In the simplicity and pureness lies the greatness of Armenian architecture.

Written by Gevork Nazaryan

According to the tradition, St. Thaddeus the Apostle brought with him to Armenia one of the most holiest relics in all of the Christendom. The sacred lance with which Christ was pierced on the Holy Cross by one of the Roman soldiers during the Crucifixion. The lance became the most treasured possession of the Holy See and to this day it is still kept as in the museum of treasures of the Holy City of Echmiadzin. St. Thaddeus, had quickly gathered a throng of supporters in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Greater Armenia. In 66, St. Thaddeus, in the province of Artaz, denounced and demolished a pagan temple and on the ruins established a church, which became the first foundational church, among the first in the Christian world. The Church became known as the Church of St. Thaddeus [Surb Thadei] and ever since has become a sacred holy ground of pilgrimage by Armenian men, women, children, young and old -- all embark on a pilgrimage to pay homage to the holy site. A tradition that apparently goes back to the pre-Christian memory and the collective memory that has been passed down from generation to generation about the holiness of the matrix location. The Church did not take away all of the true ancient national identity of the people. The Christian faith was initially severely persecuted in Armenia by the Arsacid kings and many of the Christians along with the Apostolic fathers were martyred in the struggle to establish the faith. In late IIIrd and early IVth century the faith was successfully established with St. Gregory the Illuminator becoming the first Catholicos of the Apostolic Church based on the traditions of the two apostles. St. Gregory established the Catholicosal Seat in the newly erected Mother Cathedral [completed in 303], once again built on the ruins of a demolished Fire Temple.


The Mother Cathedral of  Holy Echmiadzin  Yereruyk Basilica
Zvartnots Cathedral of St. Gregory Odzun Monumental Complex
The Church of Virgin Martyr St. Hripsime The Church of Virgin Martyr St. Gayane
Great Church of Talin The Monastery of Tatev
The Monastery of Haghpat The Church of the Holy Cross - Isle of Aghtamar
The Twin Churches - Isle of Sevan Church of Hayravank
The Mother Church of Ani The Monastery of Sanahin
The Church of Marmashen The Monastery of Kecharis
The Monastery Goshavank The Monastery of Geghard
The Monastery of Harij The Monastery of Haghartsin
The Monastery of Hovhan The Monastery of Spitakavor