Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Museum "Treasures of Etchmiadzin", Churches of St. Hripsime and St. Gayane
In the very heart of Vagharshapat – one of the most significant cultural and religious centers of Armenia, like the Vatican in the center of Rome – the Holy Mother See of Etchmiadzin is located. It is not only the spiritual capital of the Armenians but also the first Christian church in the world! As you know, in 301 Armenia was the first in the world to proclaim Christianity as the state religion, and in the same year, the foundation stone of the future temple was laid during the reign of King Trdat III.
Zvartnots temple can be found in the Ararat Valley, 3 kilometers south of Vagharshapat. It was built in the years 641-1661and was included in the list of World Cultural Values in 1989.
On the southern slope of the highest mountain in modern Armenia, Mount Aragats, facing the Ararat Valley, there is a fortress-castle Amberd, which was in the Middle Ages the ancestral possession of the Armenian princes of Pahlavuni. In 1026, at the behest of the famous military commander Vahram Pahlavuni, one of the best churches in its noble elegance was built in the fortress, on a harsh cliff.