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Armenia Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Armenia is in Southwestern Asia. Neighbouring countries are Iran, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan-proper and the Azerbaijan-Naxcivan enclave.

The capital city of Armenia is Yerevan.

The country's terrain is very mountainous. Rivers include the Aras and the Hrazdan.

Armenia's climate is continental with hot summers and cold winters.

Environment
Armenia falls within the Caucasus Mountain system. Although very mountainous, Armenia has a varied terrain including valleys, forests, semi-desert, rivers and lakes. Lake Sevan is the largest of Armenia's natural lakes; the Lake Sevan National Park covers around one-sixth of the country.

The Ministry for Nature Protection is responsible for Armenia's forestry and parks. There are also a number non-government ecological organisations.

Wildlife in Armenia includes wild boar, porcupines, lizards, snakes and numerous species of birds. Endangered species living in Armenia are the Caucasian bear, Caucasian bearded goat, the Armenian mouflon (sheep) and the leopard.

Architecture
Armenia has thousands of historic buildings including many churches and monasteries. The World Heritage site has listed a number of Armenia's religious sites. The first of these is the early Armenian cathedral and churches of Echmiatsin which were built at the site where St Gregory (the Illuminator) was said to have seen a vision. The second World Heritage site lists the Byzantine monasteries of S. Nshan in Haghpat and Sanahin; another listing is the medieval monastery of Geghard with its churches and tombs carved into surrounding cliffs.

Yerevan, although dating back almost two thousand eight hundred years, has little architecture representing its past. Most of its old buildings were designed during early Soviet rule and built using the local volcanic pink stone, known as tuff. Government offices are situated in Republic Square and the city's main social area is Opera Square.

Population
The population of Armenia was estimated at 2,967,000 in 2009.

Languages
Armenian is the official language.

Religion
The majority of the people are members of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church.

Food
A "meze" consisting of a number of small dishes may be served before the main course of a meal. These include preserved meats, dolmas (stuffed vine leaves), pickled vegetables, feta cheese and dips.

Bread, soup and stews are traditional Armenian foods. Beef, pork and poultry are featured prominently in the cuisine. Meat is boiled, grilled and minced. Barbecued meat (khorovatz) is a favourite dish and minced meat is combined with vegetables and rice to stuff aubergines, cabbage leaves and vine leaves.

Meals are served with vegetables and salads. Vegetables include beans, cauliflower, chickpeas, lentils, peppers, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes. Rice is used to make pilaf.

Dairy products such as cheese and eggs are eaten and yoghurt accompanies some dishes.

Nut filled pastries, cakes and biscuits are popular. Armenia is famous for apricots which are often used to make sweets and soups. Other fruits available are apples, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, cherries, mulberries, plums, pomegranates, strawberries and watermelons.

Fruit is used to make juices and Armenia has its own supplies of mineral water. Beer, wine, vodka and brandy are also produced. Armenian cognac is particularly well known. Coffee is preferred strong and black and often served with sweets or cake.

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