearby towns such as Otranto , Aranjuez , Philadelphia and Beijing are. However, due to the considerable differences in altitude - for example, the valley of the Aras River (at an altitude of approx. 840 m) runs only about 50 km south of the Aragaz mountain (altitude 4090 m ) - and the small-scale, varied landscape structure, different local climates arise. On the one hand, the nearby seas have a balancing effect, on the other hand, the high mountains in the area encourage extreme fluctuations. The high peaks of the Caucasus counteract severe cold spells from the north. In the valleys and lowlands, the climate is continental , with temperatures in summer around midday mostly above 30 ° C. In the mountains it is generally a bit cooler, and on the border with Iran it is subtropical and very dry.

See also: Climate in the article Yerevan

Plant and animal species

Armenian rock lizard

The territory of the Republic of Armenia is rich in species; there are a variety of endemic species. Salt plants can be found in the macaw lowlands . Artemisia are widespread up to an altitude of 1400 meters . Many thorny shrubs and other prickly plants such as thistles grow in the mountainous terrain . In the high mountains there are more dry-loving plants. Around 1900 around 25 percent of the area was covered by trees or bushes, in 1964 around 15 percent, in 2005 only eight to 10 percent.

In Sangesur in the south of the country, the tree line is 2400 meters. At even higher altitudes, the flora resembles that of the Alps .

Syrian brown bear

The Latin name of the apricot , Prunus armeniaca , translates as "Armenian plum". The apricot is one of the symbols of Armenia.

There are many reptiles, including the Armenian rock lizard and venomous snakes such as vipers , and scorpions among the arachnids . Wild boars , jackals , deer , mink , seagulls and eagles live in the damp lowlands ; in the steppes in the mountains mainly rodents; Syrian brown bears , wild cats and wolves can also be found in the forests . In the Nature Reserve Khosrov still live lynx , wild goats and some Caucasian leopard . The Armenian wild sheep also comes close to this reserve and the southern Zangezur before -Bergen. Their total population in Armenia is estimated at only about 250 animals. However, the subspecies of the mouflon is also found in neighboring countries such as Iran .

The invertebrates are poorly studied in Armenia. For example, of the very species-rich spiders, only around 150 species have so far been identified.

Protected areas

Armenia has several reserves and national parks. These include the Chosrow Reserve located southeast of the capital , the arid Erebuni National Park in the immediate vicinity of Yerevan, the densely wooded Shikahogh Reserve in the south of the country, the Sevan and Dilijan National Park , the Arevik National Park , the Arpi National Park and the Zangezur reserve .

Armenia has also nominated 23 emerald areas with a total area of ​​10,337.20 km² (34.69% of the state area) (as of December 2020), which are still pending recognition by the Committee of the Council of Europe as protected areas according to the Bern Convention .


Early history and antiquity

Kingdom of Urartu

Urartu under King Rusa I.

The origins of the Kingdom of Urartu lie on Lake Van . In order to be able to defend against the Assyrians , it came under King Arama of Arzaškun around 850 BC. To the alliance with the Aramaic city-state Bit Agusi . 848 BC There were heavy attacks by Shalmaneser III. against Arzaškun, in the course of which the surrounding towns were destroyed and Arama fled into the mountains. In the years 844–832 BC BC led Shalmaneser III. further campaigns against Nairi . Under Sarduri I was around 832 BC. The king and capital Tušpa (today's city of Van ) was founded in a province of Nairi on Lake Van.

His successors enlarged the empire and made it flourish; many fortresses were newly founded (probably to secure the conquered areas). Crafts and agriculture developed under Menua's rule (around 810–785 BC). Magazines and granaries were laid out. He also built a 70-kilometer-long canal to supply fresh water from the Hoşap Valley to Tušpa, as the nearby Lake Van is salty. Today it is wrongly named after the legendary Queen Semiramis .

Under Sarduri II (about 765–733 BC) Urartu reached its greatest extent. But in an effort to break the supremacy of the Assyrians, he overstrained his strength and was crushed by them.

Urartu was able to recover under Rusa I (about 733-714). The Assyrian King Sargon II (721–704 BC) destroyed Musasir in 714 . Rusa I allegedly committed suicide and his successors attempted to consolidate the empire again. Until 609 BC Urartu continued to exist before the end of Assyria until 547 BC. A renewed upswing followed and it was left to the Persian Cyrus II to make the country subject to tribute again.

First mention of the name "Armenia"

In Persian times, the name Armenia was given in 521 BC. First mentioned on a trilingual inscription. In Assyrian it is spoken of Uraštu (Assyrian for Urartu), in Persian of Arminia (Armenia). It is uncertain which event is behind this name change. The Armenians' self-designation (Hajer) is different, the Armenian language is only passed down in their own written documents about 900 years later.

Herodotus reported that the Armenians in the 7th century BC Immigrated from Phrygia under their eponym Armenos . Such immigration is mostly assumed in historical literature.

Persian rule

From about 546–331 BC. The country was ruled by the Persians, who had meanwhile ousted the Medes and took over their empire, and even built it into the first world empire that stretched from Asia Minor to India. The province of Armenia came to the Persians as part of the large media satrapy . Armenia itself was divided into eastern and western Armenia, with the eastern part having supremacy over the west.

“The fate of Armenia under the Achaemenid rule makes it clear that during those two centuries the country was, as it were, in the slipstream of history. The satrap system in the Persian Empire preserved Armenia as a geopolitical unit in the form of a province. Before the country made history as an independent kingdom in Hellenism, we learn very little about its people, their customs and traditions. "

Largest expansion of Armenia under Tigranes II.

Alexander the Great, Seleucids

334 BC Chr. Began Alexander the Great in his campaign against the Persians and conquered Persia in a few years. His goal was to permanently consolidate the rule of the Hellenes through the fusion of cultures (mass wedding of Susa, own marriage to the daughter of Darius III ). However, he could not finish his work, since he was in 323 BC. Died of fever in Babylon. Armenia also came under Hellenistic influence, but it was not conquered.

Alexander's successors ( Diadochi ) divided the huge empire among themselves (Diadochi empires). Armenia came into the sphere of interest of the Seleucid Empire , which Armenia ruled in the meantime (215–190 BC). Their empire included Persia, Mesopotamia and parts of Asia Minor.

The temple of Garni is based on Hellenistic-Roman forms and was built in the 1st century BC. Built in BC. Destroyed by an earthquake in modern times, it was rebuilt from original parts in the 20th century.

Greater Armenia

After the Seleucid Empire was defeated by the Romans in the Battle of Magnesia in 188 BC. Artaxias I proclaimed himself king of Armenia. His descendants, the Artaxid dynasty , consolidated the further independence of Greater Armenia as an independent kingdom. Around 95 to 55 BC The power of the Artaxid state reached its peak. Tigranes the Great proclaimed himself King of Kings and at times even controlled the former Seleucid heartland of Syria. However, his alliance with Mithridates of Pontus brought him into conflict with the Romans, who forced him to give up Syria again and to recognize their sovereignty over his state. Especially in the west of the country, the Greco-Roman influence was now also culturally noticeable.

Since Armenia was geostrategically central, it soon became a bone of contention between Rome and the Parthians: The Parthian Empire , which ruled Mesopotamia and Iran, succeeded in putting representatives of its own ruling house, the Arsakids (Arsakuni, ruled between 54 and 428) on the throne . The Roman Empire recognized this after a military exchange of blows in AD 66: A compromise provided that the Parthians were allowed to determine the respective Armenian ruler, but that he would have to be officially appointed by the Roman emperor. A war broke out under Emperor Trajan in 114 AD when the then Parthian king tried to bypass the Romans in the succession plan in Armenia. For a short time, Armenia was integrated into the Roman Empire as the province of Armenia , but was given up again after a few years.

Roman provinces under Emperor Trajan (117 AD)

Late antiquity

Even after the end of the Parthian Empire, Armenia remained controversial between Rome and Persia. Between 252 and 297 the Sassanid Empire succeeded in bringing Greater Armenia under their influence, the successors of the Parthians. The area remained a point of contention between the Sassanids and Rome throughout late antiquity , see also Roman Armenia . After Emperor Diocletian had defeated the Sassanids in 298, they had to give up their sovereignty for the time being. Trdat III. from the house of the Arsacids ascended the throne and declared Christianity the state religion around 314 AD . Armenia became the first Christian state in the world.

In 387 Rome and the Persian Empire of the Sassanids divided the Great Armenian Kingdom among themselves, see also Persarmenia . During this time, the Armenians developed a high-quality Christian culture, literature and architecture - especially after Mesrop created their own alphabet in 406. In 428, the Sassanids deposed the Arsakid kings of Armenia and placed Persarmenia under direct Persian administration. When the Sassanids then under King Yazdegerd II tried to introduce the Zoroastrian state religion in Armenia, there was an uprising of the Armenians under the Mamikonjan in 451 . A long guerrilla war ensued , which finally ended in 484 with the recognition of Christianity by the Sassanids.

