by Peter Bock-Schroeder (1913 - 2001)
Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Armenia was established in the 6th century BC, after the fall of Urartu; it became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in the early years of the 4th century (the traditional date is 301 AD). For this reason, Armenia is often referred to as the "first Christian nation". An Armenian principality and later a kingdom, known as Cilician Armenia, existed on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.
The native Armenian name for the country is Hayk’. The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Hayastan, by addition of the Iranian suffix -stan (place). The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk (Հայկ), the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, who, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region.
The photographs in this portfolio were taken by Peter Bock-Schroeder in 1956 during a Reportage of the USSR.