The city of Echmiadzin is the cultural and religious center of Armenia, located 20 km west of Yerevan. The city was founded in the 2nd century BC. Later, at the beginning of the 2nd century AD The King of Great Armenia Vagharshak the 1st (117-140) built his capital at this place, and named it after himself Vagharshapat.

Armenia is the first country in the world that adopted Christianity as its state religion in 301 AD. And since then, Echmiadzin has become a holy place for all believers: the cultural, spiritual and civilizational heart of the country. According to the legend, St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Catholicos of all Armenians had a prophetic vision in this city once: Christ came down from heaven and pointed with a golden hammer to the place where the church should be built. So in 301, Tsar Trdat the 3rd founded the Cathedral of Mother See - Echmiadzin, which means “the Descent of the Only-Begotten” from the Armenian language, it is one of the oldest in world history. Subsequently, in 1945, the city itself was renamed in honor of the temple.


Today, Etchmiadzin is the core pillar of the Armenian Apostolic Church, it houses the residence of the Patriarch. In 1992, the ancient name Vagharshapat was officially returned to the city, but many still use the former name. In 2000, the Mother See was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During the excursion to Echmiadzin, in addition to the cathedral, you will also see the church of St. Hripsime (7c named Martyr Hripsime, who was tortured and killed for refusing to marry Trdat III), St. Gayane (in 630 named Martyr Gayane, which was killed for spreading of Christianity) and the museum "Treasures of Etchmiadzin", which presents unique holy relics.

If you are interested in the culture, history and religion of this country, you should definitely visit the small town of Etchmiadzin in order to truly feel the ancient spirit of Armenian people.