In the 6th century, Armenia again became one of the main areas of combat between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanids (see Roman-Persian Wars ). Emperor Justinian I placed the Roman part of Armenia under its own magister militum per Armeniam , which underlines the growing military importance of the area. In 572, the violent action taken by the Persian governor against the Christians of Persarmenia gave rise to a new war with the Romans. In the peace treaty of 591, the Eastern Romans succeeded in bringing the majority of Greater Armenia under their control. However, the occupation led to uprisings by the Armenian nobility. The ancient phase of Armenian history ended with the Islamic expansion in the 7th century. The sovereignty over the area later changed several times between East Stream / Byzantium and the Caliphate .

Islamic conquest and medieval Armenian state formation

Armenian Kingdom of Bagratids

By 700 the Arab tribes managed to establish permanent rule in the country. They crushed uprisings by the Armenian nobility. Within the nobility, the leading family changed during this time: The Bagratids (Bagratuni) took them over from the Mamikonjan and were able to expand their rule to parts of Georgia.

Ashot I succeeded in the weak phase of the caliphate in 885/886 to re-establish an Armenian kingdom, which was recognized by both the caliph and the Byzantine emperor. Ashot II (915–928) brought the struggle for freedom to a provisionally successful conclusion.

In the second half of the 11th century, the empire fell through unfortunate wars and internal strife. The empire split into several sub-empires, most of which were gradually occupied by the Byzantines. In 1045 the Armenian capital Ani was occupied by Byzantine troops. The hope of the Byzantines to be able to build up an effective defense against the Seljuks was not fulfilled. In the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV was defeated by the Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan and Asia Minor was temporarily completely lost to the Byzantines.

Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia

As a result, in 1080 Armenian refugees founded an independent principality of Little Armenia under the Rubenids in Cilicia . These allied with the Crusaders against Byzantines and Turks. In 1342 the kingdom fell to the Catholic House of Lusignan of Cyprus, but soon came to the Egyptian Mamluks and then to the Ottoman Empire .

Development after the end of the medieval Armenian state formation

The original, ancient Armenia mostly came under the rule of the powers that ruled Iran, the Seljuks , Khorezm Shahs , the Mongol Ilkhan , the Timurids , the Qara Qoyunlu and the Aq Qoyunlu . The area was devastated by constant military campaigns and depopulated by emigration to Asia Minor, the Crimea and the Ukraine. During this time, the class of Armenian feudal lords, the neighbors , who had previously formed a buffer between the Muslim overlords and their subjects, was largely destroyed step by step. At last it came under the rule of the Safavids . After the Battle of Tschaldiran in 1514, the Caucasus region with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan , Mesopotamia and the neighboring Iranian territories became the subject of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and several wars between the Ottomans and Safavids. Finally, in 1639, in the Treaty of Qasr-e Shirin, the border between the two empires was established roughly where the border between Iraq and Turkey on the one hand and Iran, the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia on the other hand still run today . The eastern part of the Armenian settlement area, including the territory of today's Republic of Armenia, remained under Persian rule, that of the Safavids and their successors.

Caucasus Armenia under Persian and Russian rule

The part remaining under Persian rule was largely depopulated by the Armenian population as a result of the resettlement of the Armenian population under Shah Abbas the Great . In remote mountain regions, however, an Armenian population and Armenian petty princes stayed. The progenitor of the Bavarian noble family von Aretin came from one of these small prince dynasties .

After the Persian Empire last appeared as a great power under Nadir Shah , after his death in 1747, various khanates were formed under Azerbaijani-Turkish rulers who recognized the suzerainty of the Shah of Persia in what is now Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In 1828 this eastern part of Armenia came under the sovereignty of the Russian Empire with the peace of Turkmanchai as a result of the Russo-Persian War from 1826 to 1828 . It was in the area of the Khanat Jerewan the Armenian oblast formed, which in the 1850 government Eriwan was converted. After the acquisition of Kars, the Kars Oblast was formed. Under Russian rule, the Armenians gradually formed the majority of the population again in what is now Armenia in a contiguous larger territory.

In the wake of the revolution of 1905 , mutual massacres between Armenians and Azerbaijanis broke out in the eastern Caucasus region .

The Armenians under Ottoman rule

Under the rule of the Ottomans, the Armenians enjoyed a certain formal autonomy under the Millet system . The most densely populated core area was in the triangle Erzurum - Yerevan - Lake Van (see adjacent map).

Armenian-populated regions in the Ottoman Empire (1896); Map from Petermann's Geographical Communications

When the Ottoman Empire increasingly fell into disrepair from around 1800, parts of the Armenians saw Russia as a major Christian power as a protective power that should enable them to gain independence following the example of the Christian Balkan peoples. After the ninth Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) in the context of the Balkan crisis , the Ottoman Empire had to cede further parts of Eastern Armenia and the provinces of Kars and Ardahan to Russia in the Peace of San Stefano . These territorial regulations were largely upheld at the Berlin Congress . The Berlin Treaty also provided for “improvements and reforms” “which require the local needs in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians”, as well as “to stand up for their security against the Circassians and Kurds” (Article 61 of the Berlin Treaty). The diplomatic missions of the European powers were granted protection rights for clergy. One of the main complaints of the Armenians in these Eastern Anatolian areas was that both the Ottoman officials and the Kurdish feudal lords tried to collect taxes and levies from them or to extort them. The area of ​​these reforms was called the Vilayat-ı custom .

However, there was no improvement in the situation. In the years 1894-1896, the Ottoman government initiated several massacres of the Armenian population , which killed 80,000 to 300,000 residents.

In 1885 , the first Armenian political party, the Democratic-Liberal Party (under the name Armenakan at the time) , was founded in Van , which was mostly inhabited by Armenians . After the Armenians and Young Turks were still allies in the revolution of 1908, the Young Turks changed under the impact of the disastrous development of the Ottoman Empire (1908 Bosnian annexation crisis , independence of Bulgaria, declaration of independence of Crete, 1912 invasion of Italy in the Tripoli War , followed by the Balkan Wars ) an increasingly Turkish nationalist party, which development increased after the entry of the Ottoman Empire into the First World War .

First world war and independence

On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman interior minister Talât Bey , who belonged to the nationalist-oriented Young Turkish movement that came to power in 1913 , arranged for the arrest and deportation of Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul . This deportation is considered to be the beginning of the Armenian genocide .

From 1918 to 1920 the independent Democratic Republic of Armenia existed , which joined the Entente against the Central Powers . The Treaty of Sèvres of August 10, 1920, one of the Paris suburb agreements that ended the First World War , provided for the cession of large areas in the east of what is now Turkey to the Republic of Armenia. This treaty never came into force because the Turkish national government in Ankara did not recognize it and the allies lacked the means, unity and determination to enforce the provisions of the treaty. With the signing of the treaty, the Sultan's government had almost completely lost popular support and no longer had any authority of its own. The Republic of Armenia itself did not have the means to take possession of the area, which was largely not populated by Armenians after the Armenian genocide, apart from a few areas near the border. After the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) , the Treaty of Sèvres was revised in the Treaty of Lausanne of July 24, 1923 in favor of Turkey. The Republic of Armenia was no longer one of the contracting parties and its border with Turkey was not an object of the contract.

As a result of the Turkish-Armenian War , the border between Turkey and Armenia was initially determined by the Treaty of Alexandropol , a Turkish dictate, on December 2, 1920. The treaty was no longer ratified by the Republic of Armenia due to the Sovietization of Armenia. After Turkey and Soviet Russia had established the current border between Turkey on the one hand and Georgia and Armenia on the other in the Treaty of Moscow , the still formally independent Transcaucasian Soviet Republics agreed to this regulation in the Treaty of Kars of October 23, 1921. On December 13, 1922, the Transcaucasian SFSR was formed from Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan , which became part of the newly established Soviet Union on December 30, 1922 .

Soviet rule

After the dissolution of the Transcaucasian Soviet Republic in 1936, the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (Armenian SSR) remained part of the Soviet Union as a formally independent Union republic . It developed into an important location for the chemical industry , the shoe industry and IT . Many electronic components for Soviet space travel and robots were developed here. In the Soviet Union, the Armenian SSR was a popular travel destination, partly because of its warm climate.

The Armenian SSR has been a center of separatist movements within the Soviet Union since the late 1980s, alongside the Estonian SSR , the Latvian SSR , the Lithuanian SSR and the Georgian SSR . At this time, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh , a predominantly Armenian-populated area within the Azerbaijani SSR , flared up again.

Armenian soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh in 1994

On December 7, 1988 , a severe earthquake struck the Lori region in the north of the Armenian SSR, which reached a value of 6.8 on the Richter scale . Many buildings, especially schools and hospitals, did not withstand the earthquake, killing 25,000 people. Added to this were the winter temperatures and the extremely poor preparation of the authorities. The government let foreign aid workers into the country. This was the first time the Soviet Union accepted foreign aid on a large scale. The severe damage to the infrastructure that occurred at that time has hampered the economic development of this region up to the present day (2006).

The first free parliamentary elections in May and June 1990 were won by the nationalist movement of Armenia. Levon Ter-Petrosyan became head of state of Armenia as parliamentary president. On August 23, 1990, the country's sovereignty was declared.

In August 1991, the Armenian SSR was renamed the Republic of Armenia in the style of the first republic . Today's Armenia was created after the declaration of independence on September 21, 1991. The western part, by far the largest part of the historical settlement area of ​​the Armenians, remained under Turkish rule.

