| Taron Margaryan (Republican)|
1.117 million (2009)
| Republic Square - Yerevan, Matenadaran, Sergei Parajanov Museum, History Museum of Armenia, Lovers Park|
Yerevan State University (Yerevan), Yerevan State Medical University (Yerevan), American University of Armenia (Yerevan), National Polytechnic University of Armenia (Yerevan), Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University (Yerevan)
Yerevan ( Armenian: , listen ), is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the worlds oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia, and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain.
The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. Erebuni was "designed as a great administrative and religious centre, a fully royal capital." After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the First Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire settled in the area. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century as Armenia became part of the Soviet Union. In a few decades, Yerevan was transformed from a provincial town within the Russian Empire, to Armenias principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, as well as becoming the seat of national government.
With the growth of the economy of the country, Yerevan has been undergoing major transformation as many parts of the city have been the recipient of new construction since the early 2000s, and retail outlets such as restaurants, shops, and street cafes, which were rare during Soviet times, have multiplied.
As of 2011, the population of Yerevan was 1,060,138, making up to 35.1% of the total population of Armenia.
Yerevan was named the 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO. Yerevan is an associate member of Eurocities.
The ancient kingdom of Van (Ararat or Urartu or Biainili), was formed in the 9th century BC in the basin of Lake Van of the Armenian Highland, including the territory of modern-day Yerevan. King Arame was the founder of the state which was one of the most developed states of its age.
However, the territory of Yerevan-Erebuni was settled in the fourth millennium B.C., fortified settlements from the Bronze Age include Shengavit, Tsitsernakaberd, Teishebaini, Arin Berd, Karmir Berd and Berdadzor. Archaeological evidence, such as a cuneiform inscription, indicates that the Urartian military fortress of Erebuni (????????) was founded in 782 BC (29 years earlier than Rome) by the orders of King Argishti I at the site of current-day Yerevan, to serve as a fort and citadel guarding against attacks from the north Caucasus. Yerevan, as mentioned, is one of the most ancient cities in the world.
The cuneiform inscription found at Erebuni Fortress reads:
By the greatness of the God Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, built this mighty stronghold and proclaimed it Erebuni for the glory of Biainili [Urartu] and to instill fear among the kings enemies. Argishti says, "The land was a desert, before the great works I accomplished upon it. By the greatness of Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, is a mighty king, king of Biainili, and ruler of Tushpa." [Van].
During the height of Urartian power, irrigation canals and an artificial reservoir were built on Yerevans territory. In 585 BC, the fortress of Teishebaini (Karmir Blur), thirty miles to the north of Yerevan, was destroyed by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians.
Between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, Yerevan was one of the main centers of the Armenian satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire.
Due to the absence of historical data, the timespan between the fourth century BC and the third century AD is known as the "Yerevan Dark Ages."
Armenia became a Christian nation in 301. The first church in Yerevan, the church of St. Peter and Paul, was built in the fifth century, and was demolished in 1931 to build a cinema hall. The Katoghike Tsiranavor Church of Avan (595–602) of Avan district, which was partly damaged in the 1679 earthquake, is the citys oldest surviving church.
Yerevan has an average height of 990 m (3,248.03 ft), with a minimum of 865 m (2,837.93 ft) and a maximum of 1,390 m (4,560.37 ft) above sea level. It is located on to the edge of the Hrazdan River, northeast of the Ararat plain (Ararat Valley), to the center-west of the country. The upper part of the city is surrounded with mountains on three sides while it descends to the banks of the river Hrazdan at the south. Hrazdan divides Yerevan into two parts through a picturesque canyon.
Historically, the city is situated at the heart of the Armenian Highland, in Kotayk canton (Armenian: Kotayk gavar, not to be confused with the current Kotayk Province) of Ayrarat province, within Armenia Major.
As the capital of Armenia, Yerevan is not part of any marz ("province"). Instead, it is bordered with the following provinces: Kotayk from the north and the east, Ararat from the south and the south-west, Armavir from the west and Aragatsotn from the north-west.
The city is home to many cinema halls; among them the famous Moscow Cinema. Most of the worlds hit movies are available to watch there. Since 2004, every year Moscow Cinema hosts the Golden Apricot international film festival. Many other cinema halls characterized with important architectural values are operating in the city such as Hayrenik Cinema, Nairi Cinema, Rossiya Cinema, etc.
The Yerevan Opera and Ballet Theatre consists of two concert halls: Aram Khatchaturian concert hall and the hall of the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Alexander Spendiarian. The Komitas Chamber Music Hall is the home of chamber music in Armenia.
Numerous cultutal centres and halls allow the audience to enjoy a multitude of various shows and performances, such as the modern Complex named after Karen Demirchyan. Other significant theatres include: Sundukyan State Academic Theatre, Paronyan Musical Comedy Theatre, Stanislavski Russian Theatre, Drama and Comedy Theatre named after Edgar Elbakyan, Yerevan State Dramatic Theatre named after Hrachia Ghaplanian, Yerevan State Hamazgain Theatre and the State Puppet Theatre named after Hovhannes Tumanyan.
Tourism in Armenia is developing year by year and the capital city of Yerevan is one of the major tourist destinations. The city has a majority of luxury hotels, modern restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. Zvartnots airport has also conducted renovation projects with the growing number of tourists visiting the country. Numerous places in Yerevan are attractive for tourists, such as the dancing fountains of the Republic Square, the State Opera House, the Cascade complex, the ruins of the Urartian city of Erebuni (Arin Berd), the historical site of Karmir Blur (Teishebaini), etc. The Armenia Marriott Hotel is situated in the heart of the city at Republic Square, while other major chains are also present in downtown Yerevan, such as the Royal Tulip Yerevan Hotel and the Best Western Congress Hotel.
The location of Yerevan itself, is an inspiring factor for the foreigners to visit the city in order to enjoy the view of the biblical mount of Ararat, as the city lies on the feet of the mountain forming the shape of a Roman amphitheatre.
There are plenty of historical sites, churches and citadels in areas and regions surrounding the city of Yerevan, such as the (Garni Temple, Zvartnots Cathedral, and Khor Virap, etc.).
In 2001, Yerevans share of national industrial production was approximately 50%. Yerevans manufactures include chemicals, primary metals, machinery, rubber products, plastics, textiles, alcoholic beverages and processed food. Even though the economic crisis of the 90s ravaged the industry of the country, several factories remain always in service, notably in the petrochemical and the aluminium sectors. Not only is Yerevan the headquarters of major Armenian companies, but of international ones as well, as its seen as an attractive outsourcing location for Western European, Russian and American multinationals. Yerevan is also the countrys financial hub, home to the Central Bank of Armenia, the Armenian Stock Exchange (NASDAQ OMX Armenia), as well as some of the countrys largest commercial banks.
Yerevan is home to dozens of museums, art galleries, and libraries. The most prominent of these are the National Gallery of Armenia, the History Museum of Armenia, the Cafesjian Museum of Art, the Matenadaran library of ancient manuscripts, and the Armenian Genocide museum. Others include the Modern Art Museum, the Children’s Picture Gallery, and the Martiros Saryan Museum. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening every year, featuring rotating exhibitions and sales.
Constructed in 1921, the National Gallery of Armenia is Yerevan principal museum. It is integrated with the Armenias History Museum of Armenia. In addition to having a permanent exposition of works of painters such as Aivazovsky, Kandinsky, Chagall, Théodore Rousseau, Monticelli or Eugène Boudin, it usually hosts temporary expositions such as Yann Arthus-Bertrand in 2005 or the one organized on the occasion of the Year of Armenia in France in October 2006. The Armenian Genocide museum is found at the foot of Tsitsernakaberd memorial and features numerous eyewitness accounts, texts and photographs from the time. It comprises a Memorial stone made of three parts, the latter of which is dedicated to the intellectual and political figures who, as the museums site says, "raised their protest against the Genocide committed against the Armenians by the Turks. Among them there are Armin T. Wegner, Hedvig Büll, Henry Morgenthau, Franz Werfel, Johannes Lepsius, James Bryce, Anatole France, Giacomo Gorrini, Benedict XV, Fritjof Nansen, Fayez al-Huseini". This place of remembrance was created by Laurenti Barseghian, the Museums director, and Pietro Kuciukian, the founder of the "Memory is the Future" Committee for the Righteous for the Armenians. This Memorial hosts the ashes or fistfuls of earth from the tombs of the Righteous and of those non-Armenians who witnessed the genocide and tried to help the Armenians. Here, people also celebrates living characters who stand out for their pro-memory engagement.
The Matenadaran is a library-museum regrouping 17,000 ancient manuscripts and several bibles from the Middle Ages. Its archives hold a rich collection of valuable ancient Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, Hebrew, Roman and Persian manuscripts. It is located on Mashtots Avenue at central Yerevan.
Next to the Hrazdan river, the Sergey Parajanov Museum that was completely renovated in 2002, has 250 works, documents and photos of the Armenian filmmaker and painter. Yerevan has several other museums like the museum of the Middle-East and the Museum of Yerevan.
Here is a list of Yerevans most important museums: