EtymologyFile:Tsaghkadzor, Kecharis, S. Nshan, timpano (Yerevan in inscription).jpg, "YEREVAN" (ԵՐԵՒԱՆ) in an inscription from Kecharis Monastery, Kecharis, dating back to 1223 One theory regarding the origin of Yerevan's name is the city was named after the Armenian king, Orontes IV, Yervand (Orontes) IV, the last leader of the Orontid Dynasty, and founder of the city of Yervandashat (ancient city), Yervandashat. However, it is likely that the city's name is derived from the Urartian military fortress of Erebuni (Էրեբունի), which was founded on the territory of modern-day Yerevan in 782 BC by Argishti I. As elements of the Urartian language blended with that of the Armenian one, the name eventually evolved into ''Yerevan'' (Erebuni = Erevani = Erevan = Yerevan). Scholar Margarit Israelyan notes these changes when comparing inscriptions found on two cuneiform tablets at Erebuni: Early Christian Armenian chroniclers attributed the origin of the name ''Yerevan'' to a derivation from an expression exclaimed by Noah, in Armenian language, the Armenian language. While looking in the direction of Yerevan, after the Noah's Ark, ark had landed on Mount Ararat and the flood waters had receded, Noah is believed to have exclaimed, "Yerevats!" ("it appeared!"). Baghdasaryan A., Simonyan A, et al. ''"Երևան"'' (Yerevan). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia Volume 3. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977, pp. 548–564. In the late medieval and early modern periods, when Yerevan was under Turkic and later Persian rule, the city was known in Persian as Iravân ( fa, ایروان). This name is still widely used by Azerbaijanis ( az, İrəvan). The city was officially known as Erivan (russian: Эривань) under Russian rule during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The city was renamed back to Yerevan (Ереван) in 1936. Up until the mid-1970s the city's name was spelled Erevan, more often than Yerevan, in English sources.
SymbolsThe principal symbol of Yerevan is Mount Ararat, which is visible from any area in the capital. The Seal (device), seal of the city is a crowned lion on a pedestal with the inscriptit in the upper part. The emblem is a rectangular shield with a blue border. On 27 September 2004, Yerevan adopted an anthem, "Erebuni-Yerevan", written by Paruyr Sevak and composed by Edgar Hovhanisyan. It was selected in a competition for a new anthem and new flag that would best represent the city. The chosen flag has a white background with the city's seal in the middle, surrounded by twelve small red triangles that symbolize the twelve historic capitals of Armenia. The flag includes the three colours of the Flag of Armenia, Armenian National flag. The lion is portrayed on the orange background with blue edging.
Pre-history and pre-classical eraThe territory of Yerevan has been inhabited since approximately the 2nd half of the 4th millennium BC. The southern part of the city currently known as Shengavit District, Shengavit has been populated since at least 3200 BC, during the period of Kura–Araxes culture of the early Bronze Age. The first excavations at the Shengavit Settlement, Shengavit historical site was conducted between 1936 and 1938 under the guidance of archaeologist ''Yevgeny Bayburdyan''. After two decades, archaeologist ''Sandro Sardarian'' resumed the excavations starting from 1958 until 1983. The 3rd phase of the excavations started in 2000, under the guidance of archaeologist ''Hakob Simonyan''. In 2009, Simonyan was joined by professor Mitchell S. Rothman from the Widener University of Pennsylvania. Together they conducted three series of excavations in 2009, 2010, and 2012 respectively. During the process, a full stratigraphic column to bedrock was reached, showing there to be 8 or 9 distinct stratigraphic levels. These levels cover a time between 3200 BC and 2500 BC. Evidences of later use of the site, possibly until 2200 BC, were also found. The excavation process revealed a series of large round buildings with square adjoining rooms and minor round buildings. A series of ritual installations was discovered in 2010 and 2012.
ErebuniThe ancient kingdom of Urartu was formed in the 9th century BC by King Arame of Urartu, Arame in the basin of Lake Van of the Armenian Highland, including the territory of modern-day Yerevan. Archaeological evidence, such as a cuneiform inscription, indicates that the Urartian military fortress of ''Erebuni'' (Էրեբունի) was founded in 782 BC by the orders of King Argishti I at the site of modern-day Yerevan, to serve as a fort and citadel guarding against attacks from the north Caucasus. The cuneiform inscription found at Erebuni Fortress reads: During the height of the Urartian power, irrigation canals and artificial reservoirs were built in Erebuni and its surrounding territories. In the mid-7th century BC, the city of Teishebaini was built by Rusa II of Urartu, around west of Erebuni Fortress. It was fortified on a hill -currently known as Karmir Blur within Shengavit District of Yerevan- to protect the eastern borders of Urartu from the barbaric Cimmerians and Scythians. During excavations, the remains of a governors palace that contained a hundred and twenty rooms spreading across more than was found, along with a citadel dedicated to the Urartian god Theispas, Teisheba. The construction of the city of Teishebaini, as well as the palace and the citadel was completed by the end of the 7th century BC, during the reign of Rusa III. However, Teishebaini was destroyed by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians in 585 BC.
Median and Achaemenid rulesIn 590 BC, following the fall of the Kingdom of Urartu by the hands of the Iranian Medes, Erebuni along with the Armenian Highland became part of the Median Empire. However, in 550 BC, the Medes, Median Empire was conquered by Cyrus the Great, and Erebuni became part of the Achaemenid Empire. Between 522 BC and 331 BC, Erebuni was one of the main centers of the Satrapy of Armenia, a region controlled by the Orontid Dynasty as one of the satrapy, satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire. The Satrapy of Armenia was divided into two parts: the northern part and the southern part, with the cities of Erebuni (Yerevan) and Tushpa (Van) as their centres, respectively. Coins issued in 478 BC along with many other items found in the Erebuni Fortress, reveal the importance of Erebuni as a major centre for trade under Achaemenid rule.
Ancient Kingdom of ArmeniaDuring the victorious period of Alexander the Great, and following the decline of the Achaemenid Empire, the Orontid rulers of the Armenian Satrapy achieved independence as a result of the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC, founding the Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity), Kingdom of Armenia. With the establishment of new cities such as Armavir (ancient city), Armavir, Zarehavan, Bagaran (ancient city), Bagaran and Yervandashat (ancient city), Yervandashat, the importance of Erebuni had gradually declined. With the rise of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia who seized power in 189 BC, the Kingdom of Armenia greatly expanded to include major territories of Asia Minor, Atropatene, Kingdom of Iberia (antiquity), Iberia, Phoenicia and Syria (region), Syria. The Artaxiads considered Erebuni and Tushpa as cities of Persian heritage. Consequently, new cities and commercial centres were built by Kings Artaxias I, Artavasdes I of Armenia, Artavasdes I and Tigranes the Great. Thus, with the dominance of cities such as Artaxata and Tigranocerta, Erebuni had significantly lost its importance as a central city. Under the rule of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia (54–428 AD), many other cities around Erebuni including Vagharshapat and Dvin (ancient city), Dvin flourished. Consequently, Erebuni was completely neutralized, losing its role as an economic and strategic centre of Armenia. During the period of the Arsacid kings, Erebuni was only recorded in a Manichaeism, Manichaean text of the 3rd century, where it is mentioned that one of the disciples of the prophet Mani (prophet), Mani founded a Manichaeism, Manichaean community near the Christian community in Erebuni. According to ''Ashkharatsuyts'', Erebuni was part of the Kotayk canton (Կոտայք գավառ, ''Kotayk gavar'', not to be confused with the current Kotayk Province) of Ayrarat province, within Armenia Major. Armenia became a Christian nation in the early 4th century, during the reign of the Arsacid king Tiridates III of Armenia, Tiridates III.
Sasanian and Roman periodsFollowing the partition of Armenia by the Byzantine Empire, Byzantine and Sasanian Empire, Sasanian empires in 387 and in 428, Erebuni and the entire territory of Eastern Armenia came under the rule of Sasanian Persia. The Armenian territories formed the province of Persian Armenia within the Sasanian Empire. Due to the diminished role of Erebuni, as well as the absence of proper historical data, much of the city's history under the Sasanian rule is unknown. In 587 during the reign of Maurice (emperor), emperor Maurice, Yerevan and much of Armenia came under Roman administration after the Romans defeated the Sassanid Empire, Sassanid Persian Empire at the battle of the Blarathon. Soon after, Katoghike Tsiranavor Church of Avan, Katoghike Tsiranavor Church in Avan district, Avan was built between 595 and 602. Despite being partly damaged during the 1679 Armenia earthquake, 1679 earthquake), it is the oldest surviving church within modern Yerevan city limits. The province of Persian Armenia (also known as Persarmenia) lasted until 646, when the province was dissolved with the Muslim conquest of Persia.
Arab Islamic invasionIn 658 AD, at the height of the Arab Islamic invasions, Erebuni-Yerevan was conquered during the Muslim conquest of Persia, as it was part of Persian-ruled Armenia. The city became part of the Arminiya, Emirate of Armenia under the Umayyad Caliphate. The city of Dvin was the centre of the newly created emirate. Starting from this period, as a result of the developing trade activities with the Arabs, the Armenian territories had gained strategic importance as a crossroads for the Arab Camel train, caravan routes passing between Europe and India through the Arab-controlled Ararat plain of Armenia. Most probably, "Erebuni" has become known as "Yerevan" since at least the 7th century AD.
Bagratid ArmeniaAfter 2 centuries of Islamic rule over Armenia, the Bagratuni dynasty, Bagratid prince Ashot I of Armenia led the revolution against the Abbasid Caliphate. Ashot I liberated Yerevan in 850, and was recognized as the Prince of Princes of Armenia by the Abbasid Caliph al-Musta'in in 862. Ashot was later crowned King of Bagratid Armenia, Armenia through the consent of Caliph al-Mu'tamid in 885. During the rule of the Bagratuni dynasty of Armenia between 885 and 1045, Yerevan was relatively a secure part of the Kingdom before falling to the Byzantine Empire, Byzantines. However, Yerevan did not have any strategic role during the reign of the Bagratids, who developed many other cities of Ayrarat, such as Shirakavan (ancient city), Shirakavan, Dvin (ancient city), Dvin, and Ani.
