Echmiadzin, the spiritual center of Armenia, is the most important and the key center in the history and culture of the country. The main cathedral of Echmiadzin is a work of art, that attracts with its architectural value, and of course, with rich history. Moreover, Echmiadzin hides secrets and treasures that are truly priceless. Many of them are hidden, but at least you can find out what treasures are hidden in Echmiadzin.
The location of Cathedral of Etchmiadzin is not accidental. According to legend, Gregory the Illuminator had a vision in which Jesus Christ with the golden hammer pointed to the place where Grigor had to build an altar. Echmiadzin Cathedral title is translated as “descent of the only-begotten”.
Holy Etchmiadzin is surrounded by mysteries and mysticism. One of the most popular and the mystical secrets of the cathedral is a scorpion, found under the arch of the bell tower of the Cathedral. Petrified scorpion surrounded id by images of angels that make it more mysterious composition. The church accepted the scorpion as a symbol of evil forces. However, the story has a simple explanation that has nothing to do with mysticism. The fact is that during the reconstruction one of the artists found a scorpion on the wall and having nothing but polish on hand, painted scorpion leaving him on the holy walls of the cathedral. The reason that the scorpion became a symbol of evil forces -is the picture of a scorpion on priests slippers. Every time performing the rite and praising Christ, the priest steps on the Scorpion thus destroying evil.
Another mystery and miracle of the cathedral of Echmiadzin is the fact that a huge cathedral was built on the water. At first glance, this is not possible, because such a huge building would have collapsed in a short time. However, thanks to the experience of masters Cathedral still stands firmly in its place. This spring is fed and filled with a storehouse in the cathedral, which is credited with miraculous properties.
Treasury of Echmiadzin
Echmiadzin hides the more unique collection of true treasures; here are kept relics that are invaluable for all Christians. The most important relic is the spear that pierced Christ on the cross. According to legend the spear has miraculous properties, which even saved the Georgian people from the epidemy. Spear or Geghard was kept in Armenian Ayrivank for 500 years, the church was then renamed to Geghardavank (detailed information about Geghardavank read here).
The museum preserves the relics of Noah’s Ark, which possess divine power. Petrified tree is covered with jewels and gold stored in its case. The relics of Noah’s ark were taken to Echmiadzin by Armenian patriarch Jacob Nizibinskiy. As a sign of respect for the Catholicos Simeon Yerevantsi chipped wood piece and gave the piece to the Empress Catherine II, which is now kept in Moscow, at the St. Daniel Monastery.
The ruins of the first altar (301-303y) built by Gregory the Illuminator, apparel and jewelry of Catholicos, the treasures of the Armenian churches and manuscripts, medieval luxurious thrones of the Catholicos, decorated with nacre, ivory and silver lions’ heads and much more are kept in the museum.
This is the smallest part of the treasures that can be seen in the museum. Another part of the sacred relics is hidde and protected as a precious treasure of the Armenian people and culture.