Armenia: Six things you may not know
Wednesday, 02 May, 2018, 23:10
Armenians have been making headlines by shutting down cities with major protests. How much do you know about this landlocked former Soviet republic in the southern Caucasus? Here are six facts to get you started (and possibly boost a future pub quiz score).
1. More Armenians live outside the republic than within it
2. Mount Ararat is considered a national symbol
The snow-capped mountain (3,611m; 11,847ft) dominates the horizon in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, and is named in the Bible as the place Noah's Ark grounded after the flood.
3. It is one of the earliest Christian civilisations
Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the early 4th Century and its Church is completely autonomous from other Christian Churches of the world.
4. Learning chess is compulsory
Since 2011, all children in Armenia from six to eight years old have had compulsory chess lessons.
The country has produced numerous grandmasters and it currently has more than 3,000 qualified trained chess teachers in its schools.
5. It is proud of its brandy
During World War Two, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin sent Winston Churchill several dozen cases of Armenian brandy as a present. Many years later, in 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave David Cameron a bottle of Armenian brandy recalling the story.
6. Many famous people have Armenian roots
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