I think we all know that Armenia was the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301. Having a rich Christian past, Armenia is also rich in its churches and temples.
One of these architectural values is the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. It is located in the city of Vagharshapat, 20 km. from Capital Yerevan.
The cathedral was built in 301-303 by the first Armenian Catholicos, Gregory the Illuminator. The prehistory of the construction was the vision of Gregory, who had previously pondered where the main temple should be built. In the vision – “Jesus Christ, surrounded by heavenly forces, struck with a golden hammer at the place where the pagan temple was located”, thereby indicating the place of construction. The very name Etchmiadzin means “the descent of the only begotten”.
In the 5th century, the cathedral was rebuilt due to severe damage. Later, a bell tower and rotundas were added. In the 18th century. For 65 years, three generations of the Hovnatanyan family of artists were engaged in painting the temple with natural paints.
Etchmiadzin Cathedral is a very richly decorated temple, both outside and inside. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. On the territory of the monastery there is the residence of the Catholicos of All Armenians, a theological seminary, a book depository, as well as many interesting buildings and khachkars. Many significant Christian relics can be seen in the treasury museum.