Seljuk period, Zakarid Armenia and Mongol ruleAfter a brief Byzantine rule over Armenia between 1045 and 1064, the invading Seljuk Empire, Seljuks -led by Tughril and later by his successor Alp Arslan- ruled over the entire region, including Yerevan. However, with the establishment of the Zakarid Armenia, Zakarid Principality of Armenia in 1201 under the Kingdom of Georgia, Georgian protectorate, the Armenian territories of Yerevan and Lori had significantly grown. After the Mongols captured Ani in 1236, Armenia turned into a Mongol Armenia, Mongol protectorate as part of the Ilkhanate, and the Zakarids became vassals to the Mongol Empire, Mongols. After the fall of the Ilkhanate in the mid-14th century, the Zakarid princes ruled over Lori, Shirak and Ararat plain until 1360 when they fell to the invading Turkic tribes.
Aq Qoyunlu and Kara Koyunlu tribesDuring the last quarter of the 14th century, the Aq Qoyunlu Sunni Oghuz Turks, Oghuz Turkic tribe took over Armenia, including Yerevan. In 1400, Timur invaded Armenia and Georgia, and captured more than 60,000 of the survived local people as slaves. Many districts including Yerevan were depopulated. In 1410, Armenia fell under the control of the Kara Koyunlu Shia Oghuz Turkic tribe. According to the Armenian historian Thomas of Metsoph, although the Kara Koyunlu levied heavy taxes against the Armenians, the early years of their rule were relatively peaceful and some reconstruction of towns took place. The Kara Koyunlus made Yerevan the centre of the newly formed ''Chukhur Saad'' administrative territory. The territory was named after a Turkic leader known as ''Emir Saad''. However, this peaceful period was shattered with the rise of Qara Iskander between 1420 and 1436, who reportedly made Armenia a "desert" and subjected it to "devastation and plunder, to slaughter, and captivity". The wars of Iskander and his eventual defeat against the Timurid Empire, Timurids, invited further destruction in Armenia, as many more Armenians were taken captive and sold into slavery and the land was subjected to outright pillaging, forcing many of them to leave the region.Kouymjian. "Armenia", p. 5. Following the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia in 1375, the seat of the Armenian Church was transferred from Sis (ancient city), Sis back to Vagharshapat near Yerevan in 1441. Thus, Yerevan became the main economic, cultural and administrative centre in Armenia.
Iranian ruleIn 1501–02, most of the Eastern Armenian territories including Yerevan were swiftly conquered by the emerging Safavid dynasty of Iran led by Shah Ismail I. Soon after in 1502, Yerevan became the centre of the ''Erivan Beglarbegi'', a new administrative territory of Iran formed by the Safavids. For the following 3 centuries, it remained, with brief intermissions, under the Iranian rule. Due to its strategic significance, Yerevan -known as ''Revan'' by the Ottomans- was initially often fought over, and passed back and forth, between the dominion of the rivaling Safavid Empire, Iranian and Ottoman Empire, until it permanently became controlled by the Safavid dynasty, Safavids. In 1555, Iran had secured its legitimate possession over Yerevan with the Ottomans through the Peace of Amasya, Treaty of Amasya. In 1582–1583, the Ottomans led by Serdar Ferhad Pasha took brief control over Yerevan. Ferhad Pasha managed to build the Erivan Fortress on the ruins of one thousand-years old ancient Armenian fortress, on the shores of Hrazdan river. However, Ottoman control ended in 1604 when the Persians regained Yerevan as a result of Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–18), first Ottoman-Safavid War. Shah Abbas I of Persia who ruled between 1588 and 1629, ordered the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians including citizens from Yerevan to mainland Persia. As a consequence, Yerevan significantly lost its Armenian population who had declined to 20%, while Muslims including Persians, Turks, Kurds and Tatars gained dominance with around 80% of the city's population. Muslims were either sedentary, semi-sedentary, or nomadic. Armenians mainly occupied the Kond neighbourhood of Yerevan and the rural suburbs around the city. However, the Armenians dominated over various professions and trade in the area and were of great economic significance to the Persian administration.Encyclopaedia Iranica
Russian ruleDuring the second Russo-Persian Wars, Russo-Persian War of the 19th century, the Russo-Persian War (1826–28), Russo-Persian War of 1826–28, Yerevan Capture of Erivan, was captured by Russian troops under general Ivan Paskevich on 1 October 1827. It was formally ceded by the Iranians in 1828, following the Treaty of Turkmenchay. After 3 centuries of Iranian occupation, Yereven along with the rest of Eastern Armenia designated as the "Armenian Oblast", became part of the Russian Empire, a Russian Armenia, period that would last until the collapse of the Empire in 1917. The Russians sponsored the resettlement process of the Armenian population from Persia and Turkey. Due to the resettlement, the percentage of the Armenian population of Yerevan increased from 28% to 53.8%. The resettlement was intended to create n power bridgehead in the Middle East. In 1829, Armenian repatriates from Persia were resettled in the city and a new quarter was built. Yerevan served as the seat of the newly formed Armenian Oblast between 1828 and 1840. By the time of Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas I's visit in 1837, Yerevan had become an uyezd. In 1840, the Armenian Oblast was dissolved and its territory incorporated into a new larger province; the Georgia-Imeretia Governorate. In 1850 the territory of the former oblast was reorganized into the Erivan Governorate, covering an area of . Yerevan was the centre of the newly established governorate. At that period, Yerevan was a small town with narrow roads and alleys, including the central quarter of ''Shahar'', the ''Ghantar'' commercial centre, and the residential neighbourhoods of Kond, Dzoragyugh, Nork and Shentagh. During the 1840s and the 1850s, many schools were opened in the city. However, the first major plan of Yerevan was adopted in 1856, during which, Saint Hripsime and Saint Gayane women's colleges were founded and the English Park, Yerevan, English Park was opened. In 1863, the Abovyan Street, Astafyan Street was redeveloped and opened. In 1874, Zacharia Gevorkian opened Yerevan's first printing house, while the first theatre opened its doors in 1879. On 1 October 1879, Yerevan was granted the status of a city through a decree issued by Alexander II of Russia. In 1881, The Yerevan Teachers' Seminary and the Yerevan Brewery were opened, followed by the Tairyan's wine and brandy factory in 1887. Other factories for alcoholic beverages and mineral water were opened during the 1890s. The monumental church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church, Yerevan, Saint Gregory the Illuminator was opened in 1900. Electricity and telephone lines were introduced to the city in 1907 and 1913 respectively. When British traveller H. F. B. Lynch visited Yerevan in 1893–1894, he considered it an Oriental city. However, this started to change in the first decade of the 20th century, in the penultimate decade of Imperial Russian rule, when the city grew and altered dramatically. In general, Yerevan rapidly grew under Russian rule, both economically and politically. Old buildings were torn down and new buildings of European style were erected. At the beginning of the 20th century, Yerevan city's population was over 29,000. In 1902, a railway line linked Yerevan with Alexandropol, Tiflis and Julfa, Azerbaijan (town), Julfa. In the same year, Yerevan's first public library was opened. In 1905, the grandnephew of Napoleon I; prince Louis Joseph Jérôme Napoléon (1864–1932) was appointed as governor of Yerevan province. In 1913, for the first time in the city, a telephone line with eighty subscribers became operational. Yerevan served as the centre of the governorate until 1917, when Erivan governorate was dissolved with the collapse of the Russian Empire.
Brief independenceAt the beginning of the 20th century, Yerevan was a small city with a population of 30,000. Encyclopædia Universalis France S.A., " Erevan ", 1995. In 1917, the Russian Empire ended with the October Revolution. In the aftermath, Armenian, Georgian and Muslim leaders of South Caucasus, Transcaucasia united to form the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, Transcaucasian Federation and proclaimed Transcaucasia's secession. The Federation, however, was short-lived. After gaining control over Gyumri, Alexandropol, the Turkish army was advancing towards the south and east to eliminate the center of Armenian resistance based in Yerevan. On 21 May 1918, the Turks started their campaign moving towards Yerevan via Sardarabad. Catholicos of All Armenians, Catholicos George V of Armenia, Gevorg V ordered that church bells peal for 6 days as Armenians from all walks of life – peasants, poets, blacksmiths, and even the clergymen – rallied to form organized military units. Civilians, including children, aided in the effort as well, as "Carts drawn by oxen, water buffalo, and cows jammed the roads bringing food, provisions, ammunition, and volunteers from the vicinity" of Yerevan. By the end of May 1918, Armenians were able to defeat the Turkish army in the battles of Battle of Sardarabad, Sardarabad, Battle of Abaran, Abaran and Battle of Karakilisa, Karakilisa. Thus, on 28 May 1918, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Dashnak leader Aram Manukian declared the independence of Armenia. Subsequently, Yerevan became the capital and the center of the newly founded First Republic of Armenia, Republic of Armenia, although the members of the Armenian Congress of Eastern Armenians, Armenian National Council were yet to stay in Tbilisi, Tiflis until their arrival in Yerevan to form the government in the summer of the same year. Armenia became a parliamentary republic with four administrative divisions. The capital Yerevan was part of the ''Araratian Province''. At the time, Yerevan received more than 75,000 refugees from Western Armenia, who escaped the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide. On 26 May 1919, the government passed a law to open the Yerevan State University, which was located on the main Abovyan Street, Astafyan (now Abovyan) street of Yerevan. After the signing of the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920, Armenia was granted formal international recognition. The United States, as well as many South American countries, officially opened diplomatic channels with the government of independent Armenia. Yerevan had also opened representatives in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Serbia, Greece, and Japan. However, after the short period of independence, Yerevan fell to the Bolsheviks, and Armenia was incorporated into Soviet Russia on 2 December 1920. Although nationalist forces managed to retake the city in February 1921 and successfully released all the imprisoned political and military figures, the city's nationalist elite were once again defeated by the Soviet forces on 2 April 1921.
