Population - 46,540
Region - Armavir
The Holy City of Vagharshapat is one of the historical capitals of Armenia and the spiritual center of all the Armenians with the Surb Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the most important Armenian Apostolic Church. It is the fourth-largest city in Armenia and with the biggest populated town in the Region of Armavir.
Vagharshapat has one of the oldest places inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC. Among the ancient landmarks are Metsamor Castle, Shresh Hill and Mokhrablur hill dating back to the Neolithic period. Urartiantraces are found in the vicinity of the town with the cuneiform inscription of the King Russa II at the edge of a water canal that he constructed.
After Armenia adopted Christianity as a state religion in Armenia in 301, Vagharshapat was gradually called Etchmiadzin, after the name of the Mother Cathedral; the seat of the Catholicos, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Mother Cathedral is considered as one of the oldest religious centers in the world. As a spiritual centre of the entire Armenian nation, Vagharshapat has grown up rapidly and developed as an important centre of education and culture. The city was home to one of the oldest educational institutions in Armenia founded by MesropMashtots.
A massive reconstruction has been carried out in the town between the years of 1950 and 1960 that includes residential buildings and industrial plants. By the end of the 1960s, the historical monuments of the town; including the religious complex of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Saint Hripsime Church, Saint Gayane Church and the surrounding area of Zvartnots Cathedral, were entirely rehabilitated and the whole of the city has been listed in UNESCO Heritage Sites.
The Holy City of Vagharshapat is one of the historical capitals of Armenia and the spiritual center of all the Armenians with the SurbEtchmiadzin Cathedral, the most important Armenian Apostolic Church. It is the fourth-largest city in Armenia and with the biggest populated town in the Region of Armavir.