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INTRODUCING ARMENIA
Local Name: Հայաստան
Other Name(s): Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun
The only country remaining from 3,000 year old maps of Anatolia, Armenia became the world's first Christian country 1,707 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, with an ancient culture, Islamic and a Christian neighbour, and one of the most homogenous populations in the world. Armenia has an ancient and rich culture which is very easy to experience, thanks to a very hospitable people.

Armenia is a mountainous, landlocked country, on the southeastern edge of Europe, and at the gateway to the Middle East, and all of Asia. That valuable geographical position for potential trade between continents became a curse of sorts. Over the centuries it was invaded and controlled by various empires, including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman.

Incorporated into the former Soviet Union in 1920, it finally, along with Azerbaijan, gained independence in 1991. Regional fighting with its neighbour (Azerbaijan) over land control bloodied both countrys, and a cease-fire agreement was finally reached in 1994. The local economy still suffers from the long-term ramifications of war, an Azerbaijan fuel blockade, and a very severe 1988 earthquake that destroyed much of its infrastructure, and killed over 55,000 of its citizens.

Since 2001, when Armenia celebrated the 1,700th anniversary of the nation’s conversion to Christianity, the growth in the number of tourists has grown by about 25% every year. Straddling Europe and Asia in the lesser Caucasus Mountains, an ex-Soviet state, with a culture over 3,000 years old and examples of ancient architecture and art all over the countryside.