Soviet ruleThe Red Army, Red Soviet Army invaded Armenia on 29 November 1920 from the northeast. On 2 December 1920, Yerevan along with the other territories of the First Republic of Armenia, Republic of Armenia, became part of Soviet Russia, known as the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. However, the Armenian SSR formed the Transcaucasian SFSR (TSFSR) together with the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, between 1922 and 1936. Under the Soviet rule, Yerevan became the first among the cities in the Soviet Union for which a general plan was developed. The "General Plan of Yerevan" developed by the academician Alexander Tamanian, was approved in 1924. It was initially designed for a population of 150,000. The city was quickly transformed into a modern industrial metropolis of over one million people. New educational, scientific and cultural institutions were founded as well. Tamanian incorporated national traditions with contemporary urban construction. His design presented a radial-circular arrangement that overlaid the existing city and incorporated much of its existing street plan. As a result, many historic buildings were demolished, including churches, mosques, the Erivan Fortress, baths, bazaars and caravanserais. Many of the districts around central Yerevan were named after former Armenian communities that were destroyed by the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide. The districts of Arabkir, Malatia-Sebastia and Nork Marash, for example, were named after the towns Arapgir, Arabkir, Malatya, Sivas, Turkey, Sebastia, and Kahramanmaraş, Marash, respectively. After the end of World War II, Germans, German POWs were used to help in the construction of new buildings and structures, such as the Kievyan Bridge. Within the years, the central Kentron district has become the most developed area in Yerevan, something that created a significant gap compared with other districts in the city. Most of the educational, cultural and scientific institutions were centred in the Kentron district. In 1965, during the commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Yerevan was the location of a 1965 Yerevan demonstrations, demonstration, the first such demonstration in the Soviet Union, to demand recognition of the Genocide by the Soviet authorities. In 1968, the city's 2,750th anniversary was commemorated. Yerevan played a key role in the Armenian national democratic movement that emerged during the Mikhail Gorbachev, Gorbachev era of the 1980s. The reforms of Glasnost and Perestroika opened questions on issues such as the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the environment, Russification, corruption, democracy, and eventually independence. At the beginning of 1988, nearly one million Armenians from several regions of Armenia engaged in demonstrations concerning these subjects, centered in the city's Theater Square (currently Freedom Square, Yerevan, Freedom Square).
Post-independenceFollowing the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Yerevan became the capital of Armenia on 21 September 1991. Maintaining supplies of gas and electricity proved difficult; constant electricity was not restored until 1996 amidst the chaos of the badly instigated and planned transition to a market economy, market-based economy. Since 2000, central Yerevan has been transformed into a vast construction site, with cranes erected all over the Kentron district. Officially, the scores of multi-storied buildings are part of large-scale urban planning projects. Roughly $1.8 billion was spent on such construction in 2006, according to the national statistical service. Prices for downtown apartments have increased by about ten times during the first decade of the 21st century. Many new streets and avenues were opened, such as the Argishti street, Italy street, Saralanj Avenue, Monte Melkonian Avenue, and the Northern Avenue (Yerevan), Northern Avenue. However, as a result of this construction boom, the majority of the historic buildings located on the central Aram Street, were either entirely destroyed or transformed into modern residential buildings through the construction of additional floors. Only a few structures were preserved, mainly in the portion that extends between Abovyan Street and Mashtots Avenue. The first major post-independence protest in Yerevan took place in September 1996, after the announcement of incumbent Levon Ter-Petrosyan's victory in the Armenian presidential election, 1996, presidential election. Major opposition parties of the time, consolidated around the former Karabakh Committee member and former Prime Minister Vazgen Manukyan, organized mass demonstrations between 23 and 25 September, claiming electoral fraud by Ter-Petrosyan. An estimated of 200,000 people gathered in the Freedom Square, Yerevan, Freedom Square to protest the election results. After a series of riot and violent protests around the Parliament building on 25 September, the government sent tanks and troops to Yerevan to enforce the ban on rallies and demonstrations on the following day. Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan and Minister of National Security Serzh Sargsyan announced on the Public Television company of Armenia, Public Television of Armenia that their respective agencies have prevented an attempted coup d'état. In February 2008, 2008 Armenian presidential election protests, unrest in the capital between the authorities and opposition demonstrators led by ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan took place after the Armenian presidential election, 2008, 2008 Armenian presidential election. The events resulted in 10 deaths"Death Toll in Armenia’s Post-election Melee Rises to Ten"
Topography and cityscapeYerevan has an average height of , with a minimum of and a maximum of Above mean sea level, above sea level at the southwest and the northeast respectively. V. Azatian et T. Hakopian, ''Երևան Ереван Yerevan'', ИПО Parberakan, Erevan, 1989, p. 284. Worldwide it is among 50 highest cities with over 1 million inhabitants. It is located on to the edge of the Hrazdan River, northeast of the Ararat plain (Mount Ararat, 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 River, Hrazdan at the south. The Hrazdan divides Yerevan into two parts through a picturesque canyon. The city is situated at the heart of the Armenian Highland, in historic Kotayk canton ( hy, Կոտայք գավառ ''Kotayk gavar'', not to be confused with the current Kotayk Province) of Ayrarat province, within Armenia Major. In current administrative division of Armenia Yerevan is not part of any ''Administrative divisions of Armenia, marz'' ("province"). Instead, it is bordered with the following provinces: Kotayk Province, Kotayk from the north and the east, Ararat (province), Ararat from the south and the south-west, Armavir (province), Armavir from the west and Aragatsotn from the north-west. The Erebuni State Reserve formed in 1981, is located around 8 km southeast of the city centre within the Erebuni District of the city. At a height between 1300 and 1450 meters above sea level, the reserve occupies an area of 120 hectares, mainly consisted of semi-deserted mountains-steppe.
ClimateYerevan features a continental climate, continental influenced steppe climate (Köppen climate classification: ''BSk'' or "cold semi-arid climate"), with long, hot, dry summers and short, but cold and snowy winters. This is attributed to Yerevan being on a plain surrounded by mountains and to its distance from the sea and its effects. The summers are usually very hot with the temperature in August reaching up to , and winters generally carry snowfall and freezing temperatures with January often being as cold as and lower. The amount of Precipitation (meteorology), precipitation is small, amounting annually to about . Yerevan experiences an average of 2,700 sunlight hours per year.
ArchitectureThe Yerevan TV Tower is the tallest structure in the city, and one of the tallest structures in the Transcaucasia, Transcaucasian region. The Republic Square, Yerevan, Republic Square, the Yerevan Opera Theatre, and the Yerevan Cascade are among the main landmarks at the centre of Yerevan, mainly developed based on the original design of the academician Alexander Tamanian, and the revised plan of architect Jim Torosyan. A major redevelopment process has been launched in Yerevan since 2000. As a result, many historic structures have been demolished and replaced with new buildings. This urban renewal plan has been met with opposition and criticism from some residents, as the projects destroy historic buildings dating back to the period of the Russian Empire, and often leave residents homeless. Downtown houses deemed too small are increasingly demolished and replaced by high-rise buildings. The Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan, Saint Gregory Cathedral, the new building of Yerevan City Council, the new section of Matenadaran institute, the new terminal of Zvartnots International Airport, the Cafesjian Museum of Art, Cafesjian Center for the Arts at the Cascade, the Northern Avenue, Yerevan, Northern Avenue, and the new government complex of ministries are among the major construction projects fulfilled during the first two decades of the 21st century. Aram Street of old Yerevan and the newly built Northern Avenue (Yerevan), Northern Avenue are respectively among the notable examples featuring the traditional and modern architectural characteristics of Yerevan. As of May 2017, Yerevan is home to 4,883 residential apartment buildings, and 65,199 street lamps installed on 39,799 street light posts, covering a total length of 1,514 km. The city has 1,080 streets with a total length of 750 km.
ParksYerevan is a densely built city but still offers several public parks throughout its districts, graced with mid-sized green gardens. The public park of Erebuni District along with its artificial lake is the oldest garden in the city. Occupying an area of 17 hectares, the origins of the park and the artificial lake date back to the period of king Argishti I of Urartu during the 8th century BC. In 2011, the garden was entirely remodeled and named as Lyon Park, Yerevan, Lyon Park, to become a symbol of the partnership between the cities of Lyon and Yerevan. The Lovers' Park on Baghramyan Avenue, Marshal Baghramyan Avenue and the English Park, Yerevan, English Park at the centre of the city, dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries respectively, are among the most popular parks for the Yerevantsis. The Yerevan Botanical Garden opened in 1935, the Victory Park, Yerevan, Victory park formed in the 1950s and the Circular Park are among the largest green spaces of the city. Formed in the 1960s, the Yerevan Opera Theatre park along with its artificial ''Swan Lake'' is also among the favorite green spaces of the city. In 2019 some of the public space of the park leased to restaurants was reclaimed allowing for improved landscape design. A public ice-skating arena is operated in the park's lake area during winters. The Yerevan Lake is an artificial reservoir opened in 1967 on Hrazdan River, Hrazdan riverbed at the south of the city centre, with a surface of . Each administrative district of Yerevan has its own public park, such as the Buenos Aires Park and Tumanyan Park in Ajapnyak District, Ajapnyak, Komitas park in Shengavit District, Shengavit, Vahan Zatikian park in Malatia-Sebastia District, Malatia-Sebastia, David Anhaght park in Kanaker-Zeytun District, Kanaker-Zeytun, the Family park in Avan District, Avan, and Fridtjof Nansen park in Nor Nork District, Nor Nork.
