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28 Sep 2019

The Impressive Zvartnots Cathedral

Zvartnots Cathedral is another sightseeing of major importance.

Of course, there are many nice things to see or places to visit in Armenia, but one of the highlights you may wish to stop by is the Zvartnots Cathedral. 

6 interesting facts about Zvartnots Catedral

  • Zvartnots Cathedral is an amazing complex with unique architecture style, breathtaking view of Ararat mountain and its historical spirit in Armenia.
  • The ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral are located on a flat plain within the Ararat Plateau between the cities of Yerevan and Etchmiadzin in Armenia‚Äôs Armavir province near Zvartnots International Airport; Very easy to visit from Yerevan even on a simple taxi.
  • Zvartnots is considered as the unique architectural construction; Zvartnots is the oldest and largest aisled tetraconch church in historical Armenia.
  • There is an interesting story about the name Zvartnots. "Zvartnun" also means "angel" in Armenian, so Zvartnots also means "Celestial Angels".
  • Since 2000, according to the decision of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, Zvartnots has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Cathedral of Echmiadzin and other churches of Vagharshapat.
  • According to the testimony of the narrator Agatangehos, it is assumed that there was a pagan temple of the Tyr god - writing, interpretation of dreams, wisdom and culture on the territory of Zvartnots.

What you can see in Zvartnots museum: The magnificent and majestic temple of Zvartnots was built in the 7th century, which is one of the masterpieces of Armenian architecture. This temple was built in the 7th century, sometime between 643-652 by Nerses the Builder, Catholicos of all the Armenians. It was one of the tallest buildings of that time and was a real architecture miracle.

During its consecration, the Emperor of Byzant, Constant II, got so impressed with the building, that he decided to take the architect to Constantinople with him to build a similar building there. Unfortunately, the architect got sick on the way and died.

According to the legend, it is here that Gregory the Illuminator met up with king of Armenia Tirdates III and converted him to Christianity, thus making Armenia the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion.

So, later on, this cathedral was dedicated to Gregory the Illuminator, as his relics were buried here after he passed away.

The Fall of Zvartnots Temple: As mentioned earlier, the Temple was built to stand until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but it stood for only about 320 years, til the 10th century.

Actually, there is no clear account on how the temple fell and the reasons for that. Yet there are two possible options.

First, a disastrous earthquake was the reason of the fall of Zvartnots. Also, during the excavations in the 20th century there were great fire traces, which might signal that someone wanted to destroy the Cathedral.

Second, Arab invasions caused the cathedral to fall. This option suggests that Arabs took out the main cornerstone of the temple and it collapsed not being able to stand its own heaviness.

Special Impressions about Zvartnots Cathedral: Now, Zvartnots is just ruins, and its exact positioning is still a matter of dispute. But even the ruins of the temple are breathtaking for the visitors, especially for those who love exploring historical places and architectural wonders.

Having once visited this place you will seek another opportunity to be able to feel the smell of history right in front of you. Also, being able to walk in an open air museum full of artifacts you can actually touch and feel, will surely give you the most unforgettable emotions!

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