Price of Rejecting a King and the Vatican of Armenia

Echmiadzin Travel Blog

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Ferris wheel - During communist time if a town reached a certain size they got one

Today was another tour with Envoy Tours from our hostel.  We had a group of six on the trip, not including the guide Gevorg and the driver.  Joining us were Steven (US taking a few months off to travel Europe), Nates (Slovenia, on holiday), Anna (The Netherlands, working in Georgia and Armenia as an Environmental Engineer), and Merijn (The Netherlands, visiting Anna on holiday).  It was quite an interesting mix of personalities. 

 

We began our day at St. Hripsime.  This is a wedding church and holds the remains of Hripsime who was stoned to death for refusing to marry the king.  Because there are wedding held there they grow flowers and grapes (to make wine) to sell to the wedding parties.

St. Hripsime Church
  The guide didn’t tell us that the rugs in front of the alter indicated special areas, so I trotted right on up to where only priests are allowed.  This incited Merijn (a typical Dutch guy) to make some smart comments about Americans.  As it was the beginning of the day I let it slide some. 

 

Back in the mini-bus we headed on to St Gayane.  This is an actively used church in the Ararat Valley.  St Gayane has a nice complex around it and holds the remains of girls who were tortured and killed for their belief in God.

 

Our next stop was the complex of St. Echmiadzin, the Vatican of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Carved door of St. Hripsime Church
  The main cathedral, Mayr Tachar, is surrounded by 19th century buildings.  It is very different than all of the other monasteries and churches we had visited to this point.  It is beautifully appoint with dramatic frescoes, icons, and decorative elements.  There was a service going on as it was Sunday.  There were many young priests there.  The interesting thing is once they reach a certain level they begin to wear a black hood like hat that flows down their back.  At the point that they get the hat the can no longer get married. 

 

The ceremony itself was very full of pomp and circumstance.  The bishop has on a very elaborate set of robes and headdress. He came down and brought a tapestry with a religious scene on it. I was on a pole and was moved through the crowd behind the bishop. Everyone was standing near to be able to touch it as it went by. The music was beautiful and the choir of women was gorgeous to hear as the acoustics were wonderful.  People wondered in and out as they felt the need and came in late.  At one point the bishop and other priests went to high alter and a curtain was pulled.  Some things went on back there and eventually they came out and left the curtain closed.

 

In the courtyard there was a monument to the genocide victims.  Next to it was a monument called the Armenian paper spoon.  It has a fountain flowing water into a basin the has a hole in one side.  This was erected in remembrance of Armenia loosing 2/3 of their land in a treat agreement.