Politics and government
CapitalYerevan has been the capital of Armenia since the independence of the First Republic in 1918. Situated in the Ararat plain, the historic lands of Armenia, it served as the best logical choice for capital of the young republic at the time. When Armenia became a republic of the Soviet Union, Yerevan remained as capital and accommodated all the political and diplomatic institutions in the republic. In 1991 with the independence of Armenia, Yerevan continued with its status as the political and cultural centre of the country, being home to all the national institutions: the Government House, Yerevan, Government House, the National Assembly Building of Armenia, National Assembly, the Presidential Palace, Yerevan, Presidential Palace, the Central Bank of Armenia, Central Bank, the Constitutional Court of Armenia, Constitutional Court, all ministries, judicial bodies and other government organizations.
MunicipalityYerevan received the status of a city on 1 October 1879, upon a decree issued by Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The first city council formed was headed by Hovhannes Ghorghanyan, who became the first mayor of Yerevan. The Constitution of the Republic of Armenia adopted on 5 July 1995, granted Yerevan the status of a Marz (Armenia), marz (մարզ, province). Therefore, Yerevan functions similarly to the provinces of Armenia with a few specifications. The administrative authority of Yerevan is thus represented by: * the mayor, appointed by the President (who can remove him at any moment) upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister, alongside a group of four deputy mayors heading eleven ministries (of which financial, transport, urban development etc.), * the Yerevan City Council, regrouping the Heads of community districts under the authority of the mayor, * twelve "community districts", with each having its own leader and their elected councils. Yerevan has a principal city hall and twelve deputy mayors of districts. In the modified Constitution of 27 November 2005, Yerevan city was turned into a "community" (համայնք, ''hamaynk''); since, the Constitution declares that this community has to be led by a mayor, elected directly or indirectly, and that the city needs to be governed by a specific law. The first election of the Yerevan City Council took place in Yerevan City Council election, 2009, 2009 and won by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia. In addition to the national police and road police, Yerevan has its own municipal police. All three bodies cooperate to maintain law in the city.
Administrative districtsYerevan is divided into twelve "administrative districts" (վարչական շրջան, ''varčakan šrĵan'') each with an elected leader. The total area of the 12 districts of Yerevan is .
DemographicsOriginally a small town, Yerevan became the capital of Armenia and a large city with over one million inhabitants. Until the fall of the Soviet Union, the majority of the population of Yerevan were Armenians with minorities of Russians, Kurds, Azerbaijanis and Iranians present as well. However, with the breakout of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War from 1988 to 1994, the Azerbaijani minority diminished in the country in what was part of population exchanges between Armenia and Azerbaijan. A big part of the Russian minority also fled the country during the 1990s economic crisis in the country. Today, the population of Yerevan is overwhelmingly Armenian. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to economic crises, thousands fled Armenia, mostly to Russia, North America and Europe. The population of Yerevan fell from 1,250,000 in 1989 to 1,103,488 in 2001 and to 1,091,235 in 2003. However, the population of Yerevan has been increasing since. In 2007, the capital had 1,107,800 inhabitants. Yerevantsis in general use the Yerevan dialect, an Eastern Armenian dialect most probably formed during the 13th century. It is currently spoken in and around Yerevan, including the towns of Vagharshapat and Ashtarak. Classical Armenian (''Grabar'') words compose a significant part of the dialect's vocabulary. Throughout the history, it was influenced by several languages, especially Russian language, Russian and Persian language, Persian and loan words have significant presence in it today. It is currently the most widespread Armenian dialect.
Ethnic groupsYerevan was inhabited first by Armenians and remained homogeneous until the 15th century. M. Karapetyan,
Armenian Apostolic ChurchArmenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Apostolic Christianity is the predominant religion in Armenia. The 5th-century Saint Paul and Peter Church, Yerevan, Saint Paul and Peter Church demolished in November 1930 by the Soviets, was among the earliest churches ever built in Erebuni-Yerevan. Many of the ancient Armenian and medieval churches of the city were destroyed by the Soviets in the 1930s during the Great Purge. The regulating body of the Armenian Church in Yerevan is the Araratian Pontifical Diocese, with the Saint Sarkis Cathedral, Yerevan, Surp Sarkis Cathedral being the seat of the diocese. It is the largest diocese of the Armenian Church and one of the oldest dioceses in the world, covering the city of Yerevan and the Ararat Province of Armenia. Yerevan is currently home to the largest Armenian church in the world, the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan, Cathedral of Saint Gregory the Illuminator. It was consecrated in 2001, during the 1700th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian Church and the adoption of Christianity as the national religion in Armenia. As of 2017, Yerevan has 17 active Armenian churches as well as four chapels.
Russian Orthodox ChurchAfter the capture of Yerevan by the Russians as a result of the Russo-Persian War (1826–1828), Russo-Persian War of 1826–28, many Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox churches were built in the city under the orders of the Russian commander General Ivan Paskevich. The Saint Nikolai Cathedral, Yerevan, Saint Nikolai Cathedral opened during the second half of the 19th century, was the largest Russian church in the city. The Church of the Intercession of the Holy Mother of God was opened in 1916 in Kanaker-Zeytun District, Kanaker-Zeytun. However, most of the churches were either closed or demolished by the Soviets during the 1930s. The Saint Nikolai Cathedral was entirely destroyed in 1931, while the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Mother of God was closed and converted first into a warehouse and later into a club for the military personnel. Religious services resumed in the church in 1991, and in 2004 a cupola and a belfry were added to the building. In 2010, the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Holy Cross Russian Orthodox church took place with the presence of Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow. The church was eventually consecrated on 7 October 2017, with the presence of Catholicos Karekin II, Russian bishops and the church benefactor Ara Abramyan.
Other religionsAccording to Ivan Chopin, there were eight mosques in Yerevan in the middle of the 19th century. The 18th-century Blue Mosque, Yerevan, Blue Mosque of Yerevan was restored and reopened in the 1990s, with Iranian funding, and is currently the only active mosque in Armenia, mainly serving the Iranian Shia visitors. Yerevan is home to tiny Yazidis in Armenia, Yezidi, Molokan, Armenian neopaganism, Neopagan, Baháʼí Faith, Baháʼí and Jews in Armenia, Jewish communities, with the Jewish community being represented by the Jewish Council of Armenia. A variety of Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian communities, considered dangerous sects by the Armenian Apostolic Church, are also found in the city, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Seventh-day Adventists and Livets Ord, Word of Life.
Health and medical careMedical services in Armenia – except from maternity – are not subsidized by the government. However, the government annually allocates a certain amount from the state budget for the medical needs of the social vulnerability, socially vulnerable groups. Yerevan is a major healthcare and medical service centre in the region. Several hospitals of Yerevan refurbished with modern technologies, provide healthcare and medical researches, such as Shengavit Medical Center, Erebouni Medical Center, Izmirlian Medical Center, Saint Gregory the Illuminator Medical Center, Nork-Marash Medical Center, Armenia Republican Medical Center, Astghik Medical Centre, Armenian American Wellness Center, and Mkhitar Heratsi Hospital Complex of the Yerevan State Medical University. The municipality runs 39 polyclinics/medical centres throughout the city. The Research Center of Maternal and Child Health Protection is operating in Yerevan since 1937, while the Armenicum, Armenicum Clinical Center was opened in 1999, where researches are conducted mainly about infectious diseases and associated researches, including HIV, immunodeficiency and hepatitis. The Liqvor Pharmaceuticals Factory operating since 1991 in Yerevan, is currently the largest medicines manufacturer of Armenia.
CultureYerevan is Armenia's principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, as well as the seat of the national government with a large number of museums, important monuments and the national public library. It also hosts Vardavar the most widely celebrated festival among Armenians and is one of the historic centres of traditional Armenian carpet.
MuseumsYerevan is home to a large number 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 of Tsitsernakaberd complex. Founded in 1921, the National Gallery of Armenia and the History Museum of Armenia are the principal museums of the city. In addition to having a permanent exposition of works of Armenian painters, the gallery houses a collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures issued from German, American, Austrian, Belgian, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Swiss artists. It usually hosts temporary expositions. 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 museum's 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 Sr., Franz Werfel, Johannes Lepsius, James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce, James Bryce, Anatole France, Giacomo Gorrini, Benedict XV, Fritjof Nansen, and others. Cafesjian Museum of Art within the Yerevan Cascade, Cascade complex, is an art centre opened on 7 November 2009. It showcases a massive collection glass artwork, particularly the works of the Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. The front gardens showcase sculptures from Gerard L. Cafesjian's collection. The Erebuni Museum founded in 1968, is an archaeological museum housing Urartu, Urartian artifacts found during excavations at the Erebuni Fortress. The Yerevan History Museum and the ARF History Museum, Armenian Revolutionary Federation History Museum are among the prominent museums that feature the history of Yerevan and the First Republic of Armenia respectively. The Military Museum within the Mother Armenia complex is about the participation of Armenian soldiers in World War II and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The city is also home to a large number of art museums. Sergei Parajanov Museum opened in 1988 is dedicated to Sergei Parajanov's art works in cinema and painting. Komitas Museum opened in 2015, is a musical art museum devoted to the renowned Armenian composer Komitas. Charents Museum of Literature and Arts opened in 1921, Modern Art Museum of Yerevan opened in 1972, and the Middle East Art Museum opened in 1993, are also among the notable arte museums of the city. Biographical museums are also common in Yerevan. Many renowned Armenian poets, painters and musicians are honored with house-museums in their memory, such as poet Hovhannes Tumanyan, composer Aram Khachaturian, painter Martiros Saryan, novelist Khachatur Abovian, and French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour. Recently, many museums of science and technology have opened in Yerevan, such as the Museum of Armenian Medicine (1999), the Space Museum of Yerevan (2001), Museum of Science and Technology (2008), Museum of Communications (2012) and the Little Einstein Interactive Science Museum (2016).
