Echmiadzin Cathedral is the Mother Church of all the Armenian Apostolic churches. It is the most important and significant church in the country and even outside of it, for almost all of those who live in Armenian diaspora. The cathedral was built in 301-303 right after the Kingdom of Armenia under the rule of Tiridates III became the first country in the World to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Vahan Mamikonyan built the basis of the modern building in 484. From its very foundation Echmiadzin Cathedral has been the seat of the Catholicos (head of the Armenian Church). In 2000 the Cathedral was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This memorial complex is located in the Armavir province of Armenia, 11 kilometers southwest of Armavir town, at the exact place where the famous Battle of Sardarapat took its place. The memorial and the adjoining park were built in 1968, on the 50th anniversary of the battle. Two large statues of the oxen made of red Armenian tufa are placed the entrance of the memorial. The steps are leading to the square with 26-meter high bell tower with its twelve bells. The bells ring every year on the day of the victory.
Vagharshapat (officially known as Echmiadzin in period from 1945 to 1995) is the fourth largest city in Armenia. It is located only 18 kilometers away from Yerevan, in Armavir province of the country. Vagharshapat is the religious heart of Armenia, a spiritual center for millions of Armenians around the world. The city is full of beautiful monuments and outstanding churches such as the Etchmiadizn Cathedral, The Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin complex, Surb Hripsime church, Surb Gayane church and Zvartnots Cathedral.
Zvartnots Cathedral was built in 643-652 A.D. by the order of Armenian Catholicos Nerses the Builder. It is believed that the Byzantine emperor Constans II attended the consecration of the cathedral and was so impressed with it, that he wished to build a copy of Zvartnots in Constantinople. Another, very close, copy of it was built in Ani during the reign of Gagik I Bagratuni. Original cathedral remained standing until the very end of 10th century when most of it was ruined by the earthquake.