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History of Armenia in the early 1900s

Armenia stands today as a result of its unwavering determination in the face of immense challenges. However, achieving independence was not an easy triumph, following the mass massacre in 1915-1918, known as the Armenian Genocide, which occurred during World War I in the Ottoman Empire. After the fall of the Zakarian Dynasty in the 13th century, Armenians lived within the territories of the Ottoman Empire, Persia, and the Russian Empire. One particular event stands out in the history of Armenia as a struggle for nationhood—the Battle of Sardarapat, which took place from May 21st to 29th, 1918, in the small village of Sardarapat. This battle holds a special place in Armenian history, symbolising courage, unity, and the unconquerable spirit that led to the birth of an independent Armenia.
Republic Day is an important national holiday in Armenia that celebrates the founding of the First Armenian Republic in 1918. 

Historical remark

The Battle of Sardarapat, which took place during World War I, holds great significance in the history of Armenia. It was a central event in the defense of the Armenian population and played a crucial role in shaping the future of Armenia.

In 1918, during the final stages of World War I, the Caucasus front was highly unstable. The crumbling Ottoman Empire sought to reclaim its lost territories, including western Armenia, which had a sizable Armenian population. The Ottoman forces launched a major offensive with the intention of capturing Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

In response to this threat, Armenian volunteer units and the regular Armenian military forces organized a unified defense. The Battle of Sardarapat, fought from May 21 to May 29, 1918, was one of the key engagements in this defensive effort.

Sardarapat, a strategic location in the western part of nowadays Armenia, was chosen as the primary defensive position. The Armenian forces, led by General Movses Silikyan, faced off against the Ottoman army under the command of Vehib Pasha. Armenian military figures, commanders, and leaders, demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, strategic thinking, and bravery during the Battle of Sardarapat. Their contributions were instrumental in ensuring the resilience and ultimate victory of the Armenian forces.

Legacy and Commemoration

The Battle of Sardarapat holds a significant place in Armenian history. It remains a cherished and honored event in Armenia, ensuring that the sacrifices and achievements of the past are not forgotten and continue to inspire present and future generations.
Here are some ways in which the Battle of Sardarapat is commemorated and honored in Armenia today:      

  1. Sardarapat Memorial Complex: The Sardarapat Memorial Complex, located near the village of Araks in Armenia, stands as a solemn tribute to the battle. It includes a museum that showcases artifacts, exhibits, and historical information related to the battle, allowing visitors to learn about its significance and the sacrifices made by Armenian soldiers.
  2. Annual Commemorative Events: Each year on May 28th, Armenians observe the anniversary of the Battle of Sardarapat with commemorative events. These events typically include wreath-laying ceremonies, speeches by political leaders, cultural performances, and exhibitions. 
  3.  Cultural Expressions: The battle’s memory finds expression in various forms of art, literature, and music. Artists, writers, and composers have created works inspired by the Battle of Sardarapat, showcasing the indomitable spirit and heroism of the Armenian defenders.

The Battle of Sardarapat became an integral part of the history of Armenia, inspiring future generations to cherish their identity and protect Armenian culture.

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About the author

Rima’s background is in intercultural communications and she was very quickly integrated into the tourism industry. She loves communication with travelers, and cultural interaction, where she learns much and shares a lot of knowledge about Armenia. She discovered her true passion in the world of tourism. She loves exploring new hidden corners of Armenia and Georgia and sharing those experiences with others. The best knowledge comes with experience and she is happy to continue her journey of exploration, learning, and sharing. During the quick times in the office when she doesn’t have groups, she writes articles that she believes help many travelers who are planning their trip to Armenia and Georgia.