Etchmiadzin

Cathedral

This is the main cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the seat of the Catholicos of All Armenians (303-484, 1441-present).

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St. Hripsimeh Church

Central dome churches were first founded in early middle ages in Armenia and became popular in the 7th century. St. Hripsimeh is considered the finest example with four apses, side niches and corner chambers.

It was commissioned in 618 by Catholicos Komitas I Aghtsetsi atop the 4th c. mausoleum of the martyred virgin saint Hrip­simeh. Catholicos Philippos I Aghbaketsi had the church renovated between the years 1651-1653.

Later in 1776 it was surrounded by a brick wall and crownwork, the bell tower was added to the western facade in 1890, the eastern and the southern polished-stone walls, the monastic residence building and other structures in the courtyard were built in 1894.

The church underwent some other renovations in 1898. The archeological excavations later uncovered burials dated to pagan and early Christian periods, as well as a single-nave church with a pentagonal altar going back to early middle ages.

Rectangular on its outside, the church is central-dome cruciform inside. The cross-shaped composition comes from the four apses and corner niches leading to the annexes in four corners of the church. 

St. Hripsimeh cathedral is remarkable for its 10,1 m wide thylobate and flanking towers on which the dome rests, as well as graceful  transitions up to the dome calotte which convey additional expressiveness to the monument. St. Hripsimeh is a perfect combination of earthquake resistance construction techniques and architectural patterns. 

In 2000 it was listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites with the name “Cathedral and Churches of Etchmiadzin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots”. 

           

 


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  •  

    Ticket price Locals: 500 AMD; Foreigners: 1500 AMD

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    How to reach From Yerevan take M5 highway and drive 21.4 km to north west and you will reach the Etchmiadzin. The trip will take approximately 25 minutes.

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