Armenia is “a country of yelling stones.” These are the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam’s words about Armenia. It is the most beautiful description expressing the whole charm of a land where things have soul. This is how the Italian journalist Francesco Castellini shares his impressions about a visit to Armenia in an article published on the website of the journal Giornale dell’ Umbria .
“Four hour’s flight from Italy to Armenia. That country’s history and beauty will live in my memory forever. Armenia is an oasis between the East and the West,” the journalist writes.
It is a magic world where the history has penetrated even into the wrinkles, where everyone retains their unique identity. It is a splendid place. The people there were able to protect their cultural and religious heritage throughout centuries; this is how the Italian journalist describes Armenia and the Armenians.
Castellini highlights that Armenia is the only Christian country in the middle of “the Muslim world”. Its pride is expressed in the architecture, in its art and music.
“Many people say it is not easy to leave Armenia, still, it is even more difficult not to come back. Certainly, those who dip into this extraordinary atmosphere, are caught in a trap, for once you are there the feeling of nostalgia remains with you forever,” the Italian journalist writes.
He describes Armenia as a treasury of natural beauty, spirituality, mystique. There is space for everything in the 30 thousand square kilometers of Armenia – wild and high mountains, a big lake with hospitable coasts, mysterious plains where the stones are placed so precisely that the locals were able to be the first to study the stars and constellations.
“This is the land, where, as the Biblical tradition has it, Eden Garden is situated. Even Ararat and contour of Noah’s Ark can be seen from this land on sunny days. An assortment of beautiful, magnificent and original landscapes – khachkars, crosses engraved on stones, have these all like embroidery on tufa. It is a small country of enormous impressions. This is what all the travelers say,” the traveler journalist admires.
The Armenians’ legendary kindness, friendliness and generosity were not left unnoticed by the journalist. All the difficulties they were forced to suffer throughout the centuries to survive, the evil, the misfortunes around them, the mass killings were not able to spoil and stain the Armenians’ soul.
The author stresses that there were many who tried to wipe the Armenian people off the face of the Earth, yet no one could do that. The distinctive character, values, traditions, they remain in memory, in what happened, in what it saw. “So no one must forget the Armenian Genocide that almost exterminated them, the tragedy which marked the border between ‘before’ and ‘after’ with indelible blood,” Castellini writes.
He also appreciated the exclusively unique and original architecture in Armenia. The architectural solutions of the artisans and architects contributed to the construction of such earthquake resistant buildings in the 5th and 6th centuries that arise admiration even today. “And the churches stand as evidence of the deep religious feelings of these people,” the author writes. Besides, Armenia is the country of lavash, dances, folk music and the penetrating sounds of duduk.
The authors ends his article with the moment his plane landed in Yerevan airport Zvartnots. He describes it as angels’ dwelling-place that opens its doors for the newcomers into a mysterious and fascinating world, where everyone can discover something new for them.
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