Holy City of Echmiatsin

The City of Echmiatsin is the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is where the Catholicos of All Armenians lives, and the location of the Echmiatsin Cathedral.

The word "Echmiatsin" means ‘the Only Begotten descended’, and the cathedral was built on the very spot Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) dreamt Jesus Himself descended from heaven to show him where He wanted the church to be built. It is a scenic place to visit. It is a traditional Armenian design with a belfry and a number of rotundas. Most of the exterior is plain until you make it around to the entrance which is intricately carved and very beautiful.

"Mother Temple"  is the oldest and the most beautiful church in Armenia. Within the church there is the Manukian Museum, which contains ancient khatchkars (cross-stones) and religious monuments. The old pagan altar, over which the cathedral was built, can be viewed by entering a small room at the rear of the building. It represents a great interest to tourists from all over the world. The architectural style of the temple became very famous also in other countries.


Besides the "Mother Temple" there are other popular churches in Echmiadzin representing Armenian national architecture: they are St. Hripsime, St. Gayane, Grigor the Illuminator, which are of great interest to tourists who are interested in Armenia and its religion. Echmiadzin was once called to be "Armenian Rome". Echmiadzin is not a usual place, where you can walk and pass away, this is a huge monument of civilization common to all mankind.

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