Mother see of Holy Etchmiadzin is a monastery in the city of Vagharshapat (1945-1992 — the city of Echmiadzin), 20 kilometers West of Yerevan. The spiritual center of the Armenian Apostolic Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in the world; the residence of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians.
The town of Vagharshapat was founded in the first half of the II century BC on the site of ancient settlement of Vardgesavan. 163 after the Romans destroyed Artashat, Ejmiatsin was declared the capital of Armenia. The political importance of the city demanded the construction of the citadel, which mostly coincided with the modern borders of Etchmiadzin’s monastery: the monastery walls, probably repeats in their plan walls of the citadel, also form a rectangle.
The history of the monastery dates back to the early fourth century, when under the influence of the preaching of St. Gregory the Illuminator (in the Menology of the Russian Orthodox Church — the Hieromartyr. Bishop Gregory, enlightener of great Armenia, memory of 30 September Church calendar) baptized king Trdat (Tiridates) III.