|Location||Vagharshapat, Armavir Province, Armenia|
|Affiliation||Armenian Apostolic Church|
|Leadership||Catholicos of All Armenians|
|Founder||Gregory the Illuminator|
|Groundbreaking||301 (original building)|
|Completed||303 (original building)
|Length||29 metres (95 ft) (including the apses: 33 metres (108 ft))|
|Width||23 metres (75 ft) (including the apses: 30 metres (98 ft))|
|Official name: Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots|
|Designated:||2000 (24th session)|
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral (// ECH-mee-UH-dzeen; Armenian: Էջմիածնի Մայր Տաճար, Ēǰmiatsni Mayr Tačar) is the Mother Church of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the central building of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Located in the center of the city of Vagharshapat (also known as Etchmiadzin, after the cathedral),[a] it is the first church to be built in Armenia.[dubious ] It is also considered the oldest cathedral in the world.
According to the tradition, the original church was built between 301 and 303 by Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator, following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III. The core of the current building, in a shape of a Greek cross, was built in 483 by Vahan Mamikonian after the cathedral was severely damaged in a Persian invasion. Etchmiadzin was the seat of the Catholicos, head of the Armenian Church, until 484. Subsequently, it suffered almost a millennium of neglect until 1441, when it was restored as catholicosate and remains as such to this day. Since then several renovations took place, and in the 17th century bell towers were added to the cathedral. Today, it incorporates styles of different periods of the Armenian architecture. Diminished during the early Soviet period, Etchmiadzin revived again in the second half of the 20th century and under independent Armenia.
As the spiritual center of Armenians, Etchmiadzin has been one of the most important locations (not only religiously) in Armenia since its foundation. The cathedral complex is called the "Armenian Vatican" for its significance. Along with several important early medieval churches located nearby, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Architecture and significance
- 4 Cultural depictions
- 5 Gallery
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
The cathedral is most commonly known as the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, however, it is sometimes referred to as the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin (Սուրբ Էջմիածին, Surb Ejmiatsin). In English, there are various spellings of its name, with Etchmiadzin and Echmiadzin being the two most common ones. Among other spellings are Ejmiatsin, and Edjmiadsin. It is sometimes referred to as a monastery, especially in the context of the entire complex, which also includes the surrounding buildings.
The cathedral is believed to have been built near the royal palace in then Armenian capital city, Vagharshapat, between 301 and 303. According to the tradition, Armenia under King Tiridates III became the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301.[b] According to History of the Armenians (c. 460) by Agathangelos, Armenia's patron saint Gregory the Illuminator had a vision of Jesus Christ descending from heaven and striking the earth with a golden hammer to show where the cathedral should be built. Hence, the patriarch gave the church the name of Etchmiadzin (էջ etch "descent" + մի mi "only" + -ա- -a- (a linking element) + ծին dzin "begotten"), which translates to "the Descent of the Only-Begotten [Son of God]." However, the name Etchmiadzin did not come into use until the 15th century, while earlier sources call it Katoghike (Կաթողիկէ, literally "Cathedral"). Patriarch Malachia Ormanian, defines "katoghike" as "cathedral" and explains that the word was used particularly for the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. In modern Armenian, "katoghike" is also used to refer to the Catholic Church. It comes from the Ancient Greek word καθολικός katholikos, which means "universal". The cathedral has been called "catholic" as a description of the "catholicity" (i.e. "universality") of the Church. The Feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin (Տոն Կաթողիկե Սբ. Էջմիածնի) is celebrated by the Armenian Church 64 days after Easter, during which "a special hymn is sung, written by the 8th century Catholicos Sahak III of Dzorapor, telling of St. Gregory's vision and the Cathedral's construction."
During archaeological excavations in and around the cathedral in the 1950s, led by Alexander Sahinian, remains of the original 4th-century building were discovered - including two levels of pillar bases below the current ones and a narrower altar apse under the present one. Based on these findings, Sahinian asserted that the original church had been a vaulted basilica, similar to the basilicas of Tekor, Ashtarak and Kasakh