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6-8 August, 2018
Garni, ARMENIA
The Inaugural Workshop of UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on PhD Education and Research in Biophysics, Biotechnology and Environmental Health
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About Armenia

 

Armenia (Armenian ՀայաստանHayastan) is the only country remaining from 3,000 year old maps of Anatolia. It became the world's first Christian country more than 1,700 years ago in 301 AD and has a large Diaspora all over the world. As a former Soviet republic lying in the Caucasus region straddling Asia and Europe, Armenia has a rich and ancient culture.

Landlocked, Armenia is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Iran to the south, Azerbaijan to the east, and Azerbaijan's Naxcivan exclave to the southwest. Five percent of the country's surface area consists of Lake Sevan (Sevana Lich), the largest lake in the Lesser Caucasus mountain range. Armenia's many mountains and mountain valleys create a great number of microclimates, with scenery changing from arid to lush forest at the top of a mountain ridge.

There are very few places in the world where you can see so many cultural and architectural monuments combined with breathtaking scenery.  Being one of the oldest civilizations and the first Christian country in the world, you can find something ancient and spectacular in every corner of Armenia.

Armenia’s nature and very rich cultural heritage provide an endless source of interest and fascination for the tourists. You can find something for anyone – quiet, relaxing holiday in a mountain retreat, enjoying beautiful scenery and fresh air; or an active hiking break exploring the ancient monasteries. 

 

            

 

 GEOGRAPHY


Armenia is a country without access to the sea located in the Caucasus, in the southern Caucasus, the north-east of the Armenian Plateau, between the Black and Caspian Seas. The relief is mainly mountainous, with mountain rivers and few forests, extinct volcanoes, deep canyons, high plateaus, formed from lava, crossed by deep ravines. Most of the country is located at 1800 meters above sea level. The highest point is Mount Aragats (4092m), while the lowest is located in Debed valley (400m). 

The land is unstable and prone to earthquakes of 3.5 points of magnitude. In 1988 a strong earthquake of 7.5 points shook the north-west of Armenia causing more than 25,000 deaths. 
Armenia is rich in minerals such as gold, silver, copper, iron, molybdenum, construction materials and salt. 


 CLIMATE 


Armenia stands out with a large variety of landscapes, including 7 geographic zones, from deserts and semi-deserts to alpine and subalpine meadows. Because of the numerous mountain formations, which block the influence of seas, and the high location of the territory above sea level, the climate is continental with a large difference between the seasons, including hot summers and cold winters. Average summer temperatures exceed 25 º C, while in winter the temperature is  -5 º C. The best time to visit the country is from April to October. 


 LANGUAGE


The official language is Armenian, while Russian and English are also frequently used. Armenian language is a separate branch of Indo-European language family, between groups of Slavic and Greek languages. The Armenian alphabet, created by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD, has been used until now, without any changesoverthecenturies. 


 MONETARY UNIT


The national currency is AMD, with notes of 1000, 5000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000 drams, as well as coins of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 drams. In all banks and exchanges you may freely change the currency and there arenolimitsoncurrencyexchange. 

 

RELIGION 


Armenia is the first country in the world, which officially adopted Christianity in 301, whereas in the Roman Empire religious freedom was established 12 years later, in 313, and only in 325 Christianitywasgivenofficiallegitimacy. 
The roots of the Armenian Church go back to many centuries, starting from the Ist century. According to historical information, the Armenian Church was founded by two of the twelve apostles of Jesus, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, who preached Christianity in Armenia from 40 to 60. In their honor the official name of the Armenian Church is Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenians also call it Gregorian Church, in honor of St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first patriarch (in Armenian Catholicos) of the Armenian Church. The Armenian Church has 4 hierarchical sees: Holy See of Ejmiadzin, Cilicia, Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Patriarchate of Constantinople.