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Patriarchal Church and Monastery of Echmiadzin


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Patriarchal Church and Monastery of Echmiadzin

Patriarchal Church and Monastery of Echmiadzin
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The monastery of Echmiadzin, the seat of the catholicus, or head of the Armenian church, lies in the valley of the Arras, thirteen miles east of Erivan, near the village of Vagarhabad, which is also frequently though improperly called Echmiadzin. The monastery is surrounded by a wall thirty feet high, entered by four gates, and flanked by towers, which, as well as the walls, are built of brick, excepting the base, and furnished with loopholes, giving to the whole structure the appearance of a large quadrangular fortress. The monastery was founded in A. D. 524; but the church it contains dates from the time of St. Gregory " the Enlightener," who introduced Christianity into Armenia, though various additions have been made to it in later times. The monks have here a printing-press and a seminary ; but little good is to be expected from their labors, as they are unlearned, ignorant, and superstitious.

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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855