Echmiadzin Monastery, Vagharshapat

#1 of 8 in Things to do in Vagharshapat
Visit the birthplace of Christianity in Armenia at Echmiadzin Monastery, a World Heritage-listed cathedral built by the country's patron saint. Gregory the Illuminator completed the Christian Apostolic cathedral in 303, symbolizing Armenia's transformation from a predominantly pagan country to a Christian one. Believed to be the oldest cathedral in the world, it remains active as the headquarters of the Apostolic Church. Admire the building's austere facade, adorned with several Greek inscriptions, and step inside to view the 18th-century frescoes that decorate the interior walls. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Echmiadzin Monastery and many more Vagharshapat attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Vagharshapat holiday planner.
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148 reviews
  • August 15, 2017
    This site is believed to be the oldest church in Christendom. It was built in 303 by St. Gregory the illuminator and its name means "the only begotten descended". It was restructured in the 5th century, acquiring the shape of a cross visible today. A bell tower was added in the 17th century. This Cathedral is the seat of the Patriarch (the head) of the Armenian Church said Catholicos and is a clear and shining example of art and architecture of this ancient religion. Was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2000. Entry is free, there are souvenir shops (a little pricey though) and above all very faithful movement. The visit to this place is really essential, however, being out of town, I recommend you do it with a ensuite taxi that will allow you to see other places of interest. If this opinion there has been useful please press It at the bottom of the text, thanks. Diego.
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  • August 10, 2017
    I was informed that this place is not interesting, while after visit I think it is. It always interesting see how people manage power and celebrate it. Compared to Vatican this is only crumbs, but eve...  more »
  • July 28, 2017
    For culturally interested people a half-day trip out of Yerevan to the three churches of Echmiadzin (Mayr Tachar Cathedral, St. Hripsine, St.Gayane) as well as to the Archaeological Site of Zvarnots i...  more »
  • July 9, 2017
    Sundays morning mass is extremely well rehearsed includes Gregorian chanting and Gregorian spiritual prayers. Great experience for everyone, no exceptions.
  • July 13, 2017
    This huge complex is the center of the Armenian Church. The main church was built between the years 301-303. Spend a few hours here, wander around, and make sure to visit the museum.
  • May 27, 2017
    Spiritual Center of Armenia. There's a completely different atmosphere.
  • August 1, 2016
    The holiest site for the Armenians throughout the World. According to the legend, the stones were brought from Ararat. They were brought here on the shoulders of Tiridates III, the first Christian king of Armenia. It was built in 303 A.D. The inside of the church is covered with beautiful, lavish ornaments. Also, there is a cool museum inside. P.S. try to find the scorpion at the entrance of the church. And also, the locals say that the face of Genghis Khan is depicted on the dome of the church (so the church wouldn't be destroyed by the Mongols).
  • May 27, 2017
    Nice cathedral complex with gardens.

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