Regaining independence

On September 21, 1991, Armenia declared itself independent from the dissolving Soviet Union and on October 6, 1991 Levon Ter-Petrosian was elected as the first President of the Armenian Republic. The policy of the independent republic included privatization and the transition to a market economy very early on . This was initially started in the agricultural sector. Between 1991 and 1992 80% of the agricultural land had already been privatized, which led to the establishment of 320,000 individual agricultural enterprises and cooperatives. In November 1993 the new currency - Armenian Dram was introduced, which steadily lost value due to the crisis in the economy. The economic crisis was largely due to the destruction caused by the earthquake of 1988, the war with Azerbaijan , the collapse of the Soviet planned economy, and the blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

In the 1990s, traditional political groups such as the Dashnaks were joined by newly founded groups. However, the democratization process was not straightforward. The Dashnaks' activities were banned in December 1994 and several opposition newspapers were banned. On July 5, 1995, the constitution of independent Armenia was adopted in a national referendum, which in its current form also weakened the powers of the parliament vis-à-vis the president. The President has since been elected for a five-year term. The then 190 members of the unicameral parliament were elected for four years. The constitution provided the right to vote for every Armenian citizen who was at least 18 years old and had lived in Armenia for at least a year. Five months after the constitutional referendum, a new territorial and administrative division of the country was decided on December 1, 1995.

On September 22, 1996, Ter-Petrosyan was re-elected as President of Armenia. However, its popularity continued to decline. In February 1998 he was forced to resign because he made additional concessions to Azerbaijan to resolve the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region . Levon Ter-Petrosyan's minister, led by Prime Minister and later successor to the presidency, Robert Kocharyan , rejected a peace plan proposed by international mediators in September 1997, which Levon Ter-Petrosian and Azerbaijan supported. Kocharyan won the early presidential elections in 1998.


Political indices
Name of the index Index value Worldwide rank Interpretation aid year
Fragile States Index 64.2 out of 120 108 of 178 Stability of the country: Warning
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
Democracy index 5.35 out of 10 89 of 167 Hybrid regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
Freedom in the World Index 53 of 100 - Freedom status: partially free
0 = not free / 100 = free
Freedom of the press ranking 28.6 out of 100 61 of 180 Recognizable problems for the freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 49 out of 100 60 of 180 0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean 2020

Political conditions

Acting President Armen Zarkissyan Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
Acting President
Armen Zarkissyan
Acting Prime Minister
Nikol Pashinyan
The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia

The Armenian Parliament, the National Assembly , is elected every four years. There is only one chamber with 132 MPs, which has been dominated since the early parliamentary elections in December 2018 by the My Step Alliance (IKD) with 88 MPs, which was only founded in the same year . Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan , who has been in office since May 2018, came to power under the pressure of a civil, massive protest movement that led to the so-called Velvet Revolution of 2018. His second cabinet , formed in January 2019 after the parliamentary elections, forms the current Armenian government. The other two parties represented in parliament are Blossoming Armenia (BHK) with 26 seats and Luminous Armenia (LH) with 18 seats.

Until the last election, the most important parties were for a long time the Republican Party of Armenia , which consistently provided the Prime Minister from 1999 to 2018, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (founded in 1890), both of which, however, have been since the revolution and due to the loss of all parliamentary seats in the subsequent one Parliamentary elections have lost much of their political influence.

Armenia is one of the few countries in the former Eastern Bloc where (ex-) communist parties never took part in government.

In 1918, when Armenia first gained independence, women over the age of 25 were given the right to vote . Under the Soviet administration, from February 2, 1921, women had the right to vote and stand for election . These rights were confirmed upon independence in 1991.

Armenia in the 21st century

The re-election of Robert Kocharyan as President of Armenia in 2003 was accompanied by irregularities and protests by demonstrators. In January 2006, based on the referendum of November 27, 2005, an amendment to the 1995 constitution came into force, giving Parliament more rights, which the Council of Europe had long been calling for. The president may continue to appoint the prime minister, but from now on he must be confirmed by parliament. The death penalty was abolished in September 2003.

In the presidential election on February 19, 2008, there were riots which, according to official figures, claimed eight lives and injured numerous people, see Protests in Armenia 2008 . According to data from Human Rights Watch and Freedom House , there were a total of 10 fatalities and approximately 350 injured. Police reportedly used rubber truncheons, iron bars, tracer ammunition, tear gas and stun guns (tasers). Supporters of the opposition and their candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan protested for days against alleged election fraud. Your candidate received only 21.5% of the vote, while incumbent Serzh Sargsyan achieved almost an absolute majority in the first ballot with 49.9% of the vote. OSCE observers discovered irregularities, but electoral fraud did not. The government imposed a four-week state of emergency and used massive arms violence against the opposition protesters. Despite protests from the international community, almost 80 opposition politicians were held in political detention for a period of time. On the basis of recommendations from the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission , the assembly, media and electoral law in Armenia was reformed and changes to the penal code were adopted. The process of an independent judiciary is still ongoing.

"Velvet Revolution" in Armenia 2018

Protest leader Nikol Pashinyan on April 13, 2018 in Freedom Square in Yerevan

A controversial constitutional reform in December 2015 resulted in a power shift from president to head of government; the referendum was accepted after the president declared that he would not run as prime minister. After the incumbent head of state was no longer allowed to run for two terms under this new regulation, he was appointed prime minister by parliament in mid-April 2018. As a result, there were massive protests against this decision for days in the capital, Yerevan. The security forces used stun grenades against the demonstrators. Up to 500 protesters, including opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan , were arrested. The demonstrations, in which many intellectuals, young people, high-ranking representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church and parts of the Armenian military took part, are considered to be the largest in Armenia since the late 1980s.

Serzh Sargsyan resigned as head of government on April 23, 2018 under the pressure of massive protests. The leader of the protests, Nikol Pashinyan, was elected the new prime minister in the second ballot on May 8th. For the first time in more than 21 years, neither the president nor the prime minister came from Nagorno-Karabakh, but from Armenia itself. In the early parliamentary elections on December 9, 2018, the Pashinyan alliance received a majority of 70.43% of the vote with a turnout of 49% Be right. The former head of government's strongest party to date, the Republican Party, has not been represented in parliament since then. The OSCE international election observers praised the free and well-organized elections. There were no notable mistakes in the election, buying votes or coercing voters. In the media landscape there has been progress in terms of diversity of opinion. On January 14, 2019, Pashinyan was reappointed Prime Minister by President Zarkissyan.

Mass demonstration during the Velvet Revolution on May 1, 2018 on Republic Square in the center of Yerevan

Human rights situation

Armenia has gone through difficult transformation processes since independence. The country is a party to many international human rights conventions. In January 2001, Armenia became a member state of the Council of Europe, thereby undertaking to promote human rights and democracy. The development of the situation with regard to human rights and democratization are monitored with the help of the monitoring mechanisms of the Council of Europe. "Greater efforts are required to heal the wounds of March 2008 and to strengthen the protection of human rights," said former Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in Strasbourg , Thomas Hammarberg, during his trip to Yerevan in January 2011. The Council of Europe The investigation into the violent crackdown on the protests in the Armenian capital Yerevan after the presidential elections in 2008 no longer took place under the government of the Republican Party, and no one had been held responsible for the deaths until the government of the Republican Party lost government power in the 2018 Velvet Revolution . That only changed with the revolution. Police investigations and legal processing of the events of 2008 were among the central demands of the protest movement in 2018 and after the leader of the protests, the politician Nikol Pashinyan , took over the office of prime minister, the first investigations took place. On July 3, 2018, Armenia's Special Investigation Service (SIS) announced that former Defense Minister Mikael Harutunjan was under investigation. The SIS was also investigating former President Robert Kocharyan . At the end of July 2018, he was taken into custody. In the course of the investigation, ex-President Serzh Sargsyan was questioned by the SIS.

Freedom of the press and the media

For a long time, reporting in Armenia was partially restricted by the state. In 2002, the Armenian television station "A1 +", which was considered critical of the government, had its license withdrawn. In 2008 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that "A1 +" was allowed to broadcast again. However, this judgment was not implemented at the time. It was not until September 2012 that “A1 +” was only able to continue broadcasting to a limited extent using the private broadcaster “ArmNewsTv”. In 2011, another television broadcaster “Gala TV”, which was critical of the government, had its license withdrawn.

The print media are not considered to be independent in Armenia as they are dependent on state financial support. That is why the Armenian print media are extremely polarized and usually serve a political force. Violence against journalists remains another problem in Armenia. The Armenian non-governmental organization “Committee for the Protection of Expression” reported 56 cases of pressure exerted on journalists in 2013. According to the report, seven journalists were subjected to physical violence in 2014.

According to the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders, the situation of press freedom is "difficult". However, it was better than most other former Soviet republics in 2017, particularly neighboring Azerbaijan. As Reporters Without Borders reported in 2017, critical journalists could be jailed under the then Armenian government for insulting or defamation. Because of the threat of violence and impunity for it, many journalists would practice self-censorship.

