Zvartnos Archaeological Zone and Echmiadzin Cathedral

Zvartnos Archaeological Zone and Echmiadzin Cathedral

The archaeological site of Zvartnots is a unique example of Armenian architecture of the Christian period.

The Cathedral of Zvartnos, built in the mid-seventh century with a circular plan on three floors, has exerted a great influence on the architecture not only of the period of that time but also on that of the following centuries.

In the tenth century the Cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake and the remains remained buried until its rediscovery at the beginning of the twentieth century thanks to the architect Thoros Thoramanian, who carried out the first reconstruction project.

The remains of the ancient cathedral are outlined against the panorama of the perpetually snow-capped Mount Ararat.

Cathedral of Zvartnots is painted together with the biblical Mount Ararat and the ark of Noah in one of the frescoes decorating Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.

The site is part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Cathedral of Echmiadzin is the oldest in the world and the hub of Armenian religiosity.

The patriarchal complex of St. Echmiadzin was begun in 30 AD but the construction of the Cathedral took a long time and took place in several phases, with subsequent additions of new naves and frescoes to cover the oldest parts.

Cathedral of Echmiadzin was initially built in wood but in the seventh century it was rebuilt in stone. In the seventeenth century the first restoration took place with the addition of the current dome and bell tower.

The interior decorations are in Byzantine style with various floral ornaments in blue-lilac and red-orange shades. The frescoes were executed by Armenian artisans and represent scenes from the Holy Scriptures.

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