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St. Hripsime and St. Gayane Churches, Mother Cathedral of Holy Echmiadzin, “Treasures of Echmiadzin” Museum, Zvartnots Temple Top sights

0/5
Duration

4-5 hours

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

6 people

Languages

Armenian, English, Russian

Overview

 

This private tour is for 1 to 4 people. from 4 to 6 people.


Within this private tour you will have an opportunity to visit the spiritual center of Armenia – Echmiadzin, the sites of which are included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The first stops will be at the churches of St. Hripsime and St. Gayane, built in honor of the Christian martyrs who escaped from Rome led by their abbess Gayane. Afterwards there comes the key stop at the Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral – the main cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the very first Christian cathedral in the World. At the moment the cathedral is under reconstruction and, unfortunately, it can only be viewed from the outside. Not far from the Cathedral, the amazing “Treasures of Echmiadzin” museum is there to welcome you. The last stop of the tour is Zvartnots temple of 7th century, one of the tallest buildings of the time.

Itinerary

St. Hripsime Church
 St. Hripsime Church

Saint Hripsime Church (Armenian: Surb Hřip’simē yekeghetsi; sometimes Hripsimeh)[6][7] is a seventh century Armenian Apostolic church in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia. It is one of the oldest surviving churches in the country. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas to replace the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsime to whom the church is dedicated. The current structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other nearby churches, including Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Armenia's mother church, in 2000.

St. Gayane Church
St. Gayane Church

The Saint Gayane Church (Armenian pronounced Surb Gayane) is a 7th-century Armenian church in Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), the religious center of Armenia. It is located within walking distance from the Etchmiadzin Cathedral of 301. St. Gayane was built by Catholicos Ezra I in the year 630. Its design has remained unchanged despite partial renovations of the dome and some ceilings in 1652.

Gayane was the name of an abbess who was martyred with other nuns by Tiridates III of Armenia in the year 301, and subsequently made a saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church.[1][2]

In 2000, Saint Gayane Church was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with historical churches of Vagharshapat.[3]

Mother Cathedral of Holy Echmiadzin
Mother Cathedral of Holy Echmiadzin

Ejmiatsin Cathedral[C] (Armenian: romanized: Ēǰmiatsni mayr tačar) is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, located in the city of Vagharshapat (Ejmiatsin), Armenia.[D] According to most scholars it was the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia,[E] and is often considered the oldest cathedral in the world.[F]

"Treasures of Echmiadzin" Museum
 "Treasures of Echmiadzin" Museum

The Museum "Treasures of Echmiadzin" is situated in the southeast section of the Cathedral. Unique holy relics and religious art are now housed in the museum. Among the many treasures there are: the Holy Lance (Geghard), which pierced the side of Christ, housed in a silver reliquary; the relics of Noah's Ark in a reliquary that was created in 1698 and other valuable pieces of art. According to the history, the relic of Noah's Ark, was given to Patriarch St. Hakob (Jacob) of Mts'bna in the fourth century, as he desired to climb the peak of Mount Ararat to find Noah's Ark. After ascending the mountain, he fell asleep through the influence of God, and the angel of the Lord placed the reliquary of the Ark under his head. In a dream, the angel instructs St. Hakob to awaken, take the relic and descend from the mountain. In addition to the pieces displayed, during archaeological excavations, which were conducted due to renovation work of the Holy Altar, remnants of the original Holy Altar, founded by St. Gregory The Illuminator, dating back to 301-303 AD, were discovered.

Zvartnots Temple
Zvartnots Temple

(Armenian: literally 'celestial angels cathedral') is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643–652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) in Armavir Province of Armenia.

Included/Excluded

  • Comfortable car with an experienced driver
  • Food
  • Specialized experienced guide
  • We can provide photography services upon request
  • If desired, we can provide players
  • We can provide a lunch box upon request

Durations

3-5 hours
5-7 hours

Tour's Location

FAQs

Is the tour safe and comfortable?

For the safety and comfort of tourists the high quality buses with air conditioner, TV, comfortable seats, and first air supplies, are chosen. Thanks to the skilled drivers you will have no worries about the route.
The best hotels in each town are chosen for overnight.

What about the guide’s knowledge level?

The guide gives detailed information about the places of interests included in the tour.

Is the deviation from the route possible?

Tour is mainly organized according to the route. There may be exceptions only in case of agreement among the group members if there is a wish to visit the places not far from the route. Otherwise, visits to other places with the guide are possible to arrange with additional payment.

Where can I buy souvenirs?

Souvenirs can be purchased in Vernissage, which is located in the centre of Yerevan, near the Republic Square. Numerous traditonal and contemporary art exhibits are sold here. There are also many other souvenir shops on Abovyan and Tumanyan streets.

How good is Armenia for trekking/hiking tours?

If you are an adventurous, venturesome person and without any fears of risks, for you we offer tour packages which include adventure tours in Armenia. Armenia has favorable conditions for organizing hiking and trekking tours. The combination of natural resources together with cultural and historical places of interest is making our adventurous country more suitable for hiking and trekking lovers who appreciate the nature and active type of travel. By purchasing our travel packages, you will be able to take part in interesting and unique adventure tours, including hiking trips, mountain climbing, visits to caves, jeep tours and so on. This is a great opportunity to make your visit to Armenia and Yerevan unforgettable.

Where to go with children?

Are you planning a visit to Armenia with your family? Excellent! For a good rest with children there are plenty of options to choose from – many cafes and entertainment centers, a modern city zoo and aqua park with water attractions. In Armenia, there is a special attitude towards children, therefore, without any doubt, in any public institution all possible facilities will be offered to you for a comfortable (special highchair, "children's" menu, etc.).

Are touristic attractions open on public holidays?

Most of the touristic attractions are open on public holidays, unless some situations may not permit them to be open, such as a ceremony occurring there. Some places' opening times and days are fixed regardless of holidays. Therefore, before visiting anywhere its best to make sure that the place is open by asking the front desk of your hotel or a travel agency.

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