Photographer's Note

Armenian Church is the oldest branch of the Christian faith. The earliest authentic accounts of the introduction of Christianity into Armenia date from the apostolic work of St. Gregory the Illuminator, who, in 303, converted King Tiridates III and members of his court. It is believed that St.Gregory saw the ray of sunlight together with the voice of God who ordered him to build the church on the exact spot where sunray touched the ground. Later monastery, church of Echmiadzin became the first Armenian christian temple, and today, it is said to be the oldest monastic foundation in the Christian world. The Echmiadzin monastery has been the ecclesiastical metropolis of the Armenian nation since the 4th century, and in its treasury there are some of the world's most important christian relicts, like mumified parts of hands of apostoles, or the Holy lance, believed to be the one which pierced Jesus Christ during crucifiction. One interesting fact about Echmiadzin is that, in the moment of its construction, Armenians didn't really believe to that 'new' faith such christianity was in that moment, so they built another small temple to Armenian pagan Gods, just in the basement of the church, probably 'in case' if they decide to quit christianity in these years of transit to the new faith :) unfortunately, you will have to ask for special permission to go down there, so if monks let you visit it, consider yourself lucky, as I had no luck :(

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Additional Photos by Marko Petrovic (mpetrovic) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 201 W: 75 N: 286] (1536)
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