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City seal
Population: 1,088,300 est.
Established: 782 BC
Time zone: GMT +4
Mayor: Taron Margaryan

Yerevan (Armenian: Երեւան or Երևան; sometimes written as Erevan; former names include Erebuni and Erivan) (population: 1,088,300 (2004 estimate)) is the largest city and capital of Armenia. It is situated on the Hrazdan River, at 40°10′N 44°31′E, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the Urartian fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC.

Early history

The territory of Yerevan was settled by humans since the 4th millennium BC, fortified settlements from the Bronze Age include Shengavit, Karmir Blur, Karmir Berd and Berdadzor. Archaeological evidence indicates that an Urartian military fortress called Erebuni (Էրեբունի) was founded in 782 BC by the orders of King Argishtis I at the site of current-day Yerevan, to serve as a fort/citadel guarding against attacks from the north Caucasus, thus Yerevan is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Irrigation canals and an artificial reservoir were built on the territory of Yerevan during the height of Urartian power. The fortress of Teishebaini (Karmir Blur) was destroyed by the Scythians in 585 BC. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, Yerevan was one of the main centers of the Armenian satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. The timespan between 4th century BC and 3rd century AD is known as the Yerevan Dark Ages due to absence of historical data. The first church in Yerevan, the church of St. Peter and Paul was built in the 5th century (collapsed in 1931).


Geography and climate

Yerevan is located in Eastern Armenia in the North-Eastern part of the Ararat Valley. The upper part of the city is surrounded by mountains on three sides while to the south it descends to the banks of the river Hrazdan, a tributary of the river Arax that divides the city into two within a picturesque canyon. The elevation of the city ranges between 900 to 1,300 meters over the sea level, displaying a 400 meter disparity between its lowest and highest points. The climate of Yerevan is relatively continental with a dry, hot summer and a cold and short winter. The temperature of the hottest month of August reaches to 40 degrees Celsius and the coldest month of January to -15 degrees Celsius. The amount of precipitation is small and amounts to annually to about 350 mm.


Yerevan is a leading industrial, cultural, and scientific centre in the Caucasus region. As a centre of Armenian culture, Yerevan is the site of Yerevan State University (1919), the Armenian Academy of Sciences, a historical museum, an opera house, a music conservatory and several technical institutes. The Matenadaran archives hold a rich collection of valuable ancient Armenian, Greek, Syrian, Hebrew, Roman and Persian manuscripts. Yerevan has several large public libraries, a number of museums and theaters, botanical gardens and zoos. It is also at the heart of an extensive rail network and is a major trading centre for agricultural products. In addition, industries in the city produce metals, machine tools, electrical equipment, chemicals, textiles and food products.