LibrariesThe National Library of Armenia located on Teryan Street of Yerevan, is the public library of the city and the entire republic. It was founded in 1832 and is operating in its current building since 1939. Another national library of Yerevan is the Khnko Aper Children's Library, founded in 1933. Other major public libraries include the Avetik Isahakyan Central Library founded in 1935, the Republican Library of Medical Sciences founded in 1939, the Library of Science and Technology founded in 1957, and the Musical Library founded in 1965. In addition, each administrative district of Yerevan has its own public library (usually more than one library). The Matenadaran is a library-museum and a research centre, regrouping 17,000 ancient manuscripts and several bibles from the Middle Ages. Its archives hold a rich collection of valuable ancient Armenian language, Armenian, Ancient Greek, Aramaic language, Aramaic, Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Assyrian, Hebrew language, Hebrew, Latin, Middle Persian, Middle and Persian language, Modern Persian manuscripts. It is located on Mashtots Avenue at central Yerevan. On 6 June 2010, Yerevan was named as the 2012 World Book Capital by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Armenian capital was chosen for the quality and variety of the programme it presented to the selection committee, which met at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris on 2 July 2010. The National Archives of Armenia founded in 1923, is a scientific research centre and depositary, with a collection of around 3.5 million units of valuable documents.
ArtYerevan is one of the historic centres of traditional Armenian carpet. Various rug fragments have been excavated in areas around Yerevan dating back to the 7th century BC or earlier. The tradition was further developed from the 16th century when Yerevan became the central city of Persian Armenia (1502-1828), Persian Armenia. However, carpet manufacturing in the city was greatly enriched with the flock of Western Armenian migrants from the Ottoman Empire throughout the 19th century, and the arrival of Armenian refugees escaping the genocide in the early 20th century. Currently, the city is home to the Arm Carpet factory opened in 1924, as well as the Tufenkian handmade carpets (since 1994), and Megerian handmade carpets (since 2000). The Yerevan Vernissage open-air exhibition-market formed in the late 1980s on Aram Street, features a large collection of different types of traditional Armenian hand-made art works, especially woodwork sculptures, rugs and carpets. On the other hand, the Saryan park located near the opera house, is famous for being a permanent venue where artists exhibit their paintings. The Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art founded in 1992 in Yerevan, is a creativity centre helping to exchange experience between professional artists in an appropriate atmosphere.
MusicJazz, classical music, classical, Armenian folk music, folk and traditional music are among several genres that are popular in the city of Yerevan. A large number of ensembles, orchestras and choirs of different types of Armenian and international music are active in the city. The Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra founded in 1925, is one of the oldest musical groups in Yerevan and modern Armenia. The Armenian National Radio Chamber Choir founded in 1929, won the First Prize of the Soviet Union in the 1931 competition of choirs among the republics of the Soviet Union. Folk and classical music of Armenia was taught in state-sponsored conservatoires during the Soviet days. The Sayat-Nova Armenian Folk Song Ensemble was founded in Yerevan in 1938. Currently directed by Tovmas Poghosyan, the ensemble performs the works of prominent Armenian ''gusans'' such as Sayat-Nova, Jivani, and Sheram. In 1939, the Yerevan Opera Theater, Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet was opened. It is home to the Aram Khatchaturian concert hall and the Alexander Spendiarian auditorium of the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The Komitas Chamber Music House opened in 1977, is the home of chamber music performers and lovers in Armenia. In 1983, the Karen Demirchyan Complex, Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex was opened. It is currently the largest indoor venue in Armenia. The National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (founded in 1961), Yerevan State Brass Band (1964), Folk Instruments Orchestra of Armenia (1977), Gusan and Folk Song Ensemble of Armenia (1983), Hover Chamber Choir (1992), Shoghaken Folk Ensemble (1995), Yerevan State Chamber Choir (1996), State Orchestra of Armenian National Instruments (2004), and the Youth State Orchestra of Armenia (2005), are also among the famous musical ensembles of the city of Yerevan. The Ars lunga piano-cello duo achieved international fame since its foundation in 2009 in Yerevan. Armenian religious music remained liturgical until Komitas introduced polyphony by the end of the 19th century. Starting from the late 1950s, religious music became widely spread when Armenian chants (also known as ''sharakans'') were performed by the soprano Lusine Zakaryan. The state-run Tagharan Ensemble of Yerevan founded in 1981 and currently directed by Sedrak Yerkanian, also performs ritual and ancient Armenian music. Jazz is also among the popular genres in Yerevan. The first Jazz in Armenia, jazz band in Yerevan was founded in 1936. Currently, many jazz and ethno jazz bands are active in Yerevan such as Time Report, Art Voices, and Nuance Jazz Band. The Malkhas jazz club founded by renowned artist Levon Malkhasian, is among the most popular clubs in the city. The[Yerevan Jazz Fest is an annual jazz festival taking place every autumn since 2015, organized by the Armenian Jazz Association with the support of the Yerevan Municipality. Armenian rock has been originated in Yerevan in the mid 1960s, mainly through Arthur Meschian and his band ''Arakyalner'' ''(Disciples)''. In the early 1970s, there were a range of professional bands in Yerevan strong enough to compete with their Soviet counterparts. In post-Soviet Armenia, an Armenian progressive rock scene has been developed in Yerevan, mainly through Vahan Artsruni, the Oaksenham rock band, and the Dorians (band), Dorians band. The Arto Tunçboyacıyan#Armenian Navy Band, Armenian Navy Band founded by Arto Tunçboyacıyan in 1998 is also famous for jazz, avant-garde music, avant-garde and folk music. Reggae is also becoming popular in Yerevan mainly through the Reincarnation (band), Reincarnation musical band. The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is known for its regularly programmed events including the "Cafesjian Classical Music Series" on the first Wednesday of each month, and the "Music Cascade" series of jazz, pop and rock music live concerts performed every Friday and Saturday. Open-air concerts are frequently held in curtain location in Yerevan during summer, such as the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden on Tamanyan Street, the Freedom Square, Yerevan, Freedom Square near the Opera House, the Republic Square, etc. The famous KOHAR Symphony Orchestra and Choir occasionally performs open-air concerts in the city.
DanceArmenian dance, Traditional dancing is very popular among Armenians. During the cool summertime of the Yerevan city, it is very common to find people dancing in groups at the Northern Avenue or the Tamanyan Street near the cascade. Professional dance groups were formed in Yerevan during the Soviet days. The first group was the Armenian Folk Music and Dance Ensemble founded in 1938 by Tatul Altunyan. It was followed by the State Dance Ensemble of Armenia in 1958. In 1963, the Berd Dance Ensemble was formed. The Barekamutyun State Dance Ensemble of Armenia was founded in 1987 by Norayr Mehrabyan. The Karin Traditional Song and Dance Ensemble founded in 2001 by Gagik Ginosyan is known for revitalizing and performing the ancient Armenian dances of the historical regions of the Armenian Highlands, such as Hemşin, Hamshen, Muş, Mush, Sason, Sasun, Erzurum, Karin, etc.
TheatreYerevan is home to many theatre groups, mainly operating under the support of the ministry of culture. Theatre halls in the city organize several shows and performances throughout the year. Most prominent state-run theatres of Yerevan are the Sundukyan State Academic Theatre, Paronyan Musical Comedy Theatre, Stanislavski Russian Theatre of Yerevan, Stanislavski Russian Theatre, Hrachya Ghaplanyan Drama Theatre, and the Sos Sargsyan Hamazgayin State Theatre. The Edgar Elbakyan Theatre of Drama and Comedy is among the prominent theatres run by the private sector. Yerevan is also home to several specialized theatres such as the Hovhannes Tumanyan Puppet Theatre of Yerevan, Tumanyan Puppet Theatre, Yerevan State Pantomime Theatre, and the Yerevan State Marionettes Theatre.
CinemaCinema in Armenia was born on 16 April 1923, when the Armenian State Committee of Cinema was established upon a decree issued by the Soviet Armenian government. In March 1924, the first Armenian film studio; ''Armenfilm'' ( hy, Հայֆիլմ "Hayfilm," russian: Арменкино "Armenkino") was opened in Yerevan, starting with a documentary film called ''Soviet Armenia''. ''Namus (film), Namus'' was the first Armenian silent film, silent black and white film, directed by Hamo Beknazarian in 1925, based on a play of Alexander Shirvanzade, describing the ill fate of two lovers, who were engaged by their families to each other since childhood, but because of violations of ''namus'' (a tradition of honor), the girl was married by her father to another person. The first produced sound film was ''Pepo (film), Pepo'' directed by Hamo Beknazarian in 1935. Nowadays, Yerevan is home to many movie theatres including the Moscow Cinema, Nairi Cinema, Hayastan Cinema, Cinema Star multiplex cinemas of the Dalma Garden Mall, and the KinoPark multiplex cinemas of Yerevan Mall. Since 2004, the Moscow Cinema hosts the ''Golden Apricot'' Yerevan International Film Festival annually. The ReAnimania International Animation Film & Comics Art Festival of Yerevan launched in 2005, is also among the popular annual events in the city.
FestivalsIn addition to the art festivals, the city organizes many public celebrations that greatly attract the locals as well as the visitors. Vardavar is the most widely celebrated festival among Armenians, having it roots back to the pagan history of Armenia. It is celebrated 98 days (14 weeks) after Easter. During the day of Vardavar, people from a wide array of ages are allowed to douse strangers with water. It is common to see people pouring buckets of water from balconies on unsuspecting people walking below them. The Swan Lake of the Yerevan Opera is the most popular venue for the Vardavar celebrations. In August 2015, Teryan Cultural Centre supported by the Yerevan Municipality has launched its 1st Armenian traditional clothing festival known as the ''Yerevan Taraz Fest''. As one of the ancient winemaking regions, many wine festivals are celebrated in Armenia. Yerevan launched its 1st annual wine festivals known as the ''Yerevan Wine Days'' in May 2016. The ''Watermelon Fest'' launched in 2013 is also becoming a popular event in the city. The ''Yerevan Beer Fest'' is held annually during the month of August. It was first organized in 2014.
