Hripsime Monastery built in 618 is one of the magnificent examples of classical Ar-
menian architecture. It stands on a small hill in the east of Vagharshapat. Such architectural
compositions are peculiar only of the Christian countries of Tran Caucasus. St. Hripsime
is a relatively small church the construction of which was finished in 618. Its central dome
is an specimen of architectural perfection. The church was named after Virgin Hripsime.
According to the "Chronicle" Hripsime was expelled by the Roman emperor and after long
wanderings found shelter in Armenia, Echniadzin (former Vagharshapat) with her 40 sis-
ters. Armenian king Trdat the III killed Hripsime as she refused to marry him and tried to
escape. This wonderful cathedral was erected to the memory of her beauty, purity and faith.
Zvartnots , the church complex of the middle of the 7th century, is situated near Vaghar-
shapat and presents a great architectural value. Being built in 641-661 as a main temple
of Armenia, it excelled the temple of Echmiadzin by both its size and special architectural
design. The complex consisted of St. Gevorg Church and the palace of Catholicos Nerses
and was the largest of all the known constructions of the 7th century. Zvartnots was ruined
in 1Oth century. Only a part of the walls and separate details have preserves.
Sardarapat Memorial is constructed in the lower zones of the region symbolizing the
struggle of Armenians against the Turkish army (on May 20-22, 1918). The Turks that
had invaded Alexandrapol (Gyumri) surrendered, after which on May 28, 1918 the govern-
ment of the country proclaimed Armenia an independent republic. There are two Assyrian-
style huge winged lions surrounded by the park built to commemorate those perished in
the Sardarapat battle. The road to the left of the memorial leads to Sardarapat Museum.
The ground floor central hall contains a lot of commemorative material from the Sardar-
apat battle. The halls of the basement present archeological materials used for organizing
various events. Upstairs are exhibits of carpets and handicrafts, modem Armenian decorat-
ive ceramics, and jewelry.