The changes in the political situation as a result of the Velvet Revolution 2018 brought with them hopes for more freedom of the press. So far, under the new government of Pashinyan, there has been no direct interference by the government in reporting. However, mixed impressions and opinions on the new situation still prevail in the media landscape. Pashinyan has verbally attacked critical journalists or even “the media” in general on several occasions. Supporters of the prime minister in the population sometimes react in a similar way. The Association of Journalists in Armenia published a statement on this situation in January 2019. At the press conference on this, the chairman of the association said: “Now the Republicans are gone and the responsibility is yours (Pashinyan). The media have become a scapegoat. ” According to a report by Eurasianet , however, the media landscape felt that politicians were more readily available, at least in the initial period after the takeover of government. Journalist Taguhi Melkonjan at least said in February 2019 that more and more people in the population are accepting a more critical stance towards the new government.

Freedom of assembly

According to a 2016 report by Amnesty International , 2015 was marked by increasing public dissatisfaction, numerous demonstrations on social and political issues and tough crackdown on the protesters by the authorities. The most violent nationwide protests in 2015 were triggered by a planned electricity price hike and constitutional reform that would allow the president to remain in power beyond his second term in office. Earlier, in January 2015, the Armenian security forces violently broke up a rally in front of the Russian consulate in Gyumri after the murder of a family of six by a Russian soldier.

In April 2018, after Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan took office , mass protests broke out in the capital Yerevan and in other cities in the country, some of which were attended by around 50,000 demonstrators. The police first tried to stop the demonstrations and arrested hundreds of demonstrators. On April 23, 2018, Sargsyan bowed to the protests and submitted his resignation from the post of Prime Minister.

Religious freedom

Armenian Apostolic Church

Religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution of Armenia as a fundamental human right. 90% of the Armenian population belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church . Although registration of religious organizations is not required by law, the unregistered organizations do not have the same privileges as the registered ones. The Armenian Apostolic Church enjoys the dominant role, which is openly supported by the government. The other churches and sects, religious associations, organizations and their followers are criticized by the general public and perceived as traitors to the national faith. The Armenian government and the Apostolic Church are committed to the unification of ethnic and religious identities of the Armenians. The Apostolic Church is considered a national church and its belief system is considered a national faith. Such an approach does not allow any alternatives for the other Armenian religious followers.

freedom of speech

The overall situation of freedom of expression remains difficult. Any violation of the patriotic-nationalist spirit when expressing one's opinion is still taboo in Armenia. In the run-up to a festival of Azerbaijani film in Gyumri and Vanadzor in April 2012, the organizers were massively intimidated and physically attacked, whereupon the event had to be banned.


Homosexuality has not been a criminal offense in Armenia since 2003, but people with "deviating" sexual orientation are disadvantaged in all areas of life. According to statements by the Armenian Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman), sexual orientation has been removed from the text of the Anti-Discrimination Act as a ground for discrimination due to protests by religious and conservative groups. A planned demonstration and several events on the occasion of the Day of Cultural Diversity in March 2012 could not take place because the police could not guarantee protection from aggressive, violent opponents.

Because of the pronounced prejudices, homosexuals can only inadequately defend themselves against threats and attacks. Even individual high-ranking politicians have expressed benevolence in the past about attacks on people because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. This is illustrated by the example of the arson attack on the “DIY” (Do it Yourself) bar in Yerevan, which was owned by a lesbian woman. The two arrested attackers were released on bail from two members of parliament from the nationalist Daschnakzutjun ( Armenian Revolutionary Federation ) party, which has not been represented in parliament since the end of 2018 . The then deputy parliamentary speaker Eduard Sharmasanov, a member of the Republican Party, which ruled until 2018, also approved the attack. The fight against homosexuality was, according to the then MP Arzwik Minassjan (Daschnakzutjun), a question of national security. The owner of the DIY fled abroad fearing for her life. In the period between 2011 and 2013 alone, 5,891 people from the LGBT community left the country because of discrimination, threats, hatred, restriction and violation of various freedoms and rights as well as the lack of protection by the Armenian state.

From November 15 to 18, 2018, the European Forum for Christian LGBT Groups and the humanitarian Armenian non-governmental organization “New Generation” planned a conference in the capital Yerevan under the motto “Take heart, I have overcome the world”. I have overcome the world) to discuss the problems of devout homosexual Christians. However, there was great resistance to the event from within the ranks of civil society institutions, and the organizers of the event were openly intimidated beforehand. The former deputy head of the National Security Service of Armenia Gurgen Jegiasarjan reacted indignantly in an interview: “They (LGBT people) are infecting their surroundings, brainwashing people. As a nation, we should say 'no' to this group of villains. ”On November 6, the Republic of Armenia's Police Chief Valery Osipyan announced that the forum would be canceled due to security concerns.


In the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International Armenia to improve by 33 points in 2016 to 49 points in 2020. The fight against corruption was a central concern of the mass protests led by Nikol Pashinyan in 2018 and was an equally central election promise of his civil contract party , which then won the early elections in the alliance of the Mein-Step Alliance .

At the initiative of the then Prime Minister of Armenia Howik Abrahamjan ( HHK ), an anti-corruption council was set up in 2015. But observers ruled that the new instance, as in the case of the previously created anti-corruption structures, had a pseudo-character and in reality had no influence on the problem-solving.

Foreign policy

Azerbaijani President İlham Əliyev (left), Vladimir Putin (center) and then Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan (right), August 2014
Sohrab Mnazakanjan , Foreign Minister of Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh War 2020

The foreign policy of the Republic of Armenia primarily pursues two goals: On the one hand, national security and independence are to be guaranteed and the development of economic relations is to be improved. This includes the normalization of relations with all of its neighbors, especially Turkey and Azerbaijan, and the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the application of the principle of complementarity, which means good relations with the western states ( EU , USA ) as well as with Russia and Iran . On the other hand, Armenia is striving to integrate into the world community, to overcome its isolation and to gain worldwide recognition of the Armenian genocide ; at the same time it does not want to belong to any military bloc.

As a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia was forced to pursue a pro-Russian policy. As the only country in the South Caucasus, it voluntarily joined the Commonwealth of Independent States and allowed the Russian military on its territory, in return it received military aid for the war against Azerbaijan. Today Armenia is a member of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Russia has significant economic influence in the country, primarily through its energy policy. Armenia is well aware that it has an unreliable partner in Russia: In the summer of 2013, Russia briefly raised the prices for energy supplies in order to wrest President Sargsyan into agreeing to the Eurasian Economic Union . In March 2014, Armenia voted in the UN General Assembly with only nine other states, including North Korea, Belarus and Syria, against condemning Russian actions in Crimea.

After the failure of normalization attempts with Turkey immediately after Armenia's independence, it currently has no official diplomatic relations with this neighboring country . The tensions between the two states are mainly due to historical pressures and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as a result of which Turkey imposed an economic embargo on Armenia and closed the common border. In 2008, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandjan called on Turkey to reopen its border with Armenia. The following year he signed an agreement with the then Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu to restore diplomatic relations. However, in 2010 Turkish President Erdoğan refused to ratify the agreement as long as Armenia did not withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh . The border has remained closed since then.

Relations between Christian Armenia and its southern neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, are conflict-free. Since the independence of Armenia, cooperation between the two countries has developed dynamically, and numerous agreements, especially in the economic field, have been concluded. The Armenian minority in Iran played an important role in this. For both partners, the cooperation has the important function of undermining international embargoes. The Iran-Armenia natural gas pipeline opened in 2007 makes Armenia less dependent on Russian natural gas supplies. For Armenia, the good relations with Iran are not without risk, because at the same time the western states, especially the USA, are important partners of Armenia.

Relationship with Azerbaijan

Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh 1995

Relations with Azerbaijan are strained by the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh . Armenia is in a long-lasting dispute with the neighboring republic of Azerbaijan over the area in the former Azerbaijani Soviet republic that is predominantly inhabited by Armenians . The former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast declared itself independent in 1991 and is now called the Artsakh Republic , but is not internationally recognized. An estimated 17,500 Armenians and 25,500 Azerbaijanis died in this conflict. Between 200,000 and 250,000 Azerbaijanis from Armenia , around 40,000 from Nagorno-Karabakh and almost 540,000 from the surrounding areas as well as around 500,000 people from Azerbaijan, including 350,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan by 1991 alone, became refugees . About 12,000 km² (13.62% of the area of ​​the former Azerbaijani Soviet Republic) are under the control of the Artsakh Republic and the Armenian Armed Forces. Some Azerbaijani enclaves surrounded by Armenian territory, such as B. Kərki , are also occupied by Armenia; Armenian exclaves like Arzwasching, in turn, come from Azerbaijan.

The situation has not improved much since a ceasefire in May 1994. To date, there has been no breakthrough in the relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a condition that negatively affects Armenia's economic development. The two states therefore currently have no diplomatic relations and are still in a state of war today . The entry and transit of Armenian citizens and all other foreign citizens of Armenian descent or with Armenian-sounding names are also not permitted by Azerbaijan.

