Armavir is a historical area which lies between Mount Aragats and Mount Ararat within Ararat Valley. It is the smallest marz, or province, even though it has a rather dense population. The valleys in Armavir are the most fertile, hence the majority of the population work in agriculture and live in the surrounding villages.
The only river running through Armavir is fed by the Kasagh River, Lake Aikhr, and local springs. The area has many ancient ruins, the most interesting of them all being those in Argishtikhinili, a city from the lost kingdom of Urartu. Along the bank of the Araks River, stood the ancient city of Armavir, an economic and cultural hub in its day. Further down, one finds the ruins of Yervandashat, an important city which was, in fact, the last capital city of the Yervandid dynasty.
[caption id="attachment_2882" align="alignleft" width="300"] A view of Mount Ararat from Zvartnots Cathedral[/caption]
The "pride of Armavir marz" is the Armenian Apostolic Church, Echmiadzin. It is one of the main interests where tourists visit St. Echmiadzin temple, Zvartnots Cathedral, and Metsamor Castle.
Ancient Armavir was founded on the site of Argishtikhinili. The Airarat Kingdom eventually became independent, only to be conquered by the Selevkids. The kingdom was annexed and became a new state, Great Armenia with its capital, Artashat. Armavir soon lost its significance, but life still existed for some time after that.
[caption id="attachment_2883" align="alignright" width="300"] Standing stones at the ruins of Metsamor Castle[/caption]
In the area surrounding Armavir are two stones which bear historical and literary Greek inscriptions from the Hellenistic era. The architecture was well developed, as seen in the ruins of Cyclopean fortresses, ancient burial places and palatial structures which still stand today. The ruins of ancient Armavir are situated near the present capital of the marz.
The ruins of ancient Armavir are fairly close to present day Armavir. Modern Armavir is still a young city but is developing at a fast rate. It was named in honor of the ancient capital which was once the center of the ancient Armenian Airarat kingdom during the Yervandid dynasty. Armavir city is only forty-six kilometers west of Tehran. Tourists can easily hop on one of the trains which run between Yerevan and Armavir on a daily basis to view the ancient ruins.