Armenia is a unitary, multi–party, democratic nation–state with an ancient cultural heritage. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Armenian music is a mix of indigenous folk music, perhaps best–represented by Djivan Gasparyan's well–known duduk music, as well as light pop, and extensive Christian music. Instruments like the duduk, the dhol, the zurna, and the kanun are commonly found in Armenian folk music.
Armenia’s long history as a crossroads of the ancient world has resulted in a landscape with innumerable fascinating archaeological sites to explore. Medieval, Iron Age, Bronze Age and even Stone Age sites are all within a few hours drive from the city. All but the most spectacular remain virtually undiscovered, allowing visitors to view churches and fortresses in their original settings.