Armenia is a country with a valuable cultural heritage. Not only its nature but also the buildings from old ages attract tourists. Armenian people have been religious. The proof is many churches from different centuries. Since they adopted Christianity, Armenians started building churches, cathedrals, and monasteries in the whole country. Christians have always visited churches. And the belief was so big, and the connection was so strong that very often churches were the homes for everyone who needed it.
Till nowadays Armenian people established churches using a unique way of architecture. And each of them is special with its style and name. Every church has its own history and tells a lot about the life of Armenians.
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral is one of the proofs that Armenians have been loyal to their religion and the people who brought it to Armenia. It’s the main church of Yerevan. The location of the cathedral is Kentron administrative district. It is 54 meter high, and the territory is 3822 km2. The light orange color stones they have brought from Ani.
For the 1700th year of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia, a majestic church was established in Yerevan. It was in classical architectural style. So in the church around 2500 believers would pray together.
Vazgen I who was the Catholicos of all Armenians undertook the establishment of the church. The patriarch set a memorial in the place of the Church establishment. The church was established according to Stepan Qyurqchyan’s project. It’s an ecclesiastical complex, that consists of three churches: Mother, St Tiridates king, and St Ashkhen queen chapels.
For the church establishment, in 1990, the Municipality of Yerevan allocated 1.5 hectares area in the Circular park.
In 2000, June 26, the Catholicos of all Armenians Garegin II Nersisyan anointed the crosses of the church. On September 2001 the first liturgy occurred in Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral.
In the complex the church with a central dome is prevalent. It is the largest among the Armenian churches. The base of its scheme and size is the cross that symbolizes Christianity.
Under the church, by all the surface of it, there is a cellar with 4 meters height. In the cellar, there is the memorial of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, a library, halls for ceremonies and lectures, working rooms. St Tirridates and St Ashkhen chapels are for ceremonies, particularly, for marriages, christening, and requiems. The courtyard between the church and chapels is the joint that connects them. Grigor I Illuminator’s relics are in the courtyard.
About St Grigor the Illuminator
So, the most interesting and noteworthy is the person after whom the church is named.
St Grigor Illuminator or Grigor Partev was the first senior bishop of Armenia.
When he was a one-month-old baby, his nurse Sophia and Yevtagh took him to Cappadocia, saving him from the revenge of Arshakunis. In Kayseri, he was christened.In the same city, he had a higher education and Christian upbringing at Pirmillianos archbishop. He married Mariam, and they had two children. After that, they broke their marriage. Grigor started doing a court service, and Mariam went to a nunnery with her junior son. Their senior son went to guardian house.
In 276, when Persian King Bahram occupied Armenia, Grigor Partev went to Roman Empire with Tirridates III Great. In 287 Tirridates III Great returned to the throne. Furthermore, as a sign of victory, he arranged a celebration of gratification in the temple of Anahit goddess. The Armenian king commanded all the Christian courtiers, including Grigor Partev, to take part in the worship. He refused, and the king subjected him to tortures, hoping that he will yield. Grigor Partev got 12 tortures.
Christianity in Armenia
And, after all the tortures Tachat Ashotsyan said that Grigor Partev is the son of the person who killed kind’s father. So, by the command of the king, in 287, they throw him to Khor Virap, which was a prison. According to the tradition, Grigor Partev stayed in Khor Virap around 14 years. Seems like a divine mark, that he was alive for so long time.
After some time, the king was demoniac and became a pig with his relatives who didn’t accept Christianity. Only his sister didn’t change her appearance which was a sign of being Christian. Grigr Partev came out of Khor Virap and started to preach the Bible. He prepared all the people to accept Christianity. During that time, adjurations he received for curing the king and others. Grigor Parted curred him and after that Tirrifates III commanded to stop torturing Christians.
In 301 Armenians accepted Christianity.
Due to the tortures and a great devotion to Christianity of Grigor Illuminator Armenians found the right way to God.
So, the life of the greatest person, who brought Christianity to Armenia was an inspiration to build a large in size cathedral in the capital of Armenia. Many people every day go to Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral pray to God. They believe in the power of the church that it will help them get forgiveness from God.
The Surroundings of Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral
The memorial of Andranik Ozanyan is in the center of Yerevan, in Tigran Mets Avenue. It’s near to the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral.
The monument’s height is 9.5 meters. It’s made of bronze and basalt.
The monument was placed in 2001. This is the second memorial of Andranik Ozanyan. The solemn opening ceremony was in 2002, on 25 December.