My family and I are all from Armenia. Not many people have actually heard of a place called Armenia. In fact, I’ve only met one person, so far, who has actually named the capital of Armenia: Yerevan. In its time, Armenia was a dominating nation. She was absolutely huge! Now, it’s like a little smudge on the map of the world. But this does not excluded Armenia’s awesome history!
Yerevan is the current capital of Armenia. But in fact, Armenia had a lot of capitals before. Unfortunately, most of them were destroyed by earthquakes, wars, or Turkish raids. Tushpa was the very first capital of Armenia. It was in the 6th century BC, year of 825, during the Orontid Dynasty.
Erebuni Fortress, also known as The Fortress of Blood, is a fortified city from the ancient kingdom of Urartu. Urartu was located in none the other but Yerevan itself! It was one of the several fortresses built along the northern Urartian border. Now, unfortunately, Erebuni is nothing but remains of a once glorious fortress that protected its people in times of trouble. This does not, however, keep eager tourists away! Erebuni may not look like a fortress anymore, but the remains couldn’t be more exciting! I myself have been there many times before and just can’t get enough of it! It’s like walking through a dark cave! Exciting!
|What Zvartnots once looked like|
Zvartnots Cathedral is another example of ruins. Zvartnots Cathedral was built of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 641 to 653. Zvartnots, meaning celestial angels, lies at the edge of Etchmiadzin in Armenia’s Armavir Province. This cathedral was ruined because of Turkish raids. My paternal deceased grandfather made a full-scale model of Zvartnots! Pretty cool stuff!
Now, we all know American history and all of those exciting memorials for different people and incidents in history. Well, Armenia has memorials as well. One of the most famous ones is the Battle of Sardarabad. This battle took place near Sardarabad, modern day Armavir. It lasted from May 21-May 29, 1918. This battle, though tragic and bloody, stopped the Ottoman (Turks) from advancing any further into Armenia. It also prevented the complete destruction of Armenia. The battle land is considered sacred, and tourists from all over the world come just to see this place.
Armenians had nowhere else to retreat, so they were forced to face their enemy there and then. Catholicos Gevorg (George) V ordered that the church bells rung during those six days while people of all sizes, ages, and genders rallied up to face the Turks. There were peasants, poets, blacksmiths, and clergymen fighting to free their country. Famous poet and author Yeghishe Charents was also part of this battle. My maternal great-great-grandparents have seen Yeghishe Charents.
Gevorg and Lusik Gevorgyan (George and Lucy Georgson), were my maternal great-great grandparents. They escaped from the Armenian Genocide which took place from 1915 through 1923. The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Great Crime, Armenian Massacres, or Armenian Holocaust was when the Turks killed millions of Armenians living on the Turkish territory during the First World War. Gevorg and Lusik escaped because they were children. Turks allowed children sixteen and under to leave the country.
I am proud to be Armenian and I am honored to share Armenia’s history with you!
Written by Rubina Mazurka