Echmiadzin, founded as Vargarsapat in AD 117 and once the capital of Armenia, is the center of an agricultural area renowned for its fruit and wine. But it is better known as the spiritual center of Armenia and the seat of its Catholicos, or Patriarch. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, it is also an important place of pilgrimage for Christian Armenians from the world over. It was here that St. Gregory the Illuminator had a vision of Christ descending to earth, and the Cathedral at Echmiadzin was built on the spot in the 4th century.
PUBLISHED: July 19, 2013