Armenia, first country in the world which adopted Christianity as a state religion in 301 CE, has a mysterious history and culture. Vagharshapat, which is usually known as Echmiadzin city, is located about 20 km west of Yerevan. It has a mysterious story behind : The Saint Gregory illuminator, who was one of the first Christians, had a dream in which Jesus Christ descended from the Heaven and pointed the place where to erect the church. So, in 301 The Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin founded by Trdat King III. But before becoming a Christian he was a pagan and he ordered to kill the Christians. Among them were girls named Hripsime, Gayane and Shogokat who stood up for their faith. And, according to the legend, in the names of them were built the churches - the Saint Hripsime Church, Saint Gayane Church and Saint Shokogat Church.
Need to mention that except of those churches, there is also Saint Mariam Church.
Today it is proud to say that Echmiadzin is the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church, with the residence of the patriarch inside the city. In 2000, the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin was included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List.
Nowadays, Tours to Armenia always include Echmiadzin as one of the main destinations for visiting to Armenia.
Dont miss this two lovely place when you do your Armenia Tour.
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