The most iconic churches and monasteries of Armenia
Armenia gratifies for being the first country to adopt Christianity back in 301AD.
The religion was initiated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the first century. Hence the splendid number of churches and monasteries in Armenia: more than 4000 churches! Of course, nobody will have the time to visit them all, although each one of them is worthy to be explored, so here’s a list of the most frequented churches in Armenia.
Khor Virap Monastery
Khor Virap is an iconic pilgrimage site that Armenians are very proud of. It is located near the Turkish border in the Ararat plain. The chapel is so sacred because that’s where the Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in Khor Virap, known as the Pit of Oblivion, for fourteen years without food or water. He has then become the religious mentor of the king Tiridates the Third. When you visit Khor Virap, you will have the chance to go down the pit and imagine what St. Gregory went through. You will also get the chance to take a glance of the symbolic Mount Ararat from there.
Located in Vagharshapad, Armavir province, Echmiadzin is the mother church of Armenia. The original chapel was built in the early fourth century which makes it the oldest cathedral of the world. As the main monument of Armenian Christians worldwide, Echmiadzin has been an important religious, political and cultural location visited by every tourist, even by those from a different religion. The Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin hosts also the chair of the Catholicos, the supreme head of the Armenian Church.