MediaMany public and private TV and radio channels operate in Yerevan. The Public Television company of Armenia, Public TV of Armenia has been in service since 1956. It became a satellite television in 1996. Other satellite TVs include the Armenia TV owned by the Pan-Armenian Media Group, Kentron TV owned by Gagik Tsarukyan, Shant TV and Shant TV premium. On the other hand, Yerkir Media, Armenia 2, Shoghakat TV, Yerevan TV, 21TV and the TV channels of the Pan-Armenian Media Group are among the most notable local televisions of Yerevan. Notable newspapers published in Yerevan include the daily newspapers of Aravot, Azg (daily), Azg, Golos Armenii and Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.
HistoricMany of the structures of Yerevan had been destroyed either during foreign invasions or as a result of the devastating 1679 Armenia earthquake, earthquake in 1679. However, some structures have remained moderately intact and were renovated during the following years. Erebuni Fortress, also known as ''Arin Berd'', is the hill where the city of Yerevan was founded in 782 BC by King Argishti I. The remains of other structures from earlier periods are also found in Shengavit. The 4th-century chapel of the Holy Mother of God and the 6th-century Katoghike Tsiranavor Church of Avan, Tsiranavor Church both located in Avan District at the north of Yerevan, are among the oldest surviving Christian structures of the city. Originally a suburb at the north of Yerevan, Avan was eventually absorbed by the city's gradual expansion. The district is also home to the remains of Surp Hovhannes Chapel dating back to the 12–13th centuries. Katoghike Church, Yerevan, Katoghike Church; a medieval chapel (a section of once much larger basilica) in the centre of Yerevan, built in 1264, is one of the best preserved churches of the city. Zoravor Surp Astvatsatsin Church is also among the best surviving churches of Yerevan, built 1693–94 right after the devastating earthquake, on the ruins of a medieval church. Saint Sarkis Cathedral, Yerevan, Saint Sarkis Cathedral rebuilt in 1835–42, is the seat of Araratian Pontifical Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Blue Mosque, Yerevan, Blue Mosque or "Gök Jami", built between 1764 and 1768 at the centre of the city, is currently the only operating mosque in Armenia. The Red Bridge (Yerevan), Red Bridge of Hrazdan River is a 17th-century structure, built after the 1679 earthquake and later reconstructed in 1830.
ContemporaryYerevan Opera Theater or the Armenian National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre opened in 1933, is a major landmark in the city along with the Matenadaran, Mesrop Mashtots Matenadaran opened in 1959, and Tsitsernakaberd monument of the Armenian Genocide opened in 1967. Moscow Cinema, opened in 1937 on the site of Saint Paul and Peter Church, Yerevan, Saint Paul and Peter Church of the 5th century, is an important example of the Soviet-era architecture. In 1959, a monument was erected near the Yerevan Railway Station dedicated to the legendary Armenian hero David of Sassoun. The monumental statue of Mother Armenia is a female personification of the Armenian nation, erected in 1967, replacing the huge statue of Joseph Stalin in the Victory Park, Yerevan, Victory park. Komitas Pantheon is a cemetery opened in 1936 where many famous Armenians are buried, while the Yerablur Pantheon, is a military cemetery where over 1,000 Armenian martyrs of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are buried since 1990. Many new notable buildings were constructed after the independence of Armenia such as the Yerevan Cascade, and the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan, Saint Gregory Cathedral opened in 2001 to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia. In May 2016, a monumental statue of the prominent Armenian statesman and military leader Garegin Nzhdeh was erected at the centre of Yerevan.
AirYerevan is served by the Zvartnots International Airport, located west of the city center. It is the primary airport of the country. Inaugurated in 1961 during the Soviet era, Zvartnots airport was renovated for the first time in 1985 and a second time in 2002 in order to adapt to international norms. It went through a facelift starting in 2004 with the construction of a new terminal. The first phase of the construction ended in September 2006 with the opening of the arrivals zone. A second section designated for departures was inaugurated in May 2007. The departure terminal is anticipated, October 2011 housing state of the art facilities and technology. This will make Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport, the largest, busiest and most modern airport in the entire Caucasus. Currently there are no national airlines operating in Armenia. The entire project costs more than US$100 million. A second airport, Erebuni Airport, is located just south of the city. Since the independence, "Erebuni" is mainly used for military or private flights. The Armenian Air Force has equally installed its base there and there are several MiG-29s stationed on Erebuni's tarmac.
City buses, public vans and trolleybusPublic transport in Yerevan is heavily privatized and mostly handled by around 60 private operators. As of May 2017, 39 city bus lines are being operated throughout Yerevan. These lines mostly consist of about 425 Bogdan (bus company), Bogdan, Higer Bus, Higer City Bus and Hyundai County buses. However, the market share these buses in public transit is only about 39.1%. But the 50.4% of public transit is still served by "public vans", locally known as marshrutka. These are about 1210 Russian-made GAZelle vans with 13 seats, that operate same way as buses, having 79 different lines with certain routes and same stops. According to Yerevan Municipality office, in future, marshrutkas should be replaced by ordinary larger buses. Despite having about 13 seats, the limit of passengers is not controlled, so usually these vans carry many more people who stand inside. The Trolleybuses in Yerevan, Yerevan trolleybus system has been operating since 1949. Some old Soviet-era trolleybuses have been replaced with comparably new ones. As of May 2017, only 5 trolleybus lines are in operation (2.6% share), with around 45 units in service. The trolleybus system is owned and operated by the municipality. The tram network that operated in Yerevan since 1906 was decommissioned in January 2004. Its operation had a cost 2.4 times higher than the generated profits, which pushed the municipality to shut down the network, despite a last-ditch effort to save it towards the end of 2003. Since the closure, the rails have been dismantled and sold. Due to being dispersed among dozens of private operators, the transportation is barely regulated, with only trip fee is being a subject of regulation. Thus, the quality of vehicles is often inadequate, with no certain regulations for safety. Unlike the majority of world capitals, there is no established ticketing system in Yerevan's public transportation. Passengers need to pay the money directly to the driver when getting out of the vehicle. The fare -being one of the few things that is regulated- is fixed and controlled by authorities. A one-way trip costs AMD 100 (around US$0.21) for all buses and public vans, while it is AMD 50 for trolleybuses. The central station in Nor Kilikia neighborhood serves as bus terminal for inter-city transport, serving outbound routes towards practically all the cities of Armenia as well as abroad, notably Tbilisi and Tabriz.
UndergroundThe Yerevan Metro named after Karen Demirchyan, ( hy, Կարեն Դեմիրճյանի անվան Երեւանի մետրոպոլիտեն կայարան (''Karen Dyemirchyani anvan Yerevani metropoliten kayaran'')) is a rapid transit system that serves the capital city since 1981. It has a single line of length with 10 active stations and 45 units in service. The interiors of the stations resemble that of the former western Soviet nations, with chandeliers hanging from the corridors. The metro stations had most of their names changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of the Republic of Armenia. A northeastern extension of the line with two new stations is currently being developed. The construction of the first station (''Ajapnyak'') and of the tunnel linking it to the rest of the network will cost US$18 million. The time of the end of the project has not yet been defined. Another long-term project is the construction of two new lines, but these have been suspended due to lack of finance. The system transports more than 60,000 people on a daily basis.
RailwayYerevan has a single central railway station (several railway stations of suburbs have not been used since 1990) that is connected to the metro via the ''Sasuntsi Davit'' station. The railway station is made in Soviet-style architecture with its long point on the building roof, representing the symbols of communism: red star, hammer and sickle. Due to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades of Armenia, there is only one international train that passes by once every two days, with neighboring Georgia being its destination. For a sum of 9 000 to 18 000 Armenian dram, dram, it is possible to take the night train to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. This train then continues to its destination of Batumi, on the shores of the Black sea in the summer season. The only railway that goes to Iran to the south passes by the closed border of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Nakhchivan. For this reason, there are no trains that go south from Yerevan. During the first decade of the 21st century, the South Caucasus Railway CJSC — which is the current operator of the railway system in Armenia—announced its readiness to put the Yerevan-Gyumri-Kars railway line in service in case the Armenian-Turkish protocols are ratified and the opening of the borders between the two countries is achieved. As of July 2017, the following railway trips are scheduled from and to Yerevan: * Yerevan-Tbilisi-Batumi-Yerevan, with a daily trip operating since 15 June 2017, in coordination with the Georgian Railways. * Yerevan-Gyumri-Yerevan, with 3 daily trips operating since 15 June 2017. * Yerevan-Yeraskh-Yerevan, with a daily trip operating since 12 July 2014. * Yerevan-Araks-Yerevan, with a daily trip. * Yerevan-Shorzha-Yerevan, with weekend trips. The Yerevan-Ararat-Yerevan route is temporarily not in operation, while the Yerevan-Tbilisi-Yerevan route will operate starting from 2 October 2017.
TaxiArmenia is among the top 10 safest countries where one can wander around and go home alone safely at night. Yerevan prides itself on having connections 24/7 as taxis are available at any time of the day or night. Taxicab service companies cover the entire city in addition to many online taxi service providers, including GG Taxi, Utaxi and Yandex.Taxi.
