Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, Armenia

Any traveller interested in exploring different cultures, their history and art should visit the country of Armenia, situated between East and West, along an ancient trade route.  The first mention of “Arminiya” as the name of a country and Armina as the name of a nation is found in a cuneiform inscription of Persian king Dareh 1 (522-486 B.C.), and in a Babylonian world map dated to the 5th century B.C.

Armenia has been called an open-air museum.  Over 5,000 archeological monuments, ranging from prehistoric cave paintings, to stone circles (karahunj in Armenian) that are far older than their counterparts in Western Europe, to irrigation systems and fortresses, to Medieval monasteries and secular buildings, to stone crosses (khachkars in Armenian) which are scattered throughout modern Armenia.

The English poet Byron wrote “There is no other land in the world so full of wonders as the land of the Armenians…”  To mention just a few of these wonders: the Garni temple of the Hellenistic period (1st century A.D), the Edjmiadzin monastery built after the adoption of Christianity in 301 AD, St. Hripsime church (7th century AD), Zvartnots cathedral (7th century AD), and the Geghard monastery carved in rock (13th century AD),etc.

During the 5th year of his reign, in 783 BC, King Argishti I founded the fortress-town Erebuni, present-day Yerevan, which became one of the most important administrative and economic centers of the country. The year of Erebuni foundation is accurately known from the survived cuneiform record inscribed on the stone slab. It says, “In the greatness of God Khaldi, Argishti, the son of King Menua,has built this impregnable fortress and called it Erebuni for the power of Biaina land and the horror of enemies. Argishti says: The land was unpopulated, and here I have done great work. In the greatness of the god Khald, Argishti, Menua’s son, powerful king, the king of the country of Biaina, the ruler of the city of Tushpa”.

The name of the city of Yerevan goes back to the period of Urartu and originates from the name “Erebuni”. It is known from the Urartian studies that the Urartian sound “B” sounds like “V” in Armenian. Thus, the name Erebuni has been transformed and has become Yerevan.