Etchmiadzin Cathedral is considered the oldest cathedral in the world. The original church was built in the early fourth century between 301 and 303 according to tradition by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III.
I had a chance to visit this holy site at start of 2014, a harsh winter was in Yerevan and affected photos listed bellow. I would love to return here and re-photograph in Summer.
At the main entrance gates
On our trip to Yerevan, Armenia, we met a cool Taxi driver Tom, and asked him, what is the most must have to see tourist attraction in Yerevan, he told that we must visit Etchmiadzin Cathedral which is located outside of capital Yerevan.
We negotiated with Tom to drive us there. At start he told it would cost about 5.000 Drams, but later it turned out to be 7000 Drams with stops at Yerevan Market and local kabab tasting.
The same entrance gates from the inside
I was impressed - It's the oldest church building in world. It dates back from 301 A.D. Just logical it's listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
Some church renovation works were performed when we last time visited it in 2014.
At Etchmiadzin in Armenia
Etchmiadzin was the seat of the Catholicos until 484. It was restored as catholicosate almost a millennium later in 1441 and remains as such to this day. It has been constantly renovated since the 17th century. Major additions were made by various catholicoi. Diminished during the early Soviet period (1920–30s), Etchmiadzin revived again under Vazgen I in the second half of the 20th century.
Christmas installations at Etchmiadzin cathedral
Etchmiadzin has been one of the most important locations in Armenia since its foundation. The cathedral complex is called the "Armenian Vatican" for its significance. Along with several important churches located nearby, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000
That said all I can add is a huge thanks to our taxi driver Tom, here is his phone number +374 91228812 in case.