As a regional administrative unit Armavir region of the RA was formed in 1995 and in-
cludes the territories of the former administrative districts of Armavir, Baghramyan and Ech-
miadzin. It covers a territory of 1242 sq 2 , comprises 97 communities and rural settlements
as well as Vagharshapat, Armavir and Metsamor towns. Its regional centre is Armavir.
Armavir region covers the valley of the River Arax. This province also comprises the
Sardarapat Monument with a wonderful ethnographic museum which has been repaired
lately and is waiting for visitors.
Echmiadzin means "The Descent of the Only-Begotten" in translation and according to
the legend Christ descanted from heaven and touched the ground with his holy foot to show
St. Grigor the Illuminator, the Catholicos of all Armenians, the place to build the Christian
church. Since the 15th century it has been the seat of the Armenian Catholicoses.
Echmiadzin Cathedral , the main centre of the Armenian apostolic church, is the heart
of belief all Armenians.
Echmiadzin Cathedral is one of the oldest Christian cathedrals of Armenia. In the course
of 1700 it has been repaired many times and presently there is a number of constructions on
its territory: dwellings of catholicoses, seminary and the church hotel. Here you can see the
treasures of St. Echmiadzin the most valuable of which are the gold letters of the Armenian
Since the 4th century Echmiadzin - Vagharshapat is the main sanctuary for all the Ar-
menians, a place of pilgrimage. It has become an irreplaceable spiritual center and a source
of strength and revival for Armenians. The conquerors tried to "move" Echmiadzin and to
deprive the nation of that powerful spiritual support. In the XVII century the Persian Shah
Abbas the First forcibly displaced thousands of Armenians and in 1614 transported to Isfa-
han the 15 wall stones removed from Echmiadzin Cathedral, Armenian candelabra, the right
hand of Grigor the Illuminator and other relics aiming to built a new Echmiadzin there, thus
intending to attach the displaced Armenians to Persia. It was never to happen because Ech-
miadzin gained its the spiritual power from the Armenian soil. It cost great efforts for Cath-
olicos Pilipos Aghbaketsi the I in 167 to transport from Isfahan to Echmiadzin Cathedral the
right hand of Grigor the Illuminator and other Armenian relics. Echmiadzin is unique and
can't have any similar.
St. Gayane Church is situated in agharshapat town not far from the cathedral. The
church of St. Virgin Gayane was erected in 630 by the Catholicos Ezr. It is one of the most
ancient churches of Armenia. In 1652 the church was capitally repaired. The architectural
elements of the 17th century do not disharmonize with the entire image of the church. The
church was erected to the memory of one of the martyresses of the 3rd century and became
the spiritual support of the Christians of Armenia.