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Zvartnots Tours in Armenia - Noyantour
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Echmiadzin

Echmiadzin, which means the «The Descent of the Only Begotten Son», is an ancient capital of Armenia. According to legend, Jesus Christ descended from heaven and indicated the spot for a church to be built. Holy Echmiadzin Cathedral was erected at that site in the 4th century (301-303), at the dawn of the Christian conversion of the country by King Trdat III and Saint Gregory the Illuminator. The Cathedral was built on top of the pagan temple of Vagharshapat, after it was destroyed by King Trdat. Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion. Echmiadzin is the residence of the Supreme Catholicos of all Armenians and the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Every seven years, the rite of blessing of holy chrism is held here; thousands of believers come to Echmiadzin as pilgrims from different parts of the world for this ceremony.

Zvartnots Cathedral
Zvartnots (meaning celestial angels) is a ruined seventh century circular Armenian cathedral built by order of the Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 641-653. It is located about 15 kilometers west of Yerevan, at the edge of the town of Echmiadzin, in the Armenian province of Armavir. Zvartnots was built at a time when much of Armenia was found under Byzantine control and during the early invasions of Armenia by the Muslim Arabs. Zvartnots remained buried until its remains were uncovered at the start of the 20th Century. The site was excavated between 1901 and 1907 under the direction of Vardapet Khachik Dadyan, uncovering the foundations of the cathedral as well as the remains of the Catholicos palace and a winery. The excavations furthermore revealed that Zvartnots stood on the remnants of structures that dated back to the reign of the Urartian King Rusa II. Both Churches in Echmiadzin and Zvartnots were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000. A drawing of the cathedral was depicted on the first issue of 100 AMD banknotes and its model can be seen in the Museum of History in Yerevan.



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