Nowadays Armenia is divided into 2 parts; the Republic of Armenia and Republic of Mountainous Gharabagh. Detailed information about Mountainous Gharabagh can be found in description of Artsakh. Here are some general information about Armenia and the Republic of Armenia.
The Republic of Armenia is divided into 11 units, 10 of which are administrative districts and capital Yerevan. By territory the largest administrative district is Gegharkunik and the smallest - Armavir. In terms of population the first place (except Yerevan) belongs to Lori, and the last place –Vayots Dzor.
The width of the narrowest part of RA is 40km as well the widest is the central part more than 200km. The length of the most extended part of RA is 360km, the length of the border is 1400km.
Armenia is bordered by 4 countries. The longest border is with Azerbaijan, in second place is Turkey, in the third- Georgia and in the fourth- Iran.
The peculiarities of geographical location are.
1. As a continental state, Armenia does not have access to the sea or ocean.
2. Relatively far from the highly industrialized countries.
3. Located at the crossroads of international routes linking Europe with Central and Southern Asia, Russia with the Middle East. Through the Armenia are passing railways and main roads connecting Turkey with Azerbaijan and Northern Caucasus, as well as the Black Sea with Iran and Arabic countries.
Through the Armenia is passing the overland road connecting the south-eastern Asia and Central Asia with Europe, which by the model of famous medieval ‘Silk Road’ was named ‘New Silk Road’.
4. Armenia is in the field of economical and political interests of Russia, the USA, Turkey and Iran.
5. Armenia is situated in the zone of interaction of European, Eastern and Slavic civilizations.
Natural conditions and resources
In Armenia, on the territory of about 40 000 sqr.km rocks of nearly all geodesic periods follow each other .The oldest rocks were formed before the Paleozoic Age (570mln. years). At that time all the Kur-Araks rivers have been a whole water basin.
In the middle of the Mesozoic Age (150mln. years), the southern part of the Kur-Araks basin rises and turns into dry land. An underwater explosive volcano takes place. Later, in that place, the crust is folded and formed many of the ranges of the Little Caucasus. At the end of the Mesozoic Age (67mln.years) the entire territory of Armenia is absorbed by the sea. Dry land remains in some places in the form of islands.
Armenia is rich in metal and nonmetal natural reserves. From the metallic wealth are important non-ferrous metals - copper (Lalvar, Kapan, Kajaran, Agarak), molybdenum (Kajaran, Agarak), gold (Sotk, Meghradzor, Drmbon), lead, zinc, raw aluminum (Pambak and ranges of Meghri) and from ferrous metals - iron (Svarants, Hrazdan, Abovyan).
Armenia, of the non-metallic minerals, has a large reserves of building materials - tuff (on the slopes of Mount Aragatz, Shirak, areas near Yerevan), basalt, andesite, limestone, marble, pumice, obsidian, perlite, granite (Syunik and Lori) and clay.
Table salt (in Yerevan-Armavir region) and mineral springs (more than 700 sources, especially sources of Jermuk, Arzni, Bjni, Ararat, Karvatchar,) are also valuable.
Yet 10-25 thousand years ago Armenia had a relatively great population. It was one of the most densely populated countries of the earth.
Armenians had their own culture and science unlike the neighbouring tribes. This is evidenced by numerous monuments as for example, dragon-stone, rock paintings, Karahunj Observatory (6000g. BC. E.) and so on.
In the Neolithic Age Armenians besides hunting and wild harvesting were engaged in farming as well. But in the Eneolit Age together with agriculture cattle-breeding was developed.
Ruins of some settlements of the Bronze Age (IV-III millennium BC), such as Shengavit, Shreshblur, Elar, Tagavoranist preserved to this day. Excavations of these residues had shown that metallurgy was developed in Armenia.
Armenians produced iron arms for two thousand years before the Iron Age, and during the battles Armenian iron swords pierced the bronze shields of the enemy as a paper.
Even in III millennium BC Armenia was surrounded by warlike neighbors, who are constantly forced Armenians to resist. Despite the labor and peace-loving qualities, the Armenian people always have been able to unite and arm themselves and destroy attacking troops of enemy which were always excelled them in quantity . Often the counterblows increase the previous ownerships and provide an opportunity for the creation of empire (Urartu kingdom, an empire of Tigran the Great). But even during the attacks Armenians have always lacked in the number of troops.
It is very symbolic the characterization of epic hero David of Sassoon: a well-set giant saddles his horse and arms himself, but holds a sword in his hand as would keep a working tool.
Armenians belong to the Armenoid anthropological type of Europoid race. This type is characteristic by the black eyes and hair, average or above-average height, strong figure, broad forehead, short round-shaped skull, a round nose. Separation of different parts of population by the natural obstacles prevents the formation of the same customs and way of life. But, despite this, the national generality of Armenians expressed much brighter than the differences.
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Among the various resources there is a special sub-group because of which Armenia is called "Open-air Museum". Of course, there are tourism resources.
On this small patch of land there are a lot of great historical, cultural and architectural monuments. They are peculiar, meaningful and what is the most important they were built since very ancient time.
Armenian structures include many monuments which are the first instances, belong to the transitional periods of world culture (Renaissance: the first bas-relief depicting the Lord in Noravank).It emphasizes the variety of architectural styles. Many of them have Armenian origin.
For example, long before the world-famous Gothic style appears, in Armenia there was built a statue, which was a prototype of that style (Saghmosavank, Goshavank, etc.). Hripsimeatype and Zvartnotsatype styles as well born in Armenia, and named in honor of the samples of the same name (for example, the temple of the Holy Sophia in Istanbul is Hripsimeatype).
Being a mountainous and rocky country, Armenia has a wonderful nature. High peaks, stormy rivers, mountain lakes, thick woods and deep canyons are always in the center of each person.
The above mentioned features and many other circumstances witness, that Armenia is the most advanced country in the field of tourism.