International organizations

Armenia is a member of the following international organizations: United Nations (since 1992), Collective Security Treaty Organization , CIS , OSCE , Council of Europe , NATO - Partnership for Peace , EBRD , Black Sea Economic Cooperation , Asian Development Bank , World Trade Organization (since 2003), EAEU (since 2015). Armenia has been cooperating with NATO since 2005 in the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), in which the neighboring countries Georgia and Azerbaijan also participate. Like these countries, Armenia contributes troops to ISAF in Afghanistan .

Since July 2010, Armenia has been in association negotiations with the EU. However, these were canceled when Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in 2015. Instead, on November 24, 2017, the EU and Armenia signed a new Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.


Coat of arms of the armed forces of Armenia

The military of the Republic of Armenia are the armed forces of Armenia , which consist of the army , the air forces (including air defense ) and the border guards . Since Armenia is a landlocked country with no direct access to the sea, the country has no navy .

There is a two-year military service in the country for men. People between the ages of 18 and 27 are liable for military service. 17-year-olds can become cadets at military colleges, where they are classified as military personnel.

In addition to the armed forces of Armenia, there are Russian troops in the country: As part of a security agreement, Russia controls the Armenian borders with Turkey and Iran . Russia maintains an air base in Gyumri .

In 2018, Armenia spent around 4.8 percent of its economic output on its armed forces with 609 million dollars and was ranked third on the Global Militarization Index (GMI) this year .


Administrative units

Aserbaidschan Iran Georgien Georgien Aserbaidschan Aserbaidschan Aserbaidschan Türkei Jerewan Armawir Ararat Wajoz Dsor Sjunik Kotajk Gegharkunik Aragazotn Schirak Lori TawuschArmenia divided into administrative units
About this picture
Armenia is divided into eleven provinces (= Mars; Singular Mars )
Location-# province area Residents Capital
1 Aragazotn Արագածոտնի մարզ 2753 km² 126.278 Ashtarak Աշտարակ
2 Ararat Արարատի մարզ 2096 km² 252,665 Artashat Արտաշատ
3 Armavir Արմավիրի մարզ 1242 km² 255.861 Armavir Արմավիր
4th Gegharkunik Գեղարքունիքի մարզ 3655 km² 215.371 Gawar Գավառ
5 Kotajk Կոտայքի մարզ 2089 km² 241,337 Hrasdan Հրազդան
6th Lori Լոռու մարզ 3789 km² 253.351 Vanadzor Վանաձոր
7th Shirak Շիրակի մարզ 2681 km² 257.242 Gyumri Գյումրի
8th Sjunik Սյունիքի մարզ 4506 km² 134.061 Kapan Կապան
9 Tavush Թավուշի մարզ 2704 km² 121.963 Ijevan Իջևան
10 Vajoz Dzor Վայոց Ձորի մարզ 2308 km² 55,000 Yeghegnadzor Եղեգնաձոր
11 Yerevan Երևան 227 km² 1,201,322 City municipality status (since referendum in 2005)


The second largest city in the country of Gyumri
Yerevan with Mount Ararat ( Turkey ) in the background

The largest cities and their population figures (as of January 2018, estimated) are:

  1. Yerevan : 1,077,600
  2. Gyumri : 114,500
  3. Vanadzor : 79,300
  4. Echmiadzin : 46,400
  5. Abovyan : 44,600
  6. Kapan : 42,500
  7. Hrasdan : 40,400
  8. Armavir : 28,200
  9. Charentsawan : 20,500
  10. Ijevan : 20,500
  11. Masis : 20,500
  12. Ararat : 20,400
  13. Goris : 20,400
  14. Artashat : 19,800
  15. Sevan : 19,100


Population groups

Population pyramid Armenia 2016.

According to the last census of 2011, 98.11% (2,961,801 people) of a total of 3,018,854 inhabitants of the country were ethnic Armenians . This means that the entire population of Armenia can be regarded as almost ethnically homogeneous. The largest ethnic minority were with a population share of 1.17% (35,272 people), the Yazidis . They were followed with 0.39% (11,911 people) Russians , with 0.09% (2,769 people) Assyrians , with 0.07% (2,162 people) Kurds , with 0.04% (1,176 people) Ukrainians , with 0.03 % (900 people) the group of Pontic Greeks , as well as with 0.02% Georgians (617 people) and Iranians (476 people) each . Other minorities belonged to 0.05% (1,634 people) of the population, while 100 people refused to say anything about their membership in the census.

This means that little has changed in terms of ethnic composition compared to the 2001 census. Of the country's 3,213,011 inhabitants at the 2001 census, 3,145,354 or 97.9% were Armenians, 40,620 or 1.3% Yazidis and 14,660 or 0.5% were Russians (including Molokans ). Further minorities were also identified in 2001: Kurds (then with 1,519 fewer than 2011), Assyrians and Pontic Greeks. Even then smaller groups were Ukrainians, Georgians, and also Belarusians , Vlachs , Mordvins , Ossetians , Udi people and deeds .

The very small minority of Caucasian Germans (mostly deported between 1941–1944), like the small Polish minority, is today strongly Russified . Before the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict , numerous Azeris also lived in Armenia (2.5% in 1989).

Population development

In Armenia, the population is declining (−0.4% per year). Between 1991 and 1998 alone, around 750,000 Armenians emigrated mainly to Russia and other CIS countries , larger groups also emigrated to the United States , Canada , France and Australia , where there are already established communities of Armenians.

According to estimates by the United Nations , in 2015 940,000 people who were born in the area of ​​what is now Armenia lived in other countries. The ratio of emigrants to the total population (including emigrants) was the fourth highest in the world at 25% and remained almost unchanged between 1990 and 2015. In Armenia itself, the proportion of foreigners was 6.5%. Most of them are ethnic Armenians who were born in Russia or Azerbaijan.

year population year population
1950 1,354,000 1990 3,538,000
1960 1,874,000 2000 3,070,000
1970 2,525,000 2010 2,877,000
1980 3,100,000 2016 2,925,000

Source: UN


Yerevan State University

Despite the poverty, Armenia's education system is considered excellent, especially since government spending on education is very high. The illiterate has long represented a tiny minority. As early as 1960, a literacy rate of 100 percent was recorded. Although great importance is traditionally attached to education, there is sometimes a lack of funds for teaching materials, buildings or heating.

The country has several universities, see List of Universities in Armenia . The largest and most important is the Yerevan State University, founded in 1919 . Other state universities are z. B. The Armenian-Russian State University of Armenia , the French University in Armenia , the Yerevan V. Bryusov State University of Languages ​​and Social Sciences , the Yerevan State Medical University , the Gawar State University , the National Polytechnic University of Armenia , the Armenian State University Yerevan University of Economics , the Armenian State Pedagogical University and the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia . Besides these, there are some private universities such as the American University of Armenia and Eurasia International University .

In addition to the universities, the country also has a number of colleges, such as B. Yerevan State Conservatory or Yerevan State Institute of National Economy .

The Armenian National Academy of Sciences , headquartered in Yerevan, is Armenia's national body for conducting and coordinating research in the field of natural and social sciences. It also serves as a language society for the Armenian language. Yerevan is also home to the Armenian National Library, founded in 1832, with the world's largest collection of Armenian printed literature.


Ismirlian Clinic in Yerevan, founded in 1986

In 2015, the life expectancy of men was 70.6 years and that of women 77 years.

In 2016, government spending on health was 9.93% of GDP ($ 359 per capita).

Period Life expectancy in
Period Life expectancy in
1950-1955 62.8 1985-1990 68.4
1955-1960 64.9 1990-1995 68.1
1960-1965 67.0 1995-2000 70.2
1965-1970 69.2 2000-2005 72.4
1970-1975 70.8 2005-2010 72.7
1975-1980 70.6 2010-2015 74.0
1980-1985 70.9

Source: UN

Settlement areas of the Armenians : currently in red; former in brown (> 50%), orange (25–50%) and yellow (<25%)


The Armenian language is the official language of the country and represents a separate branch of the Indo-European family . They (proper name Hajeren ) is spoken by about seven million people worldwide in Armenia of about three million, which is over 95% of the population. The Armenian alphabet was the beginning of the 5th century Mesrop for the Old Armenian developed. Since then, this alphabet has become the solid foundation of the national language and culture. The Eastern Armenian dialect is the standard variety in Armenia .

Russian plays a special role in Armenia . Although it is not an official language, it is a compulsory subject in schools, the language of instruction at numerous universities and also widely used in business life. It is spoken by around 100,000 native speakers in Armenia, 94% of the population have at least a basic knowledge of the language. However, there is now a certain trend towards English as the first foreign language.

Another important language in the country was the Turkic language Azerbaijani with around 160,000 speakers until 1989 ; Most of the Azerbaijanis emigrated from Armenia due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The northwestern Iranian Kurmanji (spoken there by Yezidis and Kurds) is spoken by about 40,620 Yezidis and 1,519 Kurds. (As of 2001)

A total of twelve languages ​​from four different language families are spoken in Armenia. Other small minority languages ​​are Ezdiki (Yezidi, 40,620 speakers - as of 2001), Ukrainian (8,000 speakers), Greek ( Pontic , 5000), Georgian (Grusin, around 2000), Karachay-Balkar (less than 1000), Lomavren (Bosha, still 50 Speakers), Aramaic , German (almost extinct) and Turkish (number of speakers unknown).


