Zvartnots Cathedral, an open-air museum

Zvartnots Cathedral, an open-air museum

2 minutes to read

I have to say that the place I am going to tell you about has an inspiring power. Especially when the sky is a bit cloudy and when there are no many people, you can stay there for hours just sitting on one of the huge stones and never get bored. There is nothing to entertain you and nothing to cheer you up. The things you find there are a way different- inner peace and positive vibes. It’s one of those unique places where you can have that feeling of being alone with yourself and your thoughts. Today, we travel to Zvartnots Cathedral, an open-air museum.

Zvartnots Cathedral
Zvartnots Cathedral
Etsjmiadzin, Armenië

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. It was built in the 7th century by the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church - Catholicos Nerses, the Builder. It is located not far from Yerevan and is right on the way to Ejmiadzin - the holy city of Armenia. Unfortunately, only the ruins of the Cathedral survived till our days, but even the ruins of it are impressive, and you will not regret if you put it on your "to see" list during your Armenian trip.

Picture © credits to Ozbalci

The Catholicos initiated the construction of the Cathedral in 643 in honor of St. Gregory (you can read more about St. Gregory in my article on Khor virap), and it was built on the place where the king Tiridates and St. Gregory had to meet. It kept its initial look by the 10th century, and till now there is no precise information on how it was ruined (some sources say because of the earthquake).

Khor Virap
Khor Virap
H11, Armenië

Picture © credits to Ozbalci

Only in the beginning of the 20th century, the ruins of Zvartnots were excavated. Till then, they remained buried. During the excavations, right nearby the cathedral were found the ruins of the Catholicos palace and the winery. What is interesting, during the excavations it turned out that the cathedral was built exactly at the place of previous old Urartian remnants. Uratu belong to ancient Armenia. It was the Kingdom of Van-Biainili, the earliest identifiable ancestors of the Armenians.

Picture © credits to Lenorlux

It is said that it had three floors. There were the discussions on possible reconstructins of the Zvartnots Cathedral. However, some find it not logical, and they have decided to leave it as ruins. Now, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is visited by thousands of tourists each year. The great value of this "open-air museum" is not only the fact that it is inherited from the 7th century, but it also has a gorgeous look with its impressive ornaments and arches that, from a distance, seem to be hanging from the sky.

Cover picture © credits to Ozbalci

The author

Lusine

Lusine

I’m Lusine, from Armenia. I like to travel and explore new places. I'm interested in art, culture, music and sports. On itinari I’ll show you Armenia the way I see it.

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