Monday 22 April 2019

Easter in Armenia

I asked Shushan if Armenia is in Asia. "That's a question to which no-one knows the answer."

It feels like Europe. Armenians are white and Christian and speak an Indo European language much close to Farsi than to French. For people who care about such things this makes them Aryans, like Brahmins.

Bernard Lewis got it right when he called Georgia and Armenia the Christian Middle East. Close to where I am staying is a 17th century church of St Ananias the man who received St Paul into the very early church. The church is said to house a relic of the saint.

People who have had the luck to visit Ethiopia will recognise the simplicity of Armenian churches without icons but instead with a few primitive paintings.

The Armenian Apostolic Church is different from the Orthodox church, Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity before, in order, Georgia, Ethiopia and then the Roman empire.

Yerevan is ancient but, unlike Tbilisi, was not important before the Bolsheviks took over and was designed by a rather wonderful local architect. Lenin's invasion of the Caucasus was the moment when his revolution dropped the pretence of representing the popular will, as he recognised.

No time to write more. I have to leave Yerevan for Georgia via three gorgeous monasteries. 


  1. Nice article Paul! Well done.
    I shared your article in one of my pages.

    Happy Easter!
    Gabriel Zaharia

    1. Thank you. Are you the man who said he wanted to join me on a trip?