Yerevan has been the capital of Armenia since the independence of the First Republic in 1918. Situated in the Ararat plain, the historic lands of Armenia, it served as the best logical choice for capital of the young republic at the time.
Yerevan is home to dozens of museums, art galleries, and libraries. The most prominent of these are the National Gallery of Armenia, the History Museum of Armenia, the Cafesjian Museum of Art, the Matenadaran library of ancient manuscripts, and the Armenian Genocide museum. Others include the Modern Art Museum, the Children’s Picture Gallery, and the Martiros Saryan Museum. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening every year, featuring rotating exhibitions and sales.
Yerevan has an extensive nightlife scene with a variety of night clubs, live venues, street cafes, jazz cafes, tea houses, casinos, pubs, karaoke clubs and restaurants. Many cafés and restaurants stay open into the late hours as the warm summer evenings bring tourists to the relaxing cafes.