Why to start exploring Armenia from Echmiadzin?
Echmiadzin is a small spiritual center of Armenia where the world-famous the Holy Echmiadzin Cathedral is situated.
Besides, Echmiadzin is the fourth largest and one of the oldest cities in Armenia and this is where the Catholicos of all Armenians lives.
The city is located in Armavir province of the country which is 20 km west of Yerevan and it takes about 30 minutes of ride by minibus.
Many tourists come to see this marvelous green city with its amazing churches and learn more of the Armenian history and religion.
Especially on the weekends the churches and the streets of the town are full of people, both local inhabitants and tourists from every corner of the world.
The heart of Echmiadzin is the Holy Echmiadzin Cathedral which was built by the Gregory Illuminator in 301-303. The word Echmiadzin means the coming of the only-begotten.
According to a legend he had a vision of Christ who descended and stroke the earth with a golden hammer to show where the cathedral should be built. And Echmiadzin church was built at that exact place. The wooden dome of the church was replaced with a stone one in 618.
The church is not very big but it’s very beautiful and cosy. The area of the church is also wonderful. There’s a long park where you can stroll down, enjoying the fresh air and the green.
Also you can find a museum and a shop in the church yard where you can buy traditional Armenian souvenirs.
Besides the Holy Cathedral, I would also advise you to see the church of St.Gayane, St.Hripsime and Saint Shoghakat which are not far from the Holy Echmiadzin Cathedral.
You can start from St.Gayane and then go to other churches on foot.
I can assure you’ll be impressed by this little spiritual city with lots of churches, green parks and beautiful sights.
By Diana Davoyan | Aenigmatica.blogspot.com