moshers_moll says:
Great blog as always Brian and beautiful photo's :-)
Posted on: Jun 09, 2009
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Ferris wheel - During communist ti…
Ferris wheel - During communist t…
St. Hripsime Church
St. Hripsime Church
Carved door of St. Hripsime Church
Carved door of St. Hripsime Church
Interior of St. Hripsime Church
Interior of St. Hripsime Church
Cross stone at St. Hripsime
Cross stone at St. Hripsime
Carving in St. Hripsime
Carving in St. Hripsime
Face of St. Hripsime on her crypt
Face of St. Hripsime on her crypt
Gevorg at the rypt of St. Hripsime
Gevorg at the rypt of St. Hripsime
Interior of the dome of St. Hripsi…
Interior of the dome of St. Hrips…
Details of chandaleir in St. Hrips…
Details of chandaleir in St. Hrip…
High alter of St. Hripsime
High alter of St. Hripsime
Icon of Virgin Mary and child in S…
Icon of Virgin Mary and child in …
Fresco in St. Hripsime
Fresco in St. Hripsime
Olive trees in front of St. Hripsi…
Olive trees in front of St. Hrips…
St Gayane Church
St Gayane Church
Carved cross on St Gayane
Carved cross on St Gayane
Carved column capital in St Gayane
Carved column capital in St Gayane
Fresco over the door of St Gayane
Fresco over the door of St Gayane
High alter of St Gayane
High alter of St Gayane
Painting of nun being stoned to de…
Painting of nun being stoned to d…
Nun praying in St Gayane
Nun praying in St Gayane
Frescos on St Gayane
Frescos on St Gayane
Beautiful little girl in St Gayane
Beautiful little girl in St Gayane
Carved cross in entrance of St Gay…
Carved cross in entrance of St Ga…
Monumnet and Library at St. Echmia…
Monumnet and Library at St. Echmi…
Monument at St. Echmiadzin
Monument at St. Echmiadzin
Detail engraving around a building…
Detail engraving around a buildin…
Cathedral at St. Echmiadzin
Cathedral at St. Echmiadzin
Bell tower of St. Echmiadzin
Bell tower of St. Echmiadzin
Genocide monumnet at St. Echmiadzin
Genocide monumnet at St. Echmiadzin
Arch on cathedral at St. Echmiadzin
Arch on cathedral at St. Echmiadzin
Genocide monumnet at St. Echmiadzin
Genocide monumnet at St. Echmiadzin
Carved details over entrance to St…
Carved details over entrance to S…
Bell tower of St. Echmiadzin
Bell tower of St. Echmiadzin
Bells of St. Echmiadzin
Bells of St. Echmiadzin
Frilly columns of St. Echmiadzin
Frilly columns of St. Echmiadzin
Cat head topped column of St. Echm…
Cat head topped column of St. Ech…
Details of arch at St. Echmiadzin
Details of arch at St. Echmiadzin
Interior of entry way of St. Echmi…
Interior of entry way of St. Echm…
Frescoed dome in St. Echmiadzin
Frescoed dome in St. Echmiadzin
Angel head fresco
Angel head fresco
Detailed arch
Detailed arch
Fresco dome inside St. Echmiadzin
Fresco dome inside St. Echmiadzin
Scorpion in fresco in entrance to …
Scorpion in fresco in entrance to…
Entrance to St. Echmiadzin
Entrance to St. Echmiadzin
Carved details and script over ent…
Carved details and script over en…
Carved details around front entran…
Carved details around front entra…
Carved details of front door
Carved details of front door
Carved adn painted details of fron…
Carved adn painted details of fro…
Painted details of St. Echmiadzin
Painted details of St. Echmiadzin
Frescoed columns of St. Echmiadzin
Frescoed columns of St. Echmiadzin
View of high alter of St. Echmiadz…
View of high alter of St. Echmiad…
Frescoed column of St. Echmiadzin
Frescoed column of St. Echmiadzin
Ray of light through the dome
Ray of light through the dome
Candle in a cathedral
Candle in a cathedral
Detailed ceilign decoration in St.…
Detailed ceilign decoration in St…
Painted dome of St. Echmiadzin
Painted dome of St. Echmiadzin
Angles and frescos
Angles and frescos
Arch painted detail in St. Echmiad…
Arch painted detail in St. Echmia…
Golden highlights in frescos of St…
Golden highlights in frescos of S…
Painted arch
Painted arch
Interior of dome in St. Echmiadzin
Interior of dome in St. Echmiadzin
Priests in prayer
Priests in prayer
At Sunday service
At Sunday service
Holy precession
Holy precession
Painted chapel ceiling  of St. Ech…
Painted chapel ceiling of St. Ec…
Service taking place at St. Echmia…
Service taking place at St. Echmi…
Carved wooden cross
Carved wooden cross
The congregation in St. Echmiadzin
The congregation in St. Echmiadzin
Woman of the chior
Woman of the chior
Icon of christ in St. Echmiadzin
Icon of christ in St. Echmiadzin
Armenian paper spoon monument
Armenian paper spoon monument
Armenia tour bus
Armenia tour bus
Echmiadzin
photo by: delsol67