Economy and services
Industry, the share of Yerevan in the annual total industrial product of Armenia is 41%. The industry of Yerevan is quite diversified including chemicals, primary metals and steel products, machinery, rubber products, plastics, rugs and carpets, textiles, clothing and footwear, jewellery, wood products and furniture, building materials and stone-processing, alcoholic beverages, mineral water, dairy product 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. Armenian beverages, especially Armenian Cognac (drink), cognac and beer, have a worldwide fame. Hence, Yerevan is home to many leading enterprises of Armenia and the Caucasus for the production of alcoholic beverages, such as the Yerevan Ararat Brandy Factory, Yerevan Brandy Company, Yerevan Champagne Wines Factory, "Beer of Yerevan" (Kilikia Beer) brewery, Armco Brandy Factory, Proshyan Brandy Factory and Astafian Wine-Brandy Factory. The 2 tobacco producers in Yerevan are the "Cigaronne" and "Grand Tabak" companies. Armenian carpet, Carpet industry in Armenia has a deeply rooted history with ancient traditions, therefore, carpet production is rather developed in Yerevan with three major factories that also produce hand-made rugs. The "Megerian Carpet" factory is the leading in this sector. Other major plants in the city include the "Nairit" chemical and rubber plant, Rusal Armenal aluminum foil mill, "Grand Candy" Armenian-Canadian confectionery manufacturers, "Arcolad" chocolate factory, "Marianna" factory for dairy products, "Talgrig Group" for wheat and flour products, "Shant" ice cream factory, "Crown Chemicals" for paints, "ATMC" travertine mining company, Yerevan Watch Factory "AWI watches", Yerevan Jewellry Plant, and the mineral water factories of "Arzni", "Sil", and "Dilijan Frolova". Food products include processed meat, all types of canneries, wheat and flour, sweets and chocolate, dried fruits, soft drinks and beverages. Building materials mainly include travertine, crushed stones, asphalt and asphalt concrete.
Finance and bankingAs an attractive outsourcing location for Western European, Russian and American multinationals, Yerevan headquarters many international companies. It is Armenia's financial hub, being home to the Central Bank of Armenia, the Armenian Stock Exchange (NASDAQ OMX Armenia), as well as the majority of the country's largest commercial banks. , the city dominates over 85% of the annual total services in Armenia, as well as over 84% of the annual total retail trade. Many subsidiaries of n service companies and banks operate in Yerevan, including Gazprom Armenia, Gazprom, Ingo Armenia, Rosgosstrakh and VTB Bank. The ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, ACBA-Credit Agricole is a subsidiary of the French Crédit Agricole, while the HSBC Bank Armenia is also operating in Yerevan.
ConstructionThe construction sector has experienced a significant growth during the 1st decade of the 21st century. Starting from 2000, Yerevan has witnessed a massive construction boom, funded mostly by Armenian millionaires from Russia and the United States, with an extensive and controversial redevelopment process in which many 18th and 19th-century buildings have been demolished and replaced with new buildings. This growth was coupled with a significant increase in real estate prices. Many major construction projects has been conducted in Yerevan, such as the Northern Avenue (Yerevan), Northern Avenue and the rehabilitation of ''Old Yerevan'' on Aram Street. The Northern Avenue is completed and was opened in 2007, while the ''Old Yerevan'' project is still under development. In the past few years, the city centre has also witnessed major road reconstruction, as well as the renovation of the Republic square, funded by the American-Armenian billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. On the other hand, the Argentina-based Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian took over the airport, while the cascade development project was funded by the US based Armenian millionaire Gerard L. Cafesjian. However, the sector has significantly dropped by the end of the 1st decade of the 21st century, as a result of the Real estate bubble, global real estate crisis in 2007–09. In 2013, Yerevan dominated over 58% of the annual total construction sector of Armenia. In February 2017, the urban development committee of the government revealed its plans for the upcoming major construction projects in the city. With a total cost of US$300 million, a new business district will rise at the centre of the city, to replace the current Firdowsi shopping area. The committee has also announced the construction of ''Noy'' (Noah) ethnographic residential district at the western vicinity of Kentron District, with an approximate cost of US$100 million.
EnergyThe location of the city on the shores of Hrazdan river has enabled the production of hydroelectricity. As part of the Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade, three hydroelectric power plants are established within the administrative territory of Yerevan: Kanaker HPP, Yerevan-1 HPP, and Yerevan-3 HPP. The entire plant was privatized in 2003, and is currently owned by RusHydro. The city is also home to the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant, a unique facility in the region for its quality and high technology, situated in the southern part of the city. Originally opened in 1961, a modern plant was built in 2007, furnished with a new gas-steam combined cycled turbine, to generate electric power. In March 2017, the construction of a new thermal power plant was launched with an initial investment of US$258 million and an envisaged capacity of 250 megawatts. The power station will be in service in 2019.
Telecommunication and postal servicesAs of 2017, Armenia has three mobile phone service providers: * Armenia Telephone Company's Beeline (brand), Beeline, currently owned by VimpelCom Ltd., VimpelCom. Based in Yerevan, the company is operating since 1995. * K-Telecom's Vicacell-MTS, founded in 2004 in Yerevan, and currently owned by MTS (network provider), MTS. * Ucom, founded as an internet service provider in 2009 in Yerevan. It replaced Orange Armenia as the 3rd mobile network provider in the country in December 2015. In addition to the mobile network providers, many other small and middle-size companies are also involved in internet services. Access to the Internet in Armenia is largely unfettered. However, according to Article 11 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on Police, law enforcement has the right to block content to prevent criminal activity. HayPost is the official national postal operator of Armenia. Based in Yerevan, it currently operates through 900 postal offices across Armenia.
Tourism and nightlifeTourism 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 Yerevan Cascade, Cascade complex, the ruins of the Urartu, Urartian city of Erebuni (Arin Berd), the historical site of Karmir Blur (Teishebaini), etc. The largest hotel of the city is the Ani Plaza Hotel. The Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan, Armenia Marriott Hotel is located at the Republic Square at the centre of Yerevan, while the Radisson Blu Hotel, Yerevan, Radisson Blu Hotel is located near the Victory Park, Yerevan, Victory Park. Other major chains operating in central Yerevan include the Grand Hotel Yerevan of the ''Small Luxury Hotels of the World'', the Best Western Congress Hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton, the Hyatt Place, the Ibis (hotel), Ibis Yerevan Center, and The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel of Marriott International. 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 Mount Ararat, Ararat, as the city lies on the feet of the mountain forming the shape of a Roman amphitheatre. There are many historical sites, churches and citadels in areas and regions surrounding the city of Yerevan, such as Garni Temple, Zvartnots Cathedral, the monasteries of Khor Virap and Geghard, etc. Being among the top 10 safest cities in the world, Yerevan has an extensive nightlife scene with a variety of nightclubs, live venues, pedestrian zones, street cafés, jazz cafés, tea houses, casinos, pubs, karaoke clubs and restaurants. Casino Shangri La and Pharaon Complex are among the largest leisure and entertainment centres of the city. Many world-famous music stars, Russian music celebrities, as well as Armenian singers from diaspora, occasionally perform in concerts in Yerevan. The Yerevan Zoo founded in 1940, the Yerevan Circus opened in 1956, and the Yerevan Water World opened in 2001, are among the popular entertaining centres in the city. The Northern Avenue (Yerevan), Northern Avenue that connects the Opera House with Abovyan street is a popular pedestrian zone in Yerevan with modern residential buildings, business centres, restaurants, bars and cafés. Another popular landmarks is the Yerevan Cascade and the "Cafesjian Sculpture Garden" on Tamanyan Street with its pedestrian zone, featuring many coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and pubs at the sidewalks. The "Cafesjian Center for the Arts" regularly organizes art events throughout the year, including classical music series, traditional folk dance events, and live concerts of jazz, pop and rock music. As of 2017, Yerevan has three shopping malls: Dalma Garden Mall opened in October 2012, followed by Yerevan Mall in February 2014, and Rossia Mall in March 2016. International study conducted by Mercer and published in 2019 identified Yerevan to offer higher quality of living, than other capital cities of Transcaucasia.
EducationYerevan is a major educational centre in the region. , the city is home to more than 250 schools, of which about 210 are state-owned, with 3/4 of them run by the municipality and the rest run by the ministry of education. The rest of the schools (about 40) are privately owned. The municipality also runs 160 kindergartens throughout the city. The QSI International School of Yerevan, QSI International School, École Française Internationale en Arménie, Ayb School, Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex and Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School are among the prominent international or private schools in Yerevan. , around 60 higher education institutions are accredited and licensed to operate in the Republic of Armenia. Yerevan is home to about 50 universities, nearly half of which are public. Yerevan State University, American University of Armenia, Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, Yerevan State Medical University and Armenian State Pedagogical University are the top rated universities of Armenia and among the top rated in the region.
Science and researchUnder the Soviet rule, Yerevan has turned into a major centre for science and research. The Armenian National Academy of Sciences is the pioneer of scientific research in Armenia. It was founded in 1943 as the Armenian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Soviet Academy of Sciences to become the primary body that conducts research and coordinates activities in the fields of science in Armenia. It has many divisions, including Mathematical and Technical Sciences, Physics and Astrophysics, Natural Sciences, Chemistry and Earth Sciences, Armenology and Social Sciences. After the independence, many new research centres were opened in the city, such as the CANDLE Synchrotron Research Institute (2010), Tumo Center for Creative Technologies (2011), and Izmirlian Medical Center, Nerses Mets Medical Research and Education Center (2013).
FootballAssociation football, Football is the most played and popular sport in Yerevan and the entire country. Yerevan city is home to about a dozen of :Football clubs in Armenia, football clubs competing in the Armenian Premier League and the Armenian First League, with the most successful clubs being FC Pyunik, Pyunik, FC Alashkert, Alashkert, FC Ararat Yerevan, Ararat Yerevan, FC Ararat-Armenia, Ararat-Armenia, FC Urartu, Urartu and FC Yerevan, Yerevan. Hrazdan Stadium in Yerevan is the largest sports venue of Armenia. The 2nd-largest stadium in the city is the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium which currently serves as the primary home ground of the Armenia national football team. The Yerevan Football Academy, Football Academy of Yerevan operated by the Football Federation of Armenia is an up-to-date training academy complex, opened in 2010. As of 2017, there are around 130 mini-football pitches among the courtyards of the Yerevan neighborhoods, built by the municipal authorities.
