Tour to Holy Echmiadzin, Armenia


Echmiadzin is the holy centre of Armenians – the first Christian nation. Besides that Echmiadzin monastery is the first Christian cathedral in the world. Let’s discover more about this heavenly spot.

Echmiadzin Armenia history

People have lived in Echmiadzin since ancient times. The earliest written information about Echmiadzin belongs to the king of Van (Ararat), Rusa B (about 685-645 BC). According to Zvartnots cuneiform inscription, the territory of Echmiadzin was called Kuarlini, where Rusa II channelled from the River Ildaruni (Hrazdan).

One century later, during the reign of King Yervand Saqavakyats (570-560 BCE), his son Vardges Manuk, in the same area, near the shores of the hills and on the coast of Kasagh River, built a large settlement and called it Vardgesavan.

During the reign of Tigran the Great (95-55 BC), the settlement became a commercial town.

The significance of the city is increasing especially after the declaration of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia (301).

The origin of the name Echmiadzin   

Agatangeghos wrote that Grigor Lusavorich (Gregory the Illuminator) saw a vision where Jesus Christ was descending. The name Echmiadzin is translated as “the descending of the only son of God” where “Ech” stands for descending and “miadzin” is the only son of mighty God.

Echmiatsin Monastery

The holy place is divided into three parts: the first area includes the Mother Cathedral of Echmiatsin and St Gayane Church. The area is about 30.2 ha and the 18.8 ha belongs to the Mother See of Echmiatsin and 11.4 ha belongs to the community of Echmiatsin City.

The second area is for St Hripsime Church and St Shoghakat Church. This area is about 25.3 ha.

The third area includes the archaeological site of Zvartnots, with the ruins of the temple, Catholicos Palace and other places, and it is about 18.8 ha.

UNESCO World Heritage List

Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. These amazing structures show the evolution and of the Armenian cross-hall type of church, there was the first influence on the architectural and artistic development of Armenia.

The first Christian church in the world

While speaking about the first Christian church, we should mention that the earliest domed church is the Cathedral of Echmiatsin, which was built in AD 301-303 by King Trdat III (Tiridates) and St Gregory the Illuminator (Grigor Lusavorich).

Tour to Echmiadzin

Gardman Tour is ready to show you the hidden spirit of Armenia: let’s visit Echmiadzin together and let’s discover the first Christian church together! Unforgettable memories and amazing sights are a must! For more information about the tours feel free to contact us.

Gardman Tour, 20.11.2018