Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia as well as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia, and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain. The city also serves as the seat of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese; the largest diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and one of the oldest dioceses in the world.
The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. Erebuni was "designed as a great administrative and religious centre, a fully royal capital." By the late ancient Armenian Kingdom, new capital cities were established and Yerevan declined in importance. Under Iranian and Russian rule, it was the center of the Erivan Khanate from 1736 to 1828 and the Erivan Governorate from 1850 to 1917, respectively. After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the First Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire arrived in the area. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century as Armenia became part of the Soviet Union. In a few decades, Yerevan was transformed from a provincial town within the Russian Empire to Armenia's principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, as well as becoming the seat of national government.
With the growth of the economy of the country, Yerevan has been undergoing major transformation as many parts of the city have been the recipient of new construction since the early 2000s, and retail outlets as much as restaurants, shops, and street cafés, which were rare during Soviet times, have multiplied. As of 2011, the population of Yerevan was 1,060,138, just over 35% of the Republic of Armenia's total population. According to the official estimate of 2016, the current population of the city is 1,073,700. Yerevan was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO. Yerevan is an associate member of Eurocities.
Republic Square (known locally as Hraparak, "[city] square") is the central town square in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. It consists of two sections: an oval roundabout and a trapezoid-shaped section which contains a pool with musical fountains.
The square is surrounded by five major buildings built in pink and yellow tuff in the neoclassical style with extensive use of Armenian motifs. This architectural ensemble includes the Government House, the History Museum and the National Gallery, Armenia Marriott Hotel and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Communications. The square was originally designed by Alexander Tamanian in 1924. The construction of most of the buildings was completed by the 1950s; the last building—the National Gallery—was completed in 1977.
The History Museum of Armenia is a museum in Armenia with departments of Archaeology, Numismatics, Ethnography, Modern History and Restoration. It has a national collection of 400,000 objects and was founded in 1920. 35% of the main collection is made up of archaeology related items, 8% of the collection is made up of Ethnography related items, Numismatics related items make up 45%, and 12% of the collection is made up of documents. It is regarded as Armenia's national museum and is located on Republic Square in Yerevan. The state financially supports the museum and owns both the collection and the building. The museum carries out conservation and restoration work and publishes works on Armenian architecture, archaeology, ethnography, and history. They also have published a series of reports on archaeological excavations since 1948. The museum carries out educational and scientific programs on Armenian history and culture as well.
Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Alexander Spendiaryan in Yerevan was officially opened on 20 January 1933, with Alexander Spendiaryan's Almast opera performance. The opera building was designed by the Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian. It consists of two concert halls: the Aram Khatchaturian concert hall with 1,400 seats and the Alexander Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet National Theatre with 1,200 seats.
The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, commonly referred to as the Matenadaran , is a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute and museum in Yerevan, Armenia. It holds one of the world's richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books in Armenian and many other languages.
The Matenadaran's main objectives are first and foremost the 1) preservation, restoration, and reproduction of the manuscripts; 2) their procurement; 3) the organization and cataloging of Armenian manuscripts; and 4) the distribution and publication of particularly historically significant Armenian manuscripts in languages asides from Armenian.
The Matenadaran is in possession of a collection of nearly 17,000 manuscripts and 30,000 other documents which cover a wide array of subjects such as theology, philosophy, historiography and history, geography, grammar, art and art history, medicine and science.
In addition to the Matenadaran's Armenian manuscripts, there is a vast collection of historical documents numbering over 2,000 in languages such as Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Japanese and Russian. The Mashtots Matenadaran Ancient Manuscripts Collection was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme Register in 1997 in recognition of its world significance.
Yerevan Brandy Company , commonly known with its famous brand "ArArAt", is the leading enterprise of Armenia for the production of cognac. It was founded in 1887, during the period of the Russian Empire. After the Sovietization of Armenia, the factory became a state-owned enterprise. In 1999, the government of independent Armenia sold the factory to the French Pernod Ricard company for distilled beverages. The variety of the company's cognac products are labeled and publicized as ArArAt.
The company owns another factory in the town of Armavir, operating since 1966.
Erebuni Fortress, also known as Arin Berd (meaning the "Fortress of Blood"), is an Urartian fortified city, located in Yerevan, Armenia. It is 1,017 metres (3,337 ft) above sea level. It was one of several fortresses built along the northern Urartian border and was one of the most important political, economic and cultural centers of the vast kingdom. The name Yerevan itself is derived from Erebuni.
The Cascade is a giant stairway made of limestone in Yerevan, Armenia. It links the downtown Kentron area of Yerevan with the Monument neighborhood. Designed by architects Jim Torosyan, Aslan Mkhitaryan, and Sargis Gurzadyan the construction of the cascade started in 1971 and was partially completed in 1980.
Inside the Cascade, underneath the exterior steps, are seven escalators that rise along the length of the complex. There are also exhibit halls connected to some of the landings along the escalators which compose the Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art.
The exterior of The Cascade features multiple levels adorned with fountains and modernist sculptures from the Cafesjian collection. The stairs afford walkers unobstructed views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat. At the base of the Cascade is a garden court yard with statues by contemporary sculptures such as Botero.
There are a number of cafes and restaurants on both sides of the Cascade frequented by locals and tourists. Classical and jazz concerts often take place at the Cascade during spring, summer and early autumn, with spectators sitting on the steps.
Mother Armenia is a female personification of Armenia. Her most public visual rendering is a monumental statue in Victory Park overlooking the capital city of Yerevan, Armenia.
"Mother Armenia" has a height of 22 metres, thus making the overall height of the monument 51 metres, including the pedestal. The statue is built of hammered copper while the pedestal-museum is of basalt.
Officially Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex , also known as Demirchyan Arena, Sports & Music Complex, or simply Hamalir (for complex in Armenian), is a large sports and concert complex with 184 stairs leading up Tsitsernakaberd hill which dominates over the western parts of Yerevan, near the Hrazdan River gorge. The complex consists of two main halls; the Concerts hall and the Sports hall, in addition to the large foyer, Hayastan conference hall and Argishti hall designated for diplomatic meetings, exhibitions and other events.
The Armenian Genocide memorial complex is Armenia's official memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, built in 1967 on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd in Yerevan.
Every year on April 24—the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day—thousands of Armenians gather at the memorial to commemorate the victims of the genocide. The people who gather in Tsiternakaberd lay fresh flowers out of respect for all the people who died in the Armenian genocide. Over the years, a wide range of politicians, artists, musician, athletes, and religious figures have visited the memorial.
The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute was opened in 1995.
Moscow Cinema is a cinema hall in the Armenian capital Yerevan, located at the Charles Aznavour Square, adjacent to Abovyan Street. The cinema was opened in 1936. The building was designed by architects Tiran Terkanyan and Gevork Kochar.
In 1960, the building was redesigned by archictects Gevork Kochar and Telman Gevrokyan. In 1983, the building was redeveloped when the facade was decorated with scenes of many famous Soviet-Armenian movies including Chapayev, Pepo, David Bek and Sayat Nova.
The cinema was privatized in 1999 and after a major renovation, it was reopened in September 2000.
Currently, Moscow cinema has 4 theatre halls: the red hall with 491 seats, the blue hall with 350 seats, the small red hall with 49 seats and the gallery with 35 seats. The cinema has also an open-air theatre located at the eastern side of the building.