Excursion to Etchmiadzin - st. Gayane and Hripsime Churches - Zvartnots cathedral
The length of the program 4-5 hours, excluding lunch stop (optionals, not included in the price)
You can choose any convenient travel dates. The trips are available all year round.
We have no prepayment. You can make payment in travel day. Entrance fees are to be paid by yourself.
Our employees will meet you / pick you up at the place of residence (for example in hotel, hostel or private flat), and at the end of a trip will bring you back!
Echmiadzin or Vagharshapat is a city in the Armavir region of Armenia, one of the most significant cultural and religious centers of the country.
Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin). According to most scholars it was the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia, and is often considered the oldest cathedral in the world.
The original church was built in the early fourth century - between 301 and 303 according to tradition-by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. It was built over a pagan temple, symbolizing the conversion from paganism to Christianity. The core of the current building was built in 483-484 by Vahan Mamikonian after the cathedral was severely damaged in a Persian invasion. From its foundation until the second half of the fifth century, Etchmiadzin was the seat of the Catholicos, the supreme head of the Armenian Church.
Saint Gayane Church
The Church of Saint Gayane is a 7th-century church, the religious center of Armenia. It is located within walking distance from the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. Saint Gayane Church sits on the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in the year 301 AD.
St. Gayane was built by Catholicos Ezra I in the year 630. Its design has remained unchanged despite partial renovations of the dome and some ceilings in 1652.
An airy, triple-arched portico was added to the western façade of the church in 1683 as the burial place for prominent Armenian clergymen.
Frescos of clergymen adorn niches along the interior walls of the portico while saints are depicted on the fresco of the tympanum above the main door.
In 2000, Saint Gayane Church was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with historical churches of Vagharshapat.
Saint Hripsime Church
Saint Hripsime Church was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other nearby churches, including Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Armenia's mother church, in 2000. It is one of the oldest surviving churches in the country.
After conversion to Christianity in 301, Tiridates and Gregory the Illuminator built a martyrium dedicated to Hripsime at the location of her martyrdom, which was half buried underground.
The new church was erected by Catholicos Komitas to replace the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsime. The current structure was completed in 618 AD.
It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since.
Hripsime, along with the abbess Gayane and thirty-two unnamed nuns, are traditionally considered the first Christian martyrs in Armenia's history. They were persecuted, tortured, and eventually killed by king Tiridates III of Armenia.
Zvartnots Cathedral is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses III (nicknamed Shinogh or the Builder). Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin).
Dedicated to St. Gregory, it was located at the place where a meeting between King Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place. The cathedral was consecrated in 652.
Zvartnots remained standing until the end of the 10th century. How it collapsed is still debated, though most argues for one of two theories; earthquake, or as a result of Arab raids.
The site was excavated between 1901 and 1907 under the direction of vardapet Khachik Dadian, who uncovered the foundations of the cathedral. The excavations furthermore revealed that Zvartnots stood on the remnants of structures that dated back to the reign of [Urartian]] king Rusa II.
Most scholars accept the 1905 reconstruction by Toros Toramanian, who worked on the original excavations and proposed that the building had three floors. Zvartnots was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000 together with churches in Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin).
Armenia is a country to fall in love with!
The price of group and individual day trips
(The price is given per vehicle, regardless of the number of participants)
Price without a guide
up to 7 pers.
Price with a guide
up to 7 pers.
What is included in the tour price?
What is not included in the tour price?
If you still have questions about the tour organization in Armenia, then it is very easy to contact us! You can order a call on the website, send an email or just SMS. We will get back to you shortly
(+374 91) 01 56 60 (Viber, Whatsapp)