Etchmiadzin (Vagharshapat)is a day’s trip from Armenia. This small town is historically rich and also called the theological capital of Armenia. There are 5 churches here, all can be covered in 4 hours. The complex has a beautiful flower garden, a perfect view of Mount Ararat, many Kachkars, and is very calm and serene. I enjoyed walking around, surrounded by 2000 years old history.
Entrance of Etchmiadzin Cathedral Complex
Massive classic Armenian style carving of the King Tiridates III greeting Gregory the Illuminator is seen at the entrance of Cathedral. The buses coming from Yerevan also stop here at the gate. You can buy the ticket at the entrance.
Gayane Cathedral was constructed in the honour of Saint Gayane in the 7th century and presently used for various ceremonies by locals.
When I visited, Etchmiadzin cathedral was under renovation, all the visitors were taking photos from outside. Other churches here are Hripsime, Shoghakat, and Astvatsatsin, all have unique and beautiful Armenian styles of architecture from the 7th century.
Zvartnots (literally Celestial Angled) Cathedral is breathtakingly picturesque. Mount Ararat in the backdrop, this 7th-century church is a masterpiece. It’s 4 km from Vagharshapat(Etchmiadzin), open on all days except Sundays between 10 AM to 5 PM. You can take a bus or taxi from Yerevan or Etchmiadzin to reach here.
Agape Refectory Restaurant inside Etchmiadzin Complex
Don’t miss visiting classic and elegant restaurant Agape Refectory in the complex, welcoming customer from the 17th Century.