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Prehistoric Scratchpad

A church in Armenia that is considered the world's first Cathedral and the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church.


1000 AD[]

The church was in general disrepair, with the center of Armenian Christianity being elsewhere.

Earlier History[]

  • The original church as built around 302 by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. It replaced a pre-existing temple.
  • The core of the current building was build in 483 after the cathedral was severely damaged in a Persian invasion.
  • The seat of the Catholicos was moved from here in the second half of the fifth century.

Later History[]

  • The church was restored as catholicostate in 1441.
  • During the Soviet era, it was the only church to not have been seized by the Communist government in Armenia.

Modern History[]

  • The church was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.


The church is presently the seat of the Catholicos.

Etchmiadzin Cathedral Web Pages[]

Etchmiadzin Cathedral In the News[]



Virtual Tourism[]

Related Pages[]