Located in the Southern Caucasus, Armenia was the first of the former Soviet Republics to declare its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1991. It is also the smallest of all the former republics. Armenia is slightly larger than the state of Maryland, with an area of about 30,000 square kilometers.
Contemporary Armenia, also known as the Republic of Armenia, is a fraction of the size of historic Armenia, whose ancient centers included the region around Lake Van in Turkey and the valley of the Araks River, flowing along the countries of Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran.
Located in the north-east part of the Armenian Highland, the country is landlocked by Georgia on the north, Azerbaijan on the east, Iran on the south, and Turkey on the west.
Nestled between the Black and Caspian Seas, Armenia’s terrain is mostly mountainous — a rugged plateau of ridges and narrow valleys — with flowing rivers and streams, few forests and extinct volcanoes.
Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in the region, was historically part of Armenia’s landscape and continues to be a strong symbol of Armenian culture for its people. Though now located in Turkey, the majestic-looking mountain, which boasts two snow-capped volcanic cones, remains a part of Armenia’s national emblem to this day.
According to the Book of Genesis, and following Christian beliefs and traditions, Mount Ararat is also the site at which Noah’s Ark came to rest, which is something Armenians are very proud of as predominantly Christian people.