In 2005, the Armenian alphabet celebrated its 1600th birthday. In commemoration, 39 large, carved Armenian letters were placed near the final resting place of the man who created the alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots. The place is known as the Park Of Letters and can’t be missed by anyone who is travelling towards Amberd Fortress.
When Mashtots began working on the Armenian alphabet, there was a lot of pressure on him, because the newly Christian kingdom needed a Bible in its own language. Elegantly planned, Mashtots laid out the structure of the alphabet around the religion. He made the first letter A, which was the first letter in the word Astvats, or God, and the last letter K’, which began the word K’ristos, Christ. He then added the intervening 34 letters and his system has been used ever since, aside from the addition of 3 more letters.
The Armenian architect, J. Torosyan, created the stone carvings of all 39 letters and set them against the backdrop of modern Armenia’s highest mountain, Mt. Aragats. The letters and statue of Mashtots pay tribute to this complex and unique language, a source of pride for Armenia.