Armenia is a small country in the former Soviet Republic which boasts of beautiful natural scenery. It is a land of mingling of myriad cultures. Armenia on one hand constitutes of the turquoise Lake Sevan and undulating mountains and lush green forests on the other hand. You will find prominent landmarks in the region and also hidden lands which can be explored if you are interested to walk on the unbeaten track. Armenians love coffee and arts. The locals with Mediterranean mindset are amiable, non-interfering and love to share their food.
The region around Lake Sevan is the most popular one which is crowded with foreign tourists and visitors from the land itself. However, if you look beyond Sevan, you will find hidden jewels like the stalactite filled caves and summer hamlets occupied by Yezidi Kurds and shepherds from the land. There is the famous town of Goris which demands exploration. You must stay in the village to experience the magic. The Debed Canyon will narrate its history once you visit the site. The Armenian forts, monasteries and candle-lit churches are the major sights of Armenia while the above mentioned ones also call for respect.
Cascade is a huge monument which marks the 50th anniversary of Soviet Armenia. You will reach it following a flight of stone steps and also flower beds. The monument is stunning to look at with 5 recessed fountains. Some of these have postmodern khatchkars and sculpted panels. This was completed post independence by Gerald L Cafesjian, the philanthropist and art collector. You can take the escalator to reach the top to have a panoramic view. The Cafesjian Museum has been incorporated of late to the monument where you can see the infinite collection of glassware and art pieces.
Mother Armenia presides over the city from her residence at the Soviet Plaza. Abounding in symbolism, this huge figure is 23 meter high and holds a huge sword for her defense. This statue was placed in the year 1967 when it replaced the statue of Stalin. Armenian Genocide will be one of the darkest events in the face of history. Marking the agonizing event of 1915-22 genocide of people from Armenia during the Rule of the Ottoman Empire the museum was built. This is an underground museum where it is found in a grey stone hall. You will notice huge photographs of the genocide which narrate the painful and horrific story of the event.
The National Folk Art Museum of Armenia is a relief since it brings a breath of fresh air after the genocide museum. Armenia’s finest crafts are displayed in the museum which also shows the influence of east on Armenia in terms of art and culture. Interesting wood carving and lace exhibits can also be found inside the museum. The Sergei Paradjanov Museum is steeped in film and culture. Inspiring for film directors, this museum might seem a little eccentric to you. But Sergei was an avant-garde film maker and you will find collages, sketches and sculptures of Sergei in the museum.