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The Legend of the Bread Tree

Once upon a time, a miller well known for his boundless work ethic exhausted himself so much that he barely crawled out of the mill and fell to the ground. The mill was full of grain. But the miller was too weak to get up and go to the market to buy food so he could eat to regain his In his dream, he was visited by the goddess of fertility Anahit, who often admired the noble work of the miller from the heavens. The goddess said to him: “Out of the flour in your mill, I created a tree that will bear sweet fruit made of bread and flour. Go out into the courtyard and turn left, there you shall see the tree.”

So said the goddess Anahit and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

The Bread Tree

The rest of the night, the miller had not slept, waiting impatiently for morning to come. He was hoping against hope that the prophecy in his dream would turn out to be true. At the break of dawn he rose to his feet, left the yard and, lo and behold, the bread tree was standing on the bank of a turbulent river. It was the pshat* tree, which stretched its silvery velvet leaves to him and he saw its golden fruit, sprinkled with fine flour. The miller ran to it, dropping to his knees…

Such is the story of the bread oleaster tree. It is no coincidence that the tree is so widespread in Armenia and the people are so fond of it. After all, it is the fruit of their legends and a symbol of perseverance and hope.

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10 Reasons to Visit Armenia

A culturally diverse country Armenia boasts breathtaking panoramic views, friendly people, great cuisine, fine food and wine and plenty of sun. From Armenia’s capital Yerevan to its ancient villages, there is a wealth of things to see and do wherever you go in this fascinating country.

Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Armenia.

Why Visit Armenia?

1. The History and Biblical Mountain Ararat

The Armenians, an ancient civilisation whose history is long, complex, and in many ways epic and heroic. Armenians are the first nation to adopt Christianity as the official religion of their state (301 A.D.) Armenians consider themselves direct descendants of Noah, survivor of the Biblical flood. According to Genesis the boat came to rest on a mountain in the Ararat range. Ararat, located in the heart of Armenia, was a Holy Mountain for the peoples of the ancient world. Many ancient scriptures placed the Biblical Garden of Eden in the Land of Armenia also called the Land of Ararat.

Dejection of Noah from mountain Ararat. Author: Ivan Aivazovsky

Dejection of Noah from mountain Ararat. Author: Ivan Aivazovsky

2. Ancient monasteries

There are innumerable historical monuments in Armenia. 40,000 are available for visiting and are waiting for an admiring traveller. Most of them are churches. Historically Armenians built their monasteries hidden from hostile neighbors to avoid destruction and massacre. Most of ancient monuments are restored. The restoration had begun when Armenia was part of the Soviet Union and continues today. The architecture took on its own rules and the ornamentation of the sanctuaries was fascinating: interlacing and khatchkars (cross stones) with continuously changing patterns decorate every wall and every rock face. This tiny country is a home to so many true gems. Armenia is still quite an undiscovered yet underrated place. Here is second reason why you should pay this little landlocked state in South Caucasus a visit.

Geghard Monastery, Unesco World Heritage Site in central Armenia

Geghard Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Armenia

3. Amazing Landscapes

In Armenia the mountains are everywhere. A country that is very isolated between the high Caucasian Mountains and the semi-desert mountains of northern Iran, 90% of Armenia is located at more than one thousand meters of altitude. You will be amazed by the diversity of landscapes of this ancient country from semi deserts up to the alpine meadows, snow-capped peaks and white sand beaches of the Lake Sevan, the lush forests of Dilijan or the huge red rocks of Noravank Canyon.

Armenia's amazing landscape

Armenia’s amazing landscape

 

4. Diverse Wildlife

If you are wild life and nature lover, Armenia has several species of animals that are specific to the caucuses, sadly many which are endangered because of poaching. Some include the Armenian mouflon, Bezoar ibex, Mideastern brown bear, imperial eagle, European roe deer, wild boar, the golden jackal, gampr (type of dog specific to the highlands of Armenia) and the swamp cat. Many animals in Armenia are in danger becoming extinct because of illegal poaching, including the ibex and leopard, of which there are only 15 left. Armenia does require permits for hunting, but there is very little regulation.

Armenian brown bear

Armenian brown bear

5. Armenian Cuisine

Armenian Cuisine is as ancient as its history, as the land it is standing on. Armenian culinary traditions are over 2000 years old. The abundance of meat on Armenian tables is the result of the most ancient development of cattle breeding in Armenian uplands which led to such a variety of livestock and poultry.

 

Armenian food

Armenian food

Traditionally Armenians cooked food on fire. The clay furnace began to be called tonir and has retained this name. Tonir was used for cooking bread, mashes, fish and poultry, vegetables, soups and other dishes. By the way, tonir was borrowed by all people of Transcaucasia becoming an integral part of their national culinary. Armenia in general has contributed a lot in term of cooking.

