Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia , is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in West Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.
The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, who, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region.
The Republic of Armenia has a territorial area of 29,743 square kilometres (11,484 sq mi) and has a population of 2,924,816 (2016 est.) The capital is Yerevan, the state language - Armenian. The Republic of Armenia recognizes the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment. The unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD.
The Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD. The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301.
Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh, which was proclaimed in 1991.
Armenia is a landlocked country. The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers, and few forests. The land rises to 4,090 metres (13,419 feet) above sea level at Mount Aragats, and no point is below 390 metres (1,280 ft) above sea level. Average elevation of the country area is 10th highest in the world.
The area of the country is 29,743 km,and the 71,3% of which are agricultural lands, 12,4% forest lands, 7,7% special maintaining areas and 8,6% other lands. Armenia is rich in water resources.There are about 9480 rivers in the country,and 379 of which have more than 10 km length, more than 100 lakes,and a part of which dries in summer. For centuries Armenia was called "The country of rivers and lakes ", so Nairi 4,7% of the country is water. The longest rivers in Armenia are Araks, Akhuryan, Debet, Vorotan, Hrazdan, Arpa and Qasakh.
There are many lakes in Armenia, and the biggest is Sevan lake and it's high over sea level about 1897 m. It's the largest fish breeding centre of the Republic and the biggest source of sweet water (or fresh water) in the Middle East. Arpi, Ayghr, Parz and a lot of other lakes are also famous.
Armenia as a part of Armenia Highland is between special regions of flora and fauna in that region.
RA fauna includes more than 17000 types of animals. Vertebrates fauna is well-studied and presented with 536 types: 83 mammals, 353 birds, 53 reptiles, 8 amphibians, 39 fishes. Invertebrates fauna isn't studied properly due to its wide variety.
308 types of animals are registered in the "RA red Book" (2010) 153 of which are vertebrates (7 bone fishes, 2 amphibians, 19 reptiles, 96 birds, 29 mammals),155 are invertebrates.
RA flora is presented by nearly 3600 Rinds of plants (60% of the Caucasus flora) which are included in more than 800 species and 160 families.
12% of Armenia's area is wood ed 5% of which is situated in Lori Region 4% in Tanush 0,5% in Vayots Dzor and 1% is located in other regions.
The foundation of specially protected natural areas of Armenia has started since 1986 when the first specially protected natural areas were founded. According to the law(1991) concerning " Specially protected natural areas" , national parks, reserves, natural monuments are ensured as ones.
There are 4 national parks existing in Armenia (Sevan, Dilijan), Lake Arpi Natural Park, Arevik Natural Park, 26 reserves, 3 state reserves: Khosrov Forest Reserve in Ararat Region, Shikahogh Reserve in Syunik Region, Erebuni Reserve in Kotayk Region. And there are also 5 botanical gardens in Armenia: Sotjut Botanical garden in Lori Region, Yerevan's Botanical garden in Yerevan, Ijevan Dendropark in Tavush Region, Vanadzor's Botanical garden in Lori Region, Sevan's Botanical park in Gegharkunik Region and 230 natural monuments.
Recently tourism considerably develops in Armenia. The main centres for tourism are Tsaghkadzor, Jermuk, Arzni and Dilijan. The Monastery of Geghard, the temple of Garni, Noravank, Lake Sevan the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral and Amberd Fortress arouse an interest among tourists.
Armenia is rich with cultural and natural monuments, and that's why it's called "A museum under the open sky". There are more than 4 thousands exceptional monuments in Armenia. In its row are also included pre-Christian monuments, Erebuni Fortress, Armenian old capitals of Teishebani, Armavir the ruins of Artashat, Mihr God's temple in Garni and so on.
Armenia is especially rich in monuments of the Christian architecture. They are Etchmiadzin Cathedral in the city of Vagharshapat, Noravank,Geghard, Khor Virap, Goshavank,Sevanavank, the cross-stone cemetery of Noratus and so on.
The exceptional natural monuments are Lake Sevan, Jermuk Waterfall, Shaki Waterfall, Parz and Kar lakes, the caves of Khndzoresk and so on.
Armenia is made up of 10 regions (Shirak, Armavir, Lori, Ararat, Kotayk, Gegharkunik, Syunik, Aragatzotn, Tavush, Vayots Dzor) and the capital Yerevan.