Yerevan

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia as well as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. It is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the twelfth in the history of Armenia, and the sixth located in or around the Ararat plain. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 782 BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni, the remains of which you can see in the southern parts of the city. Under Turkoman, Iranian and Russian rule, it was the center of the administrative division, including the majority of the Eastern Armenia (15-20th centuries). The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century as Armenia became part of the Soviet Union. Yerevan became principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, the seat of national government.

In different parts of Yerevan you can see not only medieval and late modern buildings, but also new constructions since the early 2000s. Very little can be found in Yerevan because of the 1679 earthquake: Erebuni and Teishebaini fortresses (8th century BC), Katoghike Tsiranavor church (6th century), Holy Mother God church (7th century), St. John chapel (12th century), Mausoleum of Karakoyunlu emirs (15th century), Zoravor church (17th century), Blue Mosque (18th century). During the Soviet period, several historical buildings were ruined, and others were built in its places, such as St. Peter and Paul cathedral (4th century, Cinema Moscow now), Gethsemane chapel (11th century, Opera house now), Persian castle (16th century, Noy brandy factory now) and so on. The 19th century buildings can be seen around the Republic Square.

Theatres and museums, libraries and universities, churches and other buildings can be found in Yerevan. Opera Theatre is the main spectacle hall, the National Gallery of Armenia is the largest art museum and shares a building with the History Museum of Armenia, and the museum of manuscripts Matenadaran repository contains one of the largest depositories of ancient books and manuscripts in the world. The neoclassical Republic Square is the center of the city and the monumental Cascade steps lead from the city center to Victory Park, home of a Luna Park and the statue Mother Armenia overlooking the city, older than Rome for 29 years. It was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO. Yerevan is an associate member of Eurocities.

Yerevan is served by the Zvartnots International Airport, the main airgate to Armenia, located 12 kilometres west of the city center. Public transport in Yerevan consists of 90 van, 40 bus, 10 trolleybus and 1 underground (metro) line, also lots of taxis, the average price inside Yerevan is $2-3. The central bus station serves as bus terminal for inter-city transport, serving outbound routes towards practically all the cities of Armenia as well as abroad, notably Tbilisi and Tabriz. Yerevan has a single central train station, since several train stations of suburbs have not been used, due to the Azerbaijani (1990) and Turkish (1993) blockades of Armenia. There is only one international train that passes by once every two days, with neighboring Georgia being its destination.


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