Armenia is an underrated destination in the Caucasus. With rich history that dates back to the ancient trade route, Armenia is a unique destination that needs to be on your bucket list. While exploring the country, we were fascinated by its various quirks. So here is a list of quirky and fun facts about Armenia we bet you din’t know.
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10 Fun Facts About Armenia
1. ARARAT- THE ARMENIAN BRANDY
Known as Konyak to the locals, this is no ordinary brandy. This brandy has a fan following of the likes of Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, Frank Sinatra to name a few.
The perfect food pairings with this brandy are chocolate, cheese and dried meats. Be sure to experience this local delicacy while in Armenia. It is also a great gift idea to bring back home to friends and family.
2. THE NATIONAL MONUMENT OF ARMENIA THAT IS NOT IN ARMENIA
Did you know that Mt. Ararat, the country’s pride and national symbol is not located in Armenia but in Eastern Turkey? Despite this fact, the symbol of Mt.Ararat is widely used and Armenians consider this mountain a savior for protecting the country from a strong earthquake in the past.
It is also believed that the biblical reference to Ararat where Noah’s Ark landed is indeed here. You can get stunning views of this mountain from Khor Virap Monastery.
3. GRAVITY REVERSE PHENOMENON AT MOUNT ARAGAT
This is by far one of the strangest yet fun facts about Armenia. The mountain route of Mt.Aragat is home to one of the most fascinating legends. There is an upward slope along this route, where a car can climb on it own without even a driver. That’s not all! The stream along this route flows upwards defying the fundamentals of gravity. You can find various videos based on this phenomenon online.
4. OVERTHREW A GOVERNMENT WITH PEACEFUL PROTESTS
Early 2018, unhappy with the corrupt ways of the ruling government, all Armenians got together to form peaceful protests all over the country and Armenians abroad protested in front on their embassies which lead to the resignation of all the ministers in question.
It is hard to believe that “peaceful” protests can bring such ripples, but we witnessed it firsthand and was amazed by the unity the Armenians showcased. Something that every country needs to learn from.
5. GARNI- A GREEK PAGAN TEMPLE
Another fun fact about Armenia is the presence of a greek temple, miles away from Athens. This temple is dedicated to the sun goddess Mythra and still stands tall after years of disrepair and calamities. It’s construction follows the Pythagorean and Platonic theories and the magnificence of the structure speaks volumes of the people behind it
6. LAKE SEVAN
Lake Sevan is one of the largest high-altitude fresh water lakes in the world. This lake has 30 rivers pouring into it and only 1 flowing out. Cooler and windier than other parts of Armenia, the best time to visit Lake Sevan is July & August.
7. CHRISTIANITY IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
One of the first nations in the world, Armenia adopted Christianity as early as 301 AD. It is believed that christianity began to spread in Armenia soon after crucifixon. Armenia thus became the first christian state.
8. STORKS ON POLES
High on our list of interesting facts about Armenia, it is like stepping into a stork village. We were greeted by this strange site on our way to Mt. Aragat. Atop electricity poles that lines the street, you can find huge nests with storks sitting regally and watching you pass by. They migrate to Africa for winter and come back just in time for spring. It is a strange site.
9. MONO ETHNIC COUNTRY
Did you know that 97% of the people residing in Armenia are Armenians? Very few nations in the world remain mono ethnic these days.
10. CHESS IS THE NATIONAL SPORT OF ARMENIA
Referred to as the chess capital of the world, Armenia intends to keep it that way with chess being a compulsory subject in schools.