The dominant denomination in the country is Oriental Orthodox Christianity , which represents the Armenian Apostolic Church in Armenia ; According to the last census of 2011, it includes around 92.64% of the population. It plays a central role in the Armenian identity. Christianity is deeply rooted, after all, in 301 Armenia was the first country in the world to make Christianity the state religion. While that is religious freedom guaranteed in the Constitution, but in fact the Armenian Apostolic Church is still a kind of state church be given of certain special rights.

The monastery of Khor Virap in front of Mount Ararat . The monk Krikor Lusavoritsch was imprisoned here before he killed King Trdat III. converted to Christianity

The second largest religious group, according to the same census, are the supporters of Protestant churches with only 0.97% of the population (over 29,000 people). They are followed by the followers of the Yazidi faith with 0.83% (over 35,272 people, as of 2011). The Yazidis in Armenia have been recognized as an independent ethnic group there since 2001. The Kurds of Armenia are often Sunnis . The Catholic minority who are followers of the Armenian Catholic Church is smaller than the Yazidi with only 0.46% (almost 14,000 people). The next smallest minority are the Jehovah's Witnesses , with 0.29% of the population (around 8,700 people).

In addition, 0.25% of the 2011 census also included other Christian Orthodox churches (around 7,500 people) and 0.18% of neo-pagan currents (around 5,400 people). Since the 18th century, several thousand Molokans (a split from the Russian Orthodox Church ) have lived in their own villages after they had to leave their traditional settlement area on the Volga. However, they only make up 0.1% of the population with almost 2,900 people. Another 0.26% of the population (almost 8,000 people) belong to other religions not included in the census. This also includes the few Azerbaijanis who remain in the country, who are Shiite Muslims , see Islam in Armenia .

1.14% of the population (over 34,000 people) stated in the 2011 census that they did not belong to any religion. Another 2.89% (over 87,000 people) did not provide any information about religious affiliation.


Less than a third of the approximately ten million ethnic Armenians in the world live in the Republic of Armenia. There have been Armenian communities in Iran and Georgia for centuries, and traditional communities have existed in Lebanon , France and the United States since the Armenian Genocide . According to the Institute for Genocide and Diaspora at the Ruhr University in Bochum , the number of Armenians living in Germany is between 35,000 and 40,000, see also Armenians in Germany . Since 2000, the diaspora in Russia, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg, has been of the greatest importance. Remittances to relatives at home are important to the balance sheet and Armenia benefits from a large number of foundations.


Growth rate of GDP per capita in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan from 2007 to 2016

In 1988 Armenia was badly hit by a very strong earthquake , which is still affecting some regions. After the collapse of the Soviet Union , the young state (like most other former Union republics) fell into a severe economic crisis. In addition to the usual profound problems that arise when switching from a central administration economy to a liberal market economy, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan made matters worse.

Monopoly formation, oligarchic structures and high levels of corruption are hindering the modernization of the Armenian economy and inhibiting investment. Small and medium-sized businesses have a hard time gaining a foothold. Despite some advances in the legal sector, there is still no independent judiciary.


Dump heaps of the Sotk gold mine in the far east of Armenia

After extensive liberalization of the economy - privatization began in 1994 and has now largely been completed - economic growth resumed in 1997. Since 2001, Armenia has even shown double-digit growth rates and in 2006 was able to regain the economic strength of 1988.

The annual per capita income averaged $ 3,511 in 2016. In 2005, tax and customs revenue was 304 billion drams (US $ 680 million) or 21.6% more than in 2004. Even so, revenue only accounts for 14.4% of gross domestic product - a very low figure by international standards. Agriculture is mainly based on the cultivation of fruits and vegetables as well as tobacco . The country's economy is based on the use of the raw materials copper , bauxite , gold and molybdenum .

In the Global Competitiveness Index 2017–2018 , which measures a country's competitiveness, Armenia ranks 73rd out of 137 countries. In 2019, the country ranks 47th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .

The statutory minimum wage in 2013 was 70 euros.

Development of the key figures since 2000

All GDP values ​​are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).

year 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
(purchasing power parity)
7.00 billion 14.21 billion 16.58 billion 19.37 billion 21.12 billion 18.27 billion 18.90 billion 20.19 billion 22.03 billion 23.13 billion 24.39 billion 25.46 billion 25.85 billion 28.28 billion
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
2,273 4,722 5,527 6,477 7,086 6,150 6,370 6,803 7,418 7,761 8,170 8,513 8,643 9,455
GDP growth
5.8% 14.1% 13.2% 13.7% 6.9% −14.2% 2.2% 4.7% 7.1% 3.3% 3.6% 3.3% 0.3% 7.5%
(in percent)
−0.8% 0.7% 3.4% 4.6% 9.0% 3.5% 7.3% 7.7% 2.5% 5.8% 3.0% 3.7% −1.4% 0.9%
Public debt
(as a percentage of GDP)
39% 20% 16% 14% 15% 34% 34% 36% 36% 36% 39% 44% 52% 53%


Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia

The national currency, the dram (AMD), was introduced in 1993. The Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia has a flexible exchange rate policy. For a long time the dram lost value against the US dollar because of Armenia's trade deficit ; the lowest exchange rate in March 2003 was 591.76 AMD: 1 USD. In August 2006 the price fell below 400 AMD: 1 USD for the first time, which means an appreciation of 45%. The central bank estimates that in 2005 Armenian households received around $ 940 million from relatives from abroad. The portion processed through the banking system alone ($ 750 million) accounted for 78% of all money transfers in the country. These remittances and FDI are the main driver behind the rise in the drama. Inflation at that time was five percent, which is low in a regional comparison. Nevertheless, Armenia continues to be the poorest economy in the Caucasus and neighboring areas.


In the warehouse of the
Yerevan Brandy Company, founded in 1877

Industry is underdeveloped and accounted for just over a quarter of the country's GDP at 28.7% in 2017. Its main branches are mechanical engineering, chemical industry, textile, metal, food and aluminum industries.

Russian companies in particular are present in the key industries of energy and telecommunications. For example, the companies Armrosgazprom (natural gas import and supply) are majority owned by the Russian state company Gazprom , the Armenian electricity network is owned by a subsidiary of the likewise state-owned UES and the Armenia Telephone Company is 100% owned by VimpelCom .

In the field of high technologies, the Armenian economy is currently being strengthened especially by IT companies that carry out their product development in Armenia. Arminco (Armenian Internet Company) is the largest internet service provider in Armenia.

However, 50% of the country's exports in 2011 were produced by the mining industry. The mined metals and minerals include molybdenum , diamonds , copper and gold . Lead , silver , zinc , granite , gypsum , limestone , basalt and kieselguhr (diatomite) are mined in smaller quantities .

The cultivation of wheat , barley and fruits such as figs , apricots , olives and pomegranates is widespread in the field of agro-industry and simple agriculture . These thrive especially on the very volcanic and therefore nutrient-rich soils of Armenia. In 2006 the grain production was 212,500 tons, the fruit production 286,000 tons and the vegetable production 915,000 tons. Cattle such as sheep , goats and horses are common in the country.

The only active in Armenia Stock Exchange , the Armenian Stock Exchange (Armex), has its headquarters in Yerevan.

Foreign trade

Armenia has been a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) since 2015

In the first years of the country's independence, the export structure was still relatively highly differentiated, which corresponded to Armenia's role within the intra-Soviet division of labor. 17 different goods at the three-digit SITC level made up three quarters of the export volume in 1997: including processed goods such as electrical machines, optical instruments, steel pipes and clothing. In 2005, three quarters of the export volume was accounted for by just 7 different goods: precious stones, cast iron, alcoholic beverages, copper, gold, jewels and ores - almost exclusively unprocessed goods. On the import side, however, Armenia was able to reduce its high dependency on food and energy imports and is now increasingly importing capital goods.

Armenia has been a member of the World Trade Organization since February 2003 . There are bilateral free trade agreements with Georgia and Russia, among others. An economic problem is the landlocked position of Armenia, combined with the fact that two of the four neighboring countries, namely Turkey and Azerbaijan, keep the borders with Armenia closed due to political conflicts. A large part of the imports to Armenia therefore takes place via the Georgian port of Poti and from there by rail through Georgia. Among the states of the South Caucasus is Armenia, among others. heavily dependent on Moscow in the economic field. More than 40 percent of the investments come from Russia. As a result of various bilateral agreements between the two countries that were signed in recent years, Russian companies now have great dominance in some key sectors such as energy, telecommunications, transport and mining.

Money transfers from the numerous Armenians abroad are an essential pillar of the Armenian economy. In 2004 they corresponded to almost 10% of the Armenian economic output (gross domestic product). Further capital inflows from abroad are foreign direct investments and official development aid payments (corresponding to 6 or 7% of Armenian economic output).

Approximately 45% of the transfers came from Russia and 15% from the United States. Hans-Heinrich Bass and Irina Schmidt describe these transfers as “mixed blessing” (for example: “double-edged sword”) for the Armenian economy: on the one hand, they contribute to overcoming poverty, on the other hand, they exacerbate income inequality in the country. The growth effect is rather small, as they are mainly used to finance real estate. In addition, the remittances contributed to an appreciation of the Armenian currency and thus had a negative effect on the competitiveness of Armenian exports.

