Armenia, Cathedral and Churches of Etchmiadzin
Etchmiadzin Cathedral – is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church. According to scholars it was the first church built in ancient Armenia, and is considered the oldest cathedral in the world
Etchmiadzin, which means the «The Descent of the Only Begotten Son» is an ancient capital of Armenia. According to legend, Jesus Christ descended from heaven and indicated the spot for a church to be built. Holy Ejmiatsin Cathedral was erected at that site in the 4th century (301-303), at the dawn of the Christian conversion of the country by King Trdat III and Saint Gregory the Illuminator.
Saint Hripsime Church
Saint Hripsime Church is a seventh century Armenian Apostolic church in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia. It is one of the oldest surviving churches in the country. The legend has it that the church was built by Armenian King Tiridates and Saint Grigor Lusavorich (Gregory the Illuminator) in the place where Saint Hripsime was martyred. It was ruined by Persians in the fifth century and a new one was later built by Catholicos Sahak Partev. With the long construction period the church was eventually founded by Catholicos Komitas I Aghtsetsi.
Saint Gayane Church
The Church of Saint Gayane is a 7th-century Armenian church in Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), the religious center of Armenia. Gayane was the name of an abbess who was martyred with other nuns by Tiridates III of Armenia in the year 301, and subsequently made a saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 2000, Saint Gayane Church was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with historical churches of Vagharshapat.