Culture of Armenia

 Opera, Erevan Three things make the Armenian culture distinct and unique: an inimitable charm of its mountainous scenery, the ancient Christian heritage (Armenia was among the first countries to adopt it) and its unusual national culture. The last is the main treasure of Armenia which it has managed to preserve through the challenges of time.

Convinient location of the country between the East and the West made it battle field for the great impires during the ancient times and the Medival Ages. Romans, Iranians, Byzantiums, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols crossed through Armenia. They destroyed cities and interrupted cultural development leaving behind ruins in smoke. Nevertheless, local people managed to withstand powerful invaders and keep the culture. Even so the history left some traces on the culture. As a result the national culture of Armenia acquired some features from the both eastern and western civilizations.
Rich ethnicity of the most ancient inhabitants of Armenian highlands formed everyday life and spiritual culture of people.

Armenian everyday life and spiritual culture have resulted from rich cultures of the most ancient inhabitants of Armenian uplands, all those ethnic elements which participated in the formation of Armenian people. Not worth saying about the role of Urartu culture. , the greatest role was played by the outstanding Urartu culture. Until 301 AD the national culture of Armenia was influenced by the western (Hellenism) and eastern (Parthia) cultures. Christianity, as one of the mighty sources of the world's culture, created new trends in architecture, fine arts, and music. The next important milestone in the cultural development was invention of Armenian alphabet and writing by Mesrop Mashtots in 405. 

Architecture

“Ayastan – karastan” is Armenian for “ Armenia - the stone country”. The mountainous landscape of the country defined the lines of its architecture. Powerfully and monumentally, like the mountains surrounding them, stand the monuments of medieval architecture. Read more...

Khachkars

Each culture possesses a certain original element which becomes a symbol of the entire national culture. In Armenia such symbol is “khachkar”, the so-called crosses-stones, the monuments of Armenia which are not found anywhere in the world. The word “khachkar” is formed by two Armenian roots: “khach” (cross) and "kar" (stone). Read more...

Applied Arts

Traditionally, weaving, carpet weaving, pottery, lacemaking, jewelry making, household utensils were and still are the basic forms household occupations. Read more...

Painting, Sculpture

You can see the first specimens of national painting on the architectural monuments of Echmiadzin, antique Garni and other temples, including the ones from Urartu period. Read more...

Literature

Just as the alphabet and writing were invented the first literature monuments in Armenian language started to appear. They are dated the 5th – 7th centuries. The most prominent are the historical works by Movses Khorenatsi. Read more...

Theatre

The art of theater on the territory of Armenia began long before the Christian age. It was introduced by the founders of this art form – ancient Greeks - during Hellenistic epoch when the territory of Armenian uplands was occupied by Great Armenia with the capital in Tigranakert. Read more...

Museums

The State History Museum, the Museum of History of the city of Yerevan, the State Picture Gallery, the Modern Art Museum... Read more...

Music

Armenian music is like no other. It has its special melodic pattern and rich sounding. This originality is reached due to the use of original Armenian instruments which have survived from the early Middle Ages – pander and bambir, the violin prototypes; the strings – tavikh and knar; the wind instruments –reed pipe, zurn, avagpog; percussions - drums. Read more...

Folklore

Armenian folklore is extremely rich and various. The ancient myths about the gods dated Hellenistic epoch are considered its basis. Read more...