"Ejmiatsin, the Religous Center of Armenia" Ejmiatsin by RedEaredPanda

Ejmiatsin Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 83 photos

Ejmiatsin became the spiritual center for Armenia's Christians shortly after the country's conversion in the early 4th century from pagans to Christians.

The Armenians are the first people to accept Christianity as a nation. Many stories hold how Ejmiatsin became the center for Christians in Armenia and I will write the most widely told tale from the books and the stories. According to many books, one in particular, the History of the Armenians written in about 460 by Agathangelos, St Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which the heavens opened and a blaze of light shone upon the earth. Through the light, a procession of angels came down to the earth headed by the tall and glorious figure of Christ. Carrying a golden hammer, he came down to the ground and struck it three times with the hammer. There instantly arose a circular base of gold and a tall column of fire with a capital of cloud and cross of light. Similar visions appeared at three other sites where Hripsime and Gayane and another of their companions were martyred. The columns transformed themselves into churches covered by clouds whose shape was that of a cupola. After the visions faded Gregory founded the monastary of Ejmiatsin (Descent of the Only Begotten) on the spot where Christ had struck the hammer. In reality, the monastary was founded, like many others in Armenia, on the site of a pagan temple whose altar can still be visited.

Thousands of people visit Ejmiatsin each year to visit the cathedral and the other two famous monastaries in the city of Ejmiatsin. The pope of Italy visited the Monastary of Ejmiatsin I believe a couple of years ago. There are many students who study to become priests and Katholikos at the theology school in Monastary of Ejmiatsin. One of whom is a family of our gave us a special tour of the monastary which many tourists don't get to experience. We were fortunate to see him perfrom the sunday mass when we were in Armenia and in Ejmiatsin.

  • Last visit to Ejmiatsin: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated Nov 20, 2004
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Reviews (12)

Comments (8)

  • Basaic's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    Great Page. Great Tips.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2006 at 7:46 AM

    Such a history! One day we'll get to Armenia. Thanks for another lovely page leyle

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2005 at 12:37 AM

    I never entered St Hripsime Church. When I arrived there was a wedding going on and the church was full. I waited but before one service was over people for a new wedding arrived. Great tips Rafi and Christine!

  • masc4s's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2005 at 7:36 AM

    Excellent overview of a place not often visited, Ejmiatsin. Superb photo's. Thanks for sharing!

  • MITNIC's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2005 at 1:37 AM

    Very good pics and interesting info about a place I hardly know... Very good work my friends!

  • aussiedoug's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2005 at 4:04 AM

    What a fascinating intro' then followed by equally fascinating tips, very helpful & highly informative. Thanks my friend.

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2004 at 5:26 AM

    I never knew much about Armenia, and have never heard of Ejmiatsin, so it was a learning experience reading about your travels there and some of the historical information you provided.

  • hassan_abu's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2004 at 8:25 PM

    Hmm... I must put Komitas as one of the places to visit..

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