The Armenian culture has a history of thousand years. Armenia being one of the developed countries of Southwest Asia, has served as a cultural donor for surrounding nations. Old myths, traditions, religious beliefs, materials discovered during archaeological excavations served as a source of information about old Armenian culture.
Today a tourist can see more than 5000 historical monuments in Armenia. Only in the capital city, Yerevan, there are more than 40 museums and galleries.
During Hellenism period the Armenian culture together with the country prospered to a great extent. Dozens of small and large towns were built; material culture, arts, crafts, sculpture developed. Starting from the 3rd century BC theatre was famous in Armenia. Theatres could be found nearly in every large town. Later Armenian theatre developed and prospered a lot.
Building of temples and castles was evolving… the one unique temple with its beauty preserved till nowadays is Garni. From the material culture bronze statue of goddess Anahit is famous, which is kept in the British museum. In the museum of history of Yerevan many values of material culture of the period are kept.
The Armenian music is famous to the world for its wonderful brilliants. Very famous is the sacred music – sharakans. World famous are the compositions of Sayat-Nova, Komitas, Aram Khachaturyan. In the capital city Yerevan there are lots of “art-smithies”, like State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Chamber Music Hall, Philharmonic…
Literature has played an important role in the life of Armenian people. Thousands of years ago the Armenians created literary culture in cuneiforms. In 405 after Mashtots writing emerged the Armenian literature prospered. The Armenians created and inherited to world a rich literary world. In Matenadaran of Yerevan nearly twenty thousand ancient manuscripts are kept, which witness not only the existence of science in ancient Armenia, but also existence of highly developed crafts and arts. Especially Armenian science was on its height. In medieval Armenia dozens of universities were operating.
Thousands of years ago the Armenians created miniature paintings. This branch of art developed especially in middle ages in works of applied art and in Armenian bibliography. Incomparable works of Toros Roslin and Sargis Pitsak have been famous since Middle Ages. As many of the European researchers claim, European Renaissance started from Armenia.
Among Armenian painters famous are Martiros Saryan, Minas Avetisyan, Hovhannes Ayvazovski, Arshil Gorky, Garzou, Zhamsem…
From applied art carpet weaving, carpet making are very developed, beautiful samples of which are possible to obtain in Armenia even today. Applied art is not limited only by above mentioned, it is diverse and includes many aspects: stone-making, metallurgy…
World famous is Armenian khachqar. Commonly, stone exploiting technology was on high level in Armenia from ancient times. The evidences of it are the monuments of Armenian architecture: Echmiadzin, Tatev, Sanahin, Haghpat, Qobayr…many of these churches that are included in the list of world heritage of UNESCO, delight not only with glorious architecture, but also with murals. When foreign specialists called Armenia “Museum under the open sky”, they meant the architecture of Armenia.