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Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked, mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. <br> <br>A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is a unitary, multiparty, democratic nation-state with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its religion, in the early years of the 4th century (the traditional date is 301 AD). <br> <br>The modern Republic of Armenia recognizes the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment. <br> <br>Armenians have their own unique alphabet invented by Mesrob Mashtots in 405 AD. <br> <br>The climate in Armenia is markedly continental. Summers are dry and sunny, lasting from June to mid-September. The temperature fluctuates between 22 and 36 C (72 and 97 F). However, the low humidity level mitigates the effect of high temperatures. Evening breezes blowing down the mountains provide a welcome refreshing and cooling effect. <br> <br>Springs are short, while falls are long. Autumns are known for their vibrant and colorful foliage. <br> <br>Winters are quite cold with plenty of snow, with temperatures ranging between -10 and -5 C (14 and 23 F). Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy skiing down the hills of Tsakhkadzor, located thirty minutes outside Yerevan. Lake Sevan, nestled up in the Armenian highlands, is the second largest lake in the world relative to its altitude, at 1,900 metres above sea level.
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