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Yerevan - A view from our expert author
Republic Square © Deirdre Holding
Armenia’s capital stands on the Hrazdan River which flows south from Lake Sevan to join the Arax south of the city. The river in its deep gorge skirts the centre of the city on its western side and consequently many visitors only ever see it as they cross Victory Bridge (so called because it was built in 1945) on the drive into the city from Zvartnots Airport. Yerevan’s lower parts are at an altitude of around 900m above sea level but the higher parts up on the plateau are around 1,200m. Precipitation is light at 277mm per annum with May being the wettest month (43mm) and August the driest (8mm). The average temperature (measured over 24 hours) varies from –3°C in January to 26°C in July though these averages mask considerable diurnal variation: night-time lows in January are around –15°C while daytime highs in July reach 44°C. Yerevan is a very sunny place with an average of 2,579 hours of sunshine annually (there are 8,760 hours in a year) and only 37 days classed as non-sunny.
The lively and vibrant capital of Armenia offers a multitude of must-see museums and the renowned Vernissage market.
Yerevan’s centre, Republic Square, boasts some of the finest Soviet-era buildings in the whole of the former USSR and there is a surprising range of architectural styles within the whole central area owing largely to the fusion of Armenian and Russian styles. Outside the central core of the city, Soviet influence is rampant owing to the rapid expansion of the city during that epoch when its population increased 30-fold.