In 2005, companies from Germany became the largest investor in Armenia, they made 97.5 million US dollars in direct investments .

On January 2, 2015, Armenia was admitted to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). After the peaceful revolution of 2018, Nikol Pashinyan declared that, as the new Prime Minister, he wanted to maintain close relations with Russia and EEU membership.

In 2017, Armenia's exports rose 25.2% to $ 2.26 billion. Foreign trade sales rose 26.9% to $ 6.43 billion.

State budget

Front of a 50,000 dram -Scheines that the Holy Gregory the Illuminator dedicated

The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 2.96 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 2.44 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 5.0% of GDP.

The national debt was 51.8% of GDP in 2016.

The share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) in the following areas was:


Chndzoresk suspension bridge, which is 160 meters long

The tourism sector of Armenia is growing. The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that 575,281 tourists visited Armenia in 2009, 3% more than in 2008. So far (as of 2017), most of the tourists come from Russia, Iran, Georgia and the United States.

There are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Armenia : the monasteries Haghpat and Sanahin , the cathedral and churches of Etchmiadzin and the archaeological site of Zvartnots , as well as the monastery of Geghard in the Upper Azat Valley . The Lake Sevan , one of the largest mountain lakes around the world, is a popular tourist destination in summer. The Zaghkadzor ski area is open for skiing in winter and hiking and picnicking the rest of the year. Yerevan , the capital of Armenia, is home to operas, theaters, museums and other cultural institutions, as well as numerous restaurants and cafes.


Mezamor nuclear power plant

In 2016, Armenia produced around 6,951 billion kWh of electricity, of which around 5,291 billion kWh was consumed in the country itself. In 2015, Armenia exported around 1,424 billion kWh of electricity abroad and (2016) only covered around 275 million kWh through imports.

The energy supply is based only to a small extent on the domestic hydropower plants on the Hrasdan , the outflow of Lake Sevan , while around 39% is generated by the Mezamor nuclear power plant , which is therefore the largest single electricity supplier. There are also a small number of wind power and natural gas plants.

In the form of natural gas and oil, the energy imports, v. a. from Russia, great. But there are also pipelines from Iran through which natural gas is imported, see Iran-Armenia natural gas pipeline . In 2017, Armenia imported and consumed around 2.35 billion m³ of natural gas.

Thermal power plants contribute around a quarter to the electricity supply. The Armenian Ministry of Energy hopes to have completed the hydropower plant near Meghri on the Aras River with a capacity of 260 MW by 2020 . A geothermal power plant in Dschermaghbjur in the province of Sjunik with a capacity of 150 MW will also contribute to the energy supply after commissioning.


Road traffic

Main roads and railways in Armenia

A special feature of road traffic is the unusually high proportion of natural gas vehicles in an international comparison . The Ministry of Transport estimates that their share is 20 to 30% (in the Netherlands it is around 3%, in Germany even less). The reason is the high transport costs for gasoline and diesel, while natural gas is imported from Russia by pipeline at low prices. In March 2007, the strategically important Iran-Armenia natural gas pipeline was also opened.


A train of the Yerevan Metro

The railway in Armenia has been operated by Harawkowkasjan Jerkatughi , a subsidiary of Russian Railways , since June 1, 2008 after winning a tender, initially for 30 years. At least $ 570 million will be invested during this period, 70% of which will be in infrastructure. The rail link between Georgia and Russia is closed because of the conflict in Abkhazia ; also since 1992 the connection to Turkey between Gyumri and Kars . To bypass Armenia, the Kars – Tbilisi railway line went into operation in October 2017. There is no rail link between Armenia and Iran . The border section with Iran is only about 40 km long, but due to the blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan it is of great importance for Armenia, which traditionally has good relations with Iran.

Local transport

In Armenia, local transport is currently based mainly on buses, shared taxis ( marshrutka ) and taxis. The country's only metro is located in the capital, Yerevan, and is operated by Metro Yerevan . It was opened in 1981 and has been expanded ever since. A special feature is the so-called Yerevan children's railway, which got its name from the Soviet Union through the participation of children in the operation of the railway and today runs as a park railway over 2.1 km through the gorge of the Hrasdan river .

Air travel

The Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan is by far the largest in the country

The only major airport in the country is Yerevan Airport (abbreviation EVN). It is served by several international airlines. The national airline Armenia Aircompany also operates from this airport. In addition, Gyumri Airport (abbreviation LWN) should be mentioned as the country's second largest international airport, from which, as of 2019, there were only international flight connections with the Russian capital Moscow . Ryanair announced the opening of a connection with Allgäu Airport in Memmingen on March 30, 2020 . [outdated]

The Erebuni airport south of the capital Yerevan is also civil, but in the meantime mainly used by the military airport which also the Russian air force as a fulcrum. A few kilometers north of the city of Stepanawan in northern Armenia there is also a small, civil airport.


Importance of the family

An Armenian family from Nagorno-Karabakh, early 20th century.

The family is at the center of life for many Armenians and family ties are generally extremely strong among Armenians compared to Western Europe. Despite the emancipation decreed at the time of the Soviet Union, many Armenian families have a patriarchal structure. Raising children is generally considered a woman's business. The eldest of the family (usually the wife or widow of the head of the family) has an exceptional position: She is highly respected and, in a discreet way, often exerts greater influence than the nominal head of the family. Generally speaking, the elderly are traditionally very respected (for example, a young lawyer will usually treat an old street sweeper with great respect). As adults, offspring often submit to their parents to a great extent.

If this overall picture applies above all to the many traditionally oriented families, various factors meanwhile also cause traditional structures to be softened. Not a few families no longer live as an extended family in one place, but the family members who are of working age often earn their income in distant cities, especially abroad. Grandchildren who grow up with their grandparents while their parents work abroad are not uncommon. Often it is only a single parent, mostly the male, who lives abroad and takes care of his family from there. The local absence of the father can, however, shake the traditionally patriarchal conditions. Another factor are cultural influences from abroad, because most Armenians have lived outside of Asia Minor since the genocide in the Ottoman Empire , see the section on Diaspora , and the collapse of the Soviet Union with subsequent economic problems, political conflicts and natural disasters has also led more Armenians to emigrate who often still have relatives in Armenia. Many residents of today's Republic of Armenia therefore have relatives abroad or have temporarily lived abroad themselves. A third factor would be globalization , which does not stop at Armenia, and the country culturally z. B. influenced by the media and the Internet. Subcultures , such as a metal scene , can also be found in Armenia.

Holidays and celebrations

Remembrance day for the Armenian genocide, here at the
Zizernakaberd memorial

In the Christian, especially Armenian-apostolic tradition, there are public holidays such as Christmas on January 6th, the day of Saint Vardanants on the Saturday eight weeks before Easter or the day of Saint Etchmiadzin on the Sunday 64 days after Easter. Other festivals that are part of the Christian tradition and customs are not set as public holidays. These include the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on the Sunday of August 15, which is associated with the blessing of the grape harvest, and Barekendan , the Armenian variant of the Carnival , which is celebrated seven weeks before Easter.

In addition to the holidays with a Christian background, the festival calendar of Armenia is also heavily marked by commemorative days. February 28 is the day of remembrance for the victims of the pogroms in Azerbaijan , the pogrom in Sumgait (1988) and the pogrom in Baku (1990). It follows on April 24th the day of remembrance for the victims of the Armenian genocide . May 9th is the day of victory over the Third Reich and of peace (1945). At that time, Armenian soldiers fought against the Wehrmacht within the Soviet Army . May 28th is Republic Day, which commemorates the independence of the First Republic of Armenia (1918). On June 14th, those illegally convicted of the Soviet Union will be commemorated with the day of remembrance of those repressed. September 21st is considered Independence Day , which means independence from the Soviet Union (1991). December 7th is the day of remembrance for the victims of the Spitak earthquake (1988) and December 9th is the day of condemnation and prevention of genocide, which is also an international holiday initiated by the United Nations.


Matenadaran, Archive and Museum of Ancient Armenian Manuscripts and Prints

Yerevan is home to the country's central museums. The best known is probably the national art gallery with more than 16,000 works. The holdings of the collection go back to the Middle Ages. In addition to a large number of other museums, the capital has a museum for modern art and a museum dedicated to the most famous Armenian painter Martiros Sarjan . In addition, numerous private galleries have sprung up in Yerevan.

The Matenadaran Museum, Archive and Research Institute is one of the country's better-known and larger museums, and it houses over 17,000 manuscripts, some of which date from the early Middle Ages and are very valuable. The History Museum of Armenia in the center of Yerevan is also one of the more popular museums and presents the history of the country and the Armenians, mainly on the basis of archaeological finds from different epochs. The Sergei Parajanov Museum presents the life and work of the well-known Soviet-Armenian director. The Museum of Modern Art is located in the Yerevan Cascade . Other museums and collections are mainly located in the capital, Yerevan.