ChessArmenia has always excelled in chess with its players being very often among the highest ranked and decorated. The headquarters of the Chess Federation of Armenia is located in the Tigran Petrosian Chess House of Yerevan. Already in primary school, chess education is offered. The city is home to a large number of chess teams and training schools. In 1996, despite the severe economic conditions in the country, Yerevan hosted the 32nd Chess Olympiad. In 2006, the four members from Yerevan of the Armenian chess team won the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin and repeated the feat at the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden. Armenian won the chess Olympiad for the 3rd time in 40th Chess Olympiad, 2012 in Istanbul. The Yerevan-born leader of the chess national team; Levon Aronian, is one of the top chess players in the world.
BasketballDespite the popularity of basketball in Armenia, the Armenia national basketball team, country's national team only recently made headlines internationally through winning the 2016 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries. However, the country's best players are diaspora Armenians, mainly from the United States and Russia. The 2017–18 Armenia Basketball League A, first ever season of the professional domestic basketball competition of Armenia, known as Armenia Basketball League A, was launched in October 2017 with 7 participating teams. Yerevan is represented by 4 clubs: Engineer Yerevan, FIMA Basketball, BC Grand Sport and BC Urartu.
TennisTennis is also among the popular sports in Yerevan. Several tennis clubs operate in the city, with many of them founded during the Soviet days. Incourt Tennis Club -founded in 1974– is the largest in the city, with many indoor and outdoor courts. Ararat Tennis Club founded in 1990, is also among the prominent clubs in the city. Tennis clubs are also found within the Yerevan State Sports College of Olympic Reserve since 1971, and the Yerevan Football Academy since 2010. Sargis Sargsian and Ani Amiraghyan are the most successful tennis players of Armenia.
Artistic gymnasticsArmenia has produced many Olympic champions in artistic gymnastics during the Soviet days, such as Hrant Shahinyan, Albert Azaryan and Eduard Azaryan. The success of the Armenian gymnasts in the Olympic competitions has greatly contributed in the popularity of the sport. Thus, many prominent competitors represent the country in the European and World championships, including Artur Davtyan and Harutyun Merdinyan. Yerevan has many state-owned schools of artistic gymnastics, including the Albert Azaryan School opened in 1964 and the Hrant Shahinyan School opened in 1965.
Other sportsKaren Demirchyan Complex, Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex is the largest indoor arena in the city and the entire country. It is mostly used for indoor sport events, including ice hockey and figure skating shows. On the other hand, Dinamo and Mika indoor arenas are the regular venues for domestic and regional competitions of basketball, volleyball, handball and futsal. Armenia Sports Union (''Spartak Sports Union'' between 1935 and 1999) is a sports society mainly involved in individual Olympic sports, including boxing, Olympic weightlifting, weightlifting, sport of athletics, athletics, wrestling, taekwondo, table tennis, etc. The "Yerevan State Sports College of Olympic Reserve" is a large sports and educational complex located in the Malatia-Sebastia District of the city. It was founded in 1971, and is home to individual as well as team sport schools, such as wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, judo, athletics, acrobatic gymnastics, artistic gymnastics, swimming (sport), swimming, table tennis, cycling, basketball, volleyball and handball. In September 2015, the new Olympic Training Complex of Yerevan, locally known as ''Olympavan'', was opened in Davtashen District. It is a state of the art sports complex, with training facilities for most Olympic individual and team sports, as well as water sports. It is also home to the anti-doping medical centre and a hotel designated to accommodate more than 300 athletes. Equestrianism, Equestrian sport was introduced to Armenia in 1953. The Hovik Hayrapetyan Equestrian Centre opened in 2001, occupies an area of 85 hectares at the southern Shengavit District of Yerevan. It is the centre of equestrian sport and horse racing in Armenia. Golf has been introduced to the citizens of Yerevan in 1999, with the foundation of the Ararat Valley Country Club in the Vahakni neighbourhood of Ajapnyak District. It is the first-ever golf course opened in Armenia as well as the Transcaucasian region. Arena Bowling and Billiards Club is an up-to-date sports and leisure centre opened in 2004 and located on Mashtots Avenue in central Yerevan. Cycling as a sport is becoming popular among the young generation. The Yerevan Velodrome is an outdoor track cycling venue with international standard, opened in 2011 to replace the old venue of the Soviet days. Edgar Stepanyan of Armenia became champion of the scratch race in the 2015 UEC European Track Championships (under-23 & junior), 2015 junior UEC European Track Championships. In an attempt to promote figure skating and ice hockey in Armenia, the Irina Rodnina Figure Skating Centre was opened in Yerevan, in December 2015. Futsal is also among the popular sports in Armenia. Many companies as well as universities have their own teams who participate in the Armenian Futsal Premier League. Currently, ''Futsal Club Leo'' based in Yerevan, is considered as the most successful team in the Armenian Futsal Premier League. Recently, Mixed martial arts, MMA has gained massive popularity in Armenia, being promoted by ''Armfighting'' Professional Federation based in Yerevan. It was founded in 2005 by ''Hayk Ghukasyan'' and currently runs several branches throughout the provinces of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Artsakh with more than 2,000 athletes. With the increased interest in healthy lifestyle and fitness, many large and modern training complexes with indoor and outdoor swimming pools have recently been opened in the city such as the Davit Hambardzumyan Swimming and Diving Olympic School, Orange Fitness Premium Club, DDD Sports Complex, Aqua Land Sports Complex, Gold's Gym, Grand Sport Complex, Reebok Sports Club, and Multi Wellness Sport and Health Center.
International relationsThe city of Yerevan is member of many international organizations: the International Assembly of CIS Countries' Capitals and Big Cities (MAG), the Black Sea Capitals' Association (BSCA), the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC), the International Association of Large-scale Communities, and the International Urban Community Lighting Association (LUCI).
Twin towns – sister citiesYerevan is Sister city, twinned with: * Amman, Jordan (2014) * Antananarivo, Madagascar (1981) * Beirut, Lebanon (1997) * Bratislava, Slovakia (2001) * Buenos Aires, Argentina (2000) * Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge, United States (1987) * Carrara, Italy (1973) * Chişinău, Moldova (2005) * Damascus, Syria (1997) * Isfahan, Iran (1995) * Los Angeles, United States (2007) * Marseille, France (1992) * Montreal, Canada (1998) * Nice, France (2007) * Novosibirsk, Russia (2014) * Odessa, Ukraine (1995) * Riga, Latvia (2013) * Rostov-on-Don, Russia (2005) * São Paulo, Brazil (2002) * Stavropol, Russia (1994) * Tbilisi, Georgia (1996) * Venice, Italy (2011) * Volgograd, Russia (2015)
PartnershipsYerevan also cooperates with: * Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (2014) * Athens, Greece (1993) * Beijing, China (2009) * Bucharest, Romania (2013) * Delhi, India (2008) * Île-de-France, France (2011) * Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia (2014) * Lyon, France (1993) * Kaliningrad, Russia (2009) * Kyiv, Ukraine (1995) * Krasnodar, Russia (2014) * Minsk, Belarus (2002) * Moscow, Russia (1995) * Paris, France (2011) * Pesaro, Italy (2017) * Podgorica, Montenegro (1974) * Qazvin, Iran (2014) * Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2007) * Saint Petersburg, Russia (1997) * Sofia, Bulgaria (2008) * Stepanakert, Artsakh (2012) * Tuscany, Italy (1996) * Warsaw, Poland (2013)
Notable people* Terter Yerevantsi (1290–1350), first person from Yerevan with fully known biography; scribe and poet; author of first known poems about Yerevan * Voskan Yerevantsi (17th century), printer * Simeon I of Yerevan (1710–1780), Catholicos of All Armenians * Fazil Iravani (1782–1885), Shaykh al-Islām * Khachatur Abovian (1809–1848), writer * Irakli Gruzinsky (1826–1882), Prince of Georgia * Jabbar Baghtcheban (1886–1966), Iranian educator * Hamo Beknazarian (1891–1965), film director * Silva Kaputikyan (1919–2006), poet * Arno Babajanian (1921–1983), Soviet composer * Grigor Khanjyan (1926–2000), artist, painter * Karen Demirchyan (1932–1999), Soviet and Armenian politician * Armen Dzhigarkhanyan (born 1935–2020), Soviet and Armenian-Russian actor * Mikhail Piotrovsky (born 1944), Russian historian * Ihor Tselovalnykov (1944–1986), Ukrainian cyclist * Arthur Meschian (born 1949), composer and architect * Têmûrê Xelîl (born 1949), Yazidi journalist * Ruben Hakhverdyan (born 1950), singer-songwriter * Khoren Oganesian (born 1955), football player * William Weiner (born 1955), composer * Vardan Petrosyan (born 1959), actor * Hasmik Papian (born 1961), soprano * Tata Simonyan (born 1962), pop singer * Ruben Vardanyan (businessman), Ruben Vardanyan (born 1968), entrepreneur and philanthropist * Garik Martirosyan (born 1974), Russia-based comedian * Arthur Abraham (born 1980), boxer, world champion * Armenchik (born 1980), pop-folk singer * Levon Aronian (born 1982), chess player * Anna Chicherova (born 1982), Russian high jumper * Sergey Khachatryan (born 1985), violinist * Sirusho (born 1987), contemporary singer * Henrikh Mkhitaryan (born 1989), football player
Bibliography* Hakopian, T. Kh. "The History of Yerevan." ''Old Yerevan'' (2003): 10–39. * Lindsay, Ian, and Adam T. Smith. "A History of Archaeology in the Republic of Armenia." ''Journal of field archaeology'' 31.2 (2006): 165–184