11 March, 2018 Armavir Region 2886 Views

Echmiatzin / Vagharshapat

Territory:                                      44 km2
Population:                                  56,000 Persons
Distance from capital/Yerevan:   18 km
Height of above sea level:           850 m 
The main branches of economy: industry, agriculture

Armenian Vatican with UNESCO Churches
The holy City Echmiadzin is the 4th largest city of Armenia. It is the spiritual and administrative center of The Armenian Apostolic Church, the so-called Armenian Vatican and the Pontifical Residence of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Echmiatzin City is the most popular destination in Armenia. The Mother Cathedral dates back to 303, and along with the 4th-7th cc. Guyaneh (also spelled "Gayane") and Hripsimeh ("Hripsime") martyria and churches, it is the pre-eminent pilgrimage destination for 9 million Armenians worldwide as well as for the tourists.
The Cathedral of Etchmiadzin, the Churches of Saint Hripsimé, Saint Gayane and Saint Shoghakat, together with the archaeological site of Zvartnots are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Legend
The city is named in fact Vagharshapat but generally referred to as Echmiadzin, which translates to "the Descent of the Only-Begotten [Son of God]." According to the legend Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator had a vision of Jesus Christ descending from heaven and striking the earth with a golden hammer to show where the cathedral should be built. Hence, the patriarch gave the church the name of Etchmiadzin. 

In the V century after the invention of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots opened the first Armenian school. The first Armenian book was printed in Vagharshapat, here opened the spiritual high school - Gevorgyan Seminary, and established the paper mill. 

Residence of Catholico
In the 1447 the residence of Catholicos from Sis moved to Vagharshapat. Currently there are 4 churches and the S. Astvatsatsin church. 

Economy
The city has a developed industry, electrical equipment, food industry companies. 
The main branch of economy is agriculture: wine-growing, fruit-growing, vegetable growing as well as cattle breeding. 

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