Echmiadzin (etch-me-odd-zeen)

The holy city of the Armenian Apostolic Church is located in a town called Echmiadzin located just outside the capital city, Yerevan. It’s here that the catholicos resides as the leader of the church. For the sake of comparison, Armenians recognize him as a pope-like figure and Echmiadzin as a kind of Vatican. We made our first visit to this city and immediately realized how much we had to learn about the Armenian church. The central cathedral is located here as well as the seminary which trains priests for the ministry. Here are few pictures by way of introduction.

Stone carvings of crosses, called khachkars in Armenian, are on display. Some date to the 7th century. I will share more about these later.

This container holds the oil used in the baptismal water for all Armenian churches around the world. There are something like 70 ingredients that go into this. Representatives from the diaspora come to Echmiadzin to bring this oil back to their home congregations. It’s a powerful symbol and practice of Armenian connectedness

Seminarians walking around 2 by 2.

Learnin’ stuff

St. Hripsime, a 7th century church

Apricot grove next to the church

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One response to “Echmiadzin (etch-me-odd-zeen)”

  1. Deborah Polzin says :

    Beautiful carvings. I am excited to learn more about the crosses. Lovely old buildings but I am sure they are cold. Thanks for sharing.

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