Armenia History and World Heritage Sites

Geghard Monastery (World Heritage)


The country’s unstable economic situation sparked public protests after electricity price increases were announced in June 2015. For several weeks, tens of thousands took to the streets against the increases. This sometimes led to violent clashes and arrests. In a referendum on December 6, 2015, which was accompanied by numerous irregularities, the population voted in favor of a constitutional amendment initiated by President Sargsjan , which transformed the previous semi-presidential system into a parliamentary system with a strong prime ministerial position. Opposition critics accused Sargsyanproposed to use the constitutional amendment to prevent the loss of his position of power after the end of his term of office as president. April 2016 saw the worst fighting since the 1994 armistice in Nagorno-Karabakh. On July 17, 2016, armed opposition forces occupied a police barracks in the capital Yerevan and took numerous hostages. The hostage-takers demanded the release of a critic of the regime and the resignation of President Sargsyan. In connection with the hostage-taking, which ended on July 31, 2016 and in which two police officers lost their lives, there were also clashes between opposition demonstrators and the police. Against the background of this domestic political crisis, Prime Minister H. Abrahamjan saidresigned on September 8, 2016. He was succeeded on September 13, 2016 by Karen Karapetjan (* 1963) , member of the HHK and Mayor of Yerevan in 2010/11. The OEK was no longer involved in the newly formed government.

On the basis of the 2015 constitutional revision, elections to the National Assembly took place on April 2, 2017, from which the ruling Republican Party emerged as the clear winner with a gain of around 49.2% of the votes. One of the pro-Russian entrepreneur Gagik Zarukjan (* 1956)The electoral alliance formed around the blooming Armenia party came in second with a share of the vote of around 27.4%. The third strongest parliamentary force was the reform-oriented alliance »Auseg« around the Shining Armenia party, which accounted for around 7.8% of the Simmen. In addition, the HHD made it into the National Assembly with around 6.6% of the votes. The opposition alleged electoral fraud. On March 2nd, 2018, the head of state was elected indirectly by parliament for the first time. The representatives of the people appointed Armen Sargsjan (* 1953) , who had held the office of Prime Minister in 1996/97, as the successor of S. Sargsyan in the office of President. On April 17, 2018, he was elected to the office of prime minister, which was strengthened by the constitutional reform of 2015, in order to maintain his power. According to, the opposition politician N. Pashinyan had previously called for mass protests, which ultimately led to the resignation of S. Sargsyan on April 23, 2018. The Parliament elected Paschinjan on 08/05/2018 head of government.

World Heritage Sites in Armenia

  • Fortified monasteries Haghbat and Sanahin (1996)
  • Cathedral and Churches of Echmiadzin and archaeological site Zvartnots (2000)
  • Geghard Monastery (2000)

Echmiadzin and Zvartnots Church Buildings (World Heritage)

Etchmiadzin Cathedral was built in the 4th century. It is the religious center of the Armenian Church and the seat of the Catholicos, the spiritual leader. In the city are also the churches of St. Gayane and St. Hripsime from the 7th century. They are outstanding examples of early church architecture, especially the cross-domed churches. Zvartnots is home to the ruins of a 7th century cathedral that was destroyed by an earthquake in the 10th century.

Echmiadzin and Zvartnots Church Buildings: Facts

Official title: Etchmiadzin Cathedral and Churches and Zvartnots Archaeological Site
Cultural monument: Cathedral (cross-domed church with four apses; 495 to 496) and churches in Etchmiadzin and archaeological finds in Zvartnots
Continent: Asia
Country: Armenia
Location: Etchmiadzin and Zvartnots
Appointment: 2000
Meaning: Exceptional testimony to the development and heyday of the Armenian churches

Geghard Monastery (World Heritage)

The Geghard Monastery is an exceptional example from the heyday of the Armenian monastery construction period. It originated in the 4th century and was rebuilt in the 12th and 13th centuries after being destroyed by the Arabs. The monastery complex with churches and tombs was mostly carved into the rock and provided with a protective wall. Due to its valuable relics, it is an important place of pilgrimage.

Geghard Monastery: Facts

Official title: Geghard Monastery in the Upper Azat Valley
Cultural monument: Medieval complex of churches and tombs (most of them carved into the rock); surrounded by a protective wall (12th and 13th centuries) and towering rocks; in the early 4th century an important center of Christianization in Armenia; significant relics
Continent: Asia
Country: Armenia
Location: Upper Azat Valley in the east of Kotaykh Province
Appointment: 2000
Meaning: Exceptionally well-preserved testimony to the pinnacle of medieval Armenian monastery architecture

Geghard Monastery (World Heritage)