Armenian traditional tonir

Armenian traditional tonir

6. The Drinks

The alcohol in Armenia is cheap in price, but not in quality. You know the drinks are good when Winston Churchill proclaims that his favorite Brandy is Armenia’s Ararat Brandy. If Brandy isn’t your thing, then you must try the fruit wine that you can find for sale in different villages like mulberry wine or walnut liquor.

Armenian wine

Armenian wine

7. The World’s Longest Aerial Tramway 

The next reason to visit Armenia is the opportunity to ride the world’s longest aerial tramway (5.7km), “Tatev wings” which will take you to the huge monastic complex of Tatev (10th century), indeed a fairy-tale fortress – monastery nestled on a promontory surrounded by deep gorges.

"Wings of Tatev" aerial tramway was officially recorded in the Guinness World Records book on 23 October 2010. It is the longest reversible aerial tramway built in one section.

«Wings of Tatev» aerial tramway was officially recorded in the Guinness World Records book on 23 October 2010. It is the longest reversible aerial tramway built in one section.

8. The Silk Road

Visit Armenia and stand on the old Silk Road, its bridges and see caravanserais (hotels of antiquity). The Silk Road was about 7000km long, and 500km passed through Armenia.

The Great Silk Road

The Great Silk Road

9.  The pink-colored capital of Armenia, Yerevan

Visit one of the world’s ancient continuously inhabited cities – Yerevan, the pink-colored capital of Armenia founded in 782 B.C. It’s called so because most of its building were built  by the local pink rock (tuff) quarried in Armenia. Erebuni (Yerevan) fortress is 29years older than Rome.This historical city becomes quite another place of interest during the night.bars and casinos are waiting for you to enjoy and have unforgettable time.

Svan lake, Yerevan

Svan lake, Yerevan

 10. The People

The one thing that really makes Armenia wonderful is the people. They’ve had a pretty rough history, but they’re so resilient. They are very hospitality and kind. Armenian people have come a long way, and in various periods have acquired different characteristic features, yet one thing that’s peculiar to every Armenian no matter in what age they lived is the love for their motherland and their Christian faith. It’s that love and their faith that have kept them united, and it’s due to those features that they have steadily walked and entered the 21st century. The love for their homeland is expressed everywhere; in art, literature and even daily work.

Armenian people

Armenian people

Enjoy your trips to Armenia:)

Marianna

 


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A Kingdom I Call Home: Exploring Armenia

«The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page». Saint Augustine

Historically, culturally and scenically the Republic of Armenia is a captivating destination. Not only has it been acknowledged as a cradle of civilization with centuries of ancient history to unravel, but it also boasts natural attractions aplenty and is spoilt for beauty. Armenia was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity as its official state religion around the year 300, and many of the country’s surviving ancient monuments are Christian churches and monasteries.

Marmashen Monastery

The monastic complex known as Marmashen Vank is located on a shelf overlooking the left bank of the Akhurian River, 15 km north of Gyumri in the Shirak province of the Republic of Armenia.

Landscapes transition rapidly from lush forests to shimmering lakes and stark deserts. But the best thing about Armenia is the Armenians themselves — ever welcoming and eager to show off their country to visitors. The capital Yerevan is the nation’s hub of cultural activity and progressive thought, sporting impressive museums and a lively modern arts scene. Yerevan’s impressive array of cultural sites, including the National Gallery (founded in 1919) and the Yerevan library of ancient manuscripts (Materadaran), which houses over 13,000 texts. Don’t miss the State Museum of Armenian History in Yerevan, which houses the country’s best collection of historical artefacts.

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities.

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities.

Aside from the ruins and historical importance of Armenia, the land is a mountainous region of beauty that stretches on for miles. Visitors can explore the lengths of the Dilijan National Park, located in the northern part of the country, with its cool climate and evergreen forests along the banks of the Getik River. Reminiscent of the wooded vales of Switzerland, visitors can explore the beauty of the area while staying in the town of Dilijan itself. Or visitors can travel to the alpine Lake Sevan, high in the Armenian mountains, fed by nearly thirty different mountain springs and rivers. 

Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world.

Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world.

In addition, visitors can also enjoy the beauty of the Khosrov Reserve and the subsequent Forest, reserved as the hunting grounds for nobility for centuries, and now a nature reserve carefully nurtured to showcase the beauty of the natural Armenian countryside. Armenia is home to one of the world’s oldest civilisations, where Mount Ararat was once in its ancient borders and thought to be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark. 

Mount Ararat

Mount Ararat

All in all, the combination of elements makes Armenia a hidden refuge for the experienced traveler. 

It’s time to travel, it’s time to go to Armenia:)

 


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