Modern Armenian Painting (Vanadzor Art Museum)

As a rule, art is considered to be Armenian art that was either produced in areas mainly inhabited by Armenians, beginning with the ancient kingdom of Urartu , that was verifiably created by Armenians or that was created in direct connection with Armenian institutions such as the Armenian Apostolic Church . Armenian art therefore encompasses a wide range of directions from book illumination to architecture, as well as the epochs of its creation. It ranges from antiquity with its Mithras Temple of Garni , which is popular with tourists today , through medieval Bible art to modern times with representatives such as the architectural dynasty Balyan , Iwan Konstantinowitsch Aiwasowski (1817–1900), Martiros Sarjan (1880–1971), Hakob Kodschojan (1883–1959), Arshile Gorky (1904–1948) or Jean Carzou (1907–2000).


Armenian Bible

With the Armenian script and the Armenian language fixed there, the Armenian literature is one of the oldest living national literatures in the world. Its beginnings are recorded around the year 405 when the monk Mesrop Mashtots invented the Armenian alphabet. The early writings include, among others. Translations of Syrian and Greek manuscripts or historical and biographical works. In a later period the main works were a "pamphlet against the Paulikians ", a "synodal pamphlet ", as well as a collection of the council resolutions and the writings of the church fathers up to the present day. With the emergence of an Armenian diaspora, the Armenians of the diaspora developed their own literature, who also made use of the invention of the printing press. Printed Armenian dictionaries and grammars emerged in this way in the early modern period. Prose, fiction and poetry developed mainly in modern times. Well-known contemporary writers and authors from Armenia include David Mouradian (* 1951), Violette Krikorian (* 1962) and Armen Melikian (* 1963). From the diaspora, William Saroyan (1908–1981), Peter Balakian (* 1951) and Varujan Vosganian (* 1958) are known as authors .


Armenian folk musicians
Sound of an Armenian duduk

The national instrument of Armenia is the duduk (also nay ), a cylindrical double reed instrument made of apricot wood with a velvety soft sound. It plays a central role in Armenian folk music and chamber music. Outside Armenia, she is best known for the work of Jiwan Gasparjan . The second wind instrument played in popular popular music is the longitudinal flute blul , which was originally blown by shepherds in the pasture. On the other hand, the shrill and loud-sounding bowling oboe zurna is only used outdoors, mostly at family celebrations, as a dance accompaniment. Rural Armenian folk music is predominantly vocal. String instruments belong to the chamber ensembles of the cities and all come from the Persian and Ottoman musical culture. These include the spiked violins k'yamancha and k'amani , the Arabic kink- necked lute ʿūd , the long-necked lute saz , tar and tschungur (similar to the Georgian chonguri ) as well as the trapeze zithers kanun and santur . The rhythm is provided by the double-headed cylinder drum dhol (similar to the Georgian doli ), the frame drums ghaval or dap and the pair of kettle drums naqqara . A typical ensemble is the sazandar (Armenian nvagurd ), which is widespread in the South Caucasus and occurs with tar, k'yamancha and ghaval . Wind and string instruments often play together.

In addition to traditional Armenian music, Yerevan also has internationally successful classical orchestras. The Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia deserve special mention. The most famous composer in the country is Aram Khachaturian . The founder of modern classical music in Armenia is the monk Komitas Vardapet . Other composers are included in the list of Armenian composers .

In May 2006, Armenia took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens for the first time . Nationwide famous singer Andre performed with the title Without Your Love . After surviving the semi-finals, he was able to achieve a surprising 8th place in the final. With that, Armenia was also set for the next final in Finland, where they successfully reached 8th place again with the popular singer Hayko and the song Anytime you need . In 2008 in Belgrade Sirusho reached 4th place with Quele Quele . The Armenian Navy Band around Arto Tunçboyacıyan is a very successful jazz formation and describes their music as avant-garde folk music .


An Armenian postage stamp dedicated to Sergei Parajanov

Since 2004, the international film festival "Golden Apricot" has been established in Yerevan in the summer , whose president is the Armenian-born Canadian Atom Egoyan . It awards prizes to both feature films and documentaries and can sometimes have prominent participants. World-renowned film directors - in addition to Egoyan - are the Armenians Sergei Parajanov , Henri Verneuil , Don Askarian and the experimental documentary filmmaker Artawasd Peleschyan . In the field of animation, too, Armenia has a long tradition that developed during the Soviet era.

Well-known actors outside of Armenia are Armen Jigarchanjan and Mher "Frunsik" Mkrtschjan . Simon Abkarian does not come from today's Armenia, but from the Armenian diaspora in Lebanon and grew up in France. A large Armenian exile community has existed in both countries since the genocide.


Armenia Public TV Logo

In January 2018, shortly before the political situation changed dramatically in the wake of the Velvet Revolution, the following newspapers were important in the country and for the most part still are: Arawot ( morning , private daily newspaper), Ajastani Anrapetutjun ( Armenian Republic , daily newspaper of Government), Ajkakan Zhanamak ( Armenian time , daily newspaper), Azg ( nation , daily newspaper), Tschorrord Inknischchanutjun ( Fourth Force , daily newspaper), Golos Armenii ( Armenia's voice , Russian-language newspaper), Irawunk ( law , private weekly newspaper) and Jerkir ( country , Daily newspaper).

However, because of their far greater awareness, the television stations are more important in the country, while the print media generally only reach a circulation of a few thousand copies. The state broadcaster is ARMTV (Public Television of Armenia). The major private TV channels (as of January 2018) include Armenia TV , the news channel ArmNews TV , Shant , Kentron TV and Jerkir Media . Russian channels are readily available in the country.

In the area of ​​radio, as of January 2018, the public radio of Armenia (state) as well as the private broadcasters Hay FM 105.5 and Radio Van should be mentioned. All three send from Yerevan.

Online media and especially online-based social media are now not only used heavily in Armenia, but also played an important role in coordinating protest activities against the government in the wake of the Velvet Revolution 2018. Among the social networks are Facebook and the Russian Odnoklassniki Most popular in Armenia (January 2018). The most important Armenian online media at the beginning of 2018 also included the state-run Armenpress , as well as the private sites Arka , Arminfo , A1 + and Mediamax .

49.9% (according to other data, 62%) of the population had internet access in 2016. In 2017 there were around 315,319 broadband connections in the country , which means that roughly one in ten people in Armenia had access to them. The majority of Armenian Internet users use mobile access such as smartphones and laptops.


Chess Grand Master Aronjan 2012

Chess is a widespread sport in Armenia and the professional chess players are organized in the Armenian Chess Federation. The former world chess champion Tigran Petrosyan was an Armenian. Garry Kasparov is of Armenian descent. The national team won the Chess Olympiad in Turin in 2006, in Dresden in 2008 and in Istanbul in 2012, as well as the World Team Championship in 2011 and the European Team Championship in 1999 . Well-known grandmasters are Levon Aronjan , Smbat Lputjan , Karen Asrjan , Sergej Movsesjan , Vladimir Hakobjan (better known as Vladimir Akopjan), Gabriel Sarkissjan , Rafael Vaganian , Varuzhan Akobian and Artasches Minassjan .

Football is a popular sport in Armenia , although the Armenian national team has never qualified for the finals at world championships. The most famous national player is Henrich Mchitarjan from AS Roma. The Armenian Football Association was founded in 1992 and has been a member of UEFA and FIFA ever since .

Professional boxer Kentikian in July 2013

Boxing is also popular . Prominent representatives are the European champion Khoren Gevor and the long-time IBF world champion in flyweight and super flyweight Vic Darchinyan . The German boxer Arthur Abraham , who grew up in Armenia and had to give up his Armenian citizenship in 2006 in favor of the German, is a former undefeated IBF world champion in the middleweight division and a former two-time WBO world champion in the super middleweight division. In women's boxing, Susianna Kentikian , who has Armenian and German citizenship, is a former WBA and WIBF flyweight world champion.

The Armenian national basketball team and its national basketball association have been members of FIBA since 1992 . So far she has not been able to qualify for European or World Championships. The Armenian national ice hockey team joined the IIHF with the Armenian Ice Hockey Federation in 1999 and has already taken part in several world championships.

Armenian cuisine

Armenian cuisine is closely related to other culinary traditions of the Caucasus and Asia Minor. Influences from Eastern Europe can also be seen. Usually, a wider range of spices, herbs, vegetables, fish, meat, nuts and fruits are used in Armenian dishes. As a rule, the dishes are spicy, but not very hot.

The side dish is often lavash bread, which is considered a national dish in Armenia. However, it can also be found in neighboring countries such as Turkey, Azerbaijan or Iran. Often the bread is still prepared by hand in a traditional way in a tandoor . It was even declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2014 .

The pomegranate , which is symbolically associated with fertility, is considered one of the national fruits of Armenia and is therefore also represented in many souvenirs. The apricot is also considered a national fruit.

See also

Portal: Armenia  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of Armenia


Web links

Wiktionary: Armenia  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Armenia  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Armenia  Travel Guide
Wikimedia Atlas: Armenia  - geographical and historical maps
Wikibooks: Wikijunior Europe / Armenia  - learning and teaching materials
Wikisource: Armenia  - Sources and full texts

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Coordinates: 40 °  N , 45 °  E