The Armenians attach great importance to
their cultural traditions - something that applies not
least to the Armenians living abroad. The national
cultural heritage began to take shape in 300-year-old
Christian Armenia, where an ancient Christian art
flourished under Byzantine influence. Armenian churches
are preserved from the 400s, and during the 900s and
1000s Armenians were the forerunners of Western church
Several monasteries and churches in Armenia are
listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Latest population statistics of Armenia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
The 38-letter Armenian alphabet was created by the
patriarch Mesrop in the 400s, when the first texts in
Armenian were written. The texts often had religious
motives but were also about the history of the
Armenians. Only in the 18th century did the literature
gain a wider breadth when Armenian monks published a
number of works without religious affiliation, including
grammar. The first Armenian novel, Verk Hayastani ("The
Wounds of Armenia"), was written in the 1840s by
enlightenment philosopher Chatjatur Abovyan. The novel
depicts the struggle of the Armenians during the war
between Persia and Russia in the 19th century.
Even today, literature and drama often portray
Armenians' resistance to religious and ethnic
oppression. This is also reflected in Armenian holidays.
Almost after Christmas and Easter, the most important
weekends are the days of commemorating the Christian
resistance to the Persians in the 400s and the 1915
massacres of Armenians in Turkey.
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Armenia. Artists and albums are also included.
Christian motifs dominated the visual arts until the
17th century. During the 19th century, when the artists
began to gain greater freedoms, the Armenian visual arts
experienced a flourishing period. Artists such as Hakob
Hovnatanyan and Ivan Ajvazovsky broke internationally.
Well-known names from the 20th century are Alexander
Bazhbeuk-Melikyan and surrealist Arsjile Gorkij, born as
Vostanik Adoyan in present-day Turkey and living most of
his life in the United States.
Armenia has a rich music culture, where the song
occupies a central position. Throughout the centuries,
Armenian music has been influenced by Russian, Persian
and Turkish traditions. In recent years, influences from
Western music are also noticeable. Composer Aram
Chatjaturian's (1903–1978) works are based on folk
music, but also have western elements.
Among Armenian-esteemed artists in the western world
are the Frenchman Charles Aznavour (Shahnour
Aznavourian, 1924–2018) and the American Cher (Cherilyn
Director Sergei Paradjanov (Sargis Paradjanyan,
1924-1990) was, with his surrealistic style, one of the
most controversial dissidents in the Soviet film
industry. The renowned Canadian film director Atom
Egoyan belongs to the Armenian Diaspora.
In all three Caucasian countries, there are proud
textile traditions. The more industrialized
manufacturing that occurred during the Soviet era
degraded the quality of both the material and the
workmanship, but has made older rugs, saddlebags,
saltbags and other utensils in very diverse techniques
into internationally sought-after collectors and museum
objects. The disputed Nagorno-Karabakh is the core area
of Armenian matting. Dragon motifs made in sumak
(soumak), a technique known in Swedish as laces, are
among the most famous. Even in today's production, you
can recognize church symbols and motifs that are also
found in carvings. The Armenians are also known for
their intricate embroidery.
Russian-friendly prime minister is appointed
As expected, Karen Karapetyan is appointed Prime
Minister by President Sargsyan. He has a past as a
senior manager at the Russian gas company Gazprom and is
considered to have good relations with the Russian
The Prime Minister resigns
Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan announces his
resignation. The message was expected, since the
president promised just over a month ago to form a
unifying government to address the country's difficult
economic and social problems. Yerevan's former mayor
Karen Karapetyan is nominated by the ruling party as new
head of government.
The President promises changes
President Sargsyan says after the long hostage frame
that Armenia needs radical change. He promises to form a
unified government within a few months, "but without
terrorists and their defenders". According to Sargsyan,
the occupation of the police station must be thoroughly
investigated, without preconceived opinions, and will
result in an open trial. Human Rights Watch accuses
police of resorting to disproportionate violence against
peaceful protesters and attacking journalists who
reported on the demonstrations.
Hostage frame at police station
A group of armed men storm a police station in
Yerevan, shoot a policeman to death and take several
hostages, among them Deputy Chief of Police and Yerevan
Deputy Chief of Police. The men demand that opposition
politician Zjirayr Sefilyan, leader of a small party, be
released and President Sargsyan resign. Sefilyan was
arrested in June on charges of unlawful possession of
weapons. Via social media, the hostages encourage the
public to rise up against the government. During the
occupation, violence outside the building repeatedly
erupted during clashes between police and protesters.
After six days, the hostages are released, but the
occupants remain for more than a week before giving up
to the threat that the police will storm the building.
The day before the drama ends, another policeman is
killed, judging by a bullet fired inside the building.
Turkey condemns the Pope
Pope Francis once again describes the killing of
Armenians during the First World War as a genocide. The
Turkish government, as always, reacts very strongly,
criticizing the Pope's "crusader mentality".
More observers to worry
Armenian and Azerbaijan Presidents agree that more
observers of the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh are
needed. They meet in Saint Petersburg under the
mediation of the Russian president. There are currently
only six unarmed OSCE observers in the disputed area.
How many more should be sent there, or when it should be
done, nothing is said about.
Presidents promise ceasefire
The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan promise to
ensure that the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh is
respected. They also agree to hold new peace talks in
June. Less than a day later, an Azerbaijani soldier and
an Armenian from the breakaway republic are reported to
have been killed in new fighting.
More clashes occur between Armenians and Azerbaijanis
in Nagorno-Karabakh. At the end of the month, more than
100 people are reported to have lost their lives in the
Protests against Russia
Hundreds of Armenians demonstrate against Russia in
Yerevan. They protest that Russia, Armenia's closest
ally, sells weapons to the enemy Azerbaijan. According
to the Armenian Ministry of Defense, 97 soldiers,
volunteers and civilians have been killed in the
fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh since April 2. Azerbaijan
has reported that 31 soldiers and four civilians were
killed during the first days of fighting, but has not
provided any later information.
Sporadic fighting continues despite the ceasefire
agreement and more casualties are reported. The parties
are said to agree on a new temporary interruption in the
fighting to allow both sides to take care of their dead
with the help of the OSCE and the Red Cross. In total,
at least 90 people are said to have been killed, most
Armistice after four days
After four days of fighting, which are said to have
claimed at least 64 lives, the Ministry of Defense in
Azerbaijan and the leaders of Nagorno-Karabach report
that they agreed on a ceasefire. Azerbaijan claims
during the course of the fighting that it has taken
several strategic points in the Armenian-controlled
area, which in this case is the first time the front
line has changed since the war ended in 1994.
Hard fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh
The toughest fighting in at least 20 years is
breaking out around the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are mutually accusing each other
of having attacked with heavy weapons. At least 18
Armenian and 12 Azerbaijani soldiers are killed, as are
two civilians. Russia and the United States call for
immediate ceasefire, while Turkey's President promises
to support Azerbaijan "until the end." Azerbaijan
announces unilateral ceasefire, but the fighting
Anti-Turkish party into the government
The anti-Turkish party Dasjnak (see Political system)
joins the government at the invitation of President
Sargsyan. The party receives three ministers responsible
for finance, education and local administration.
Russian base is strengthened
Russia sends reinforcements to its airbase outside
Yerevan. A number of hunting and bombing stations are
stationed at the base, located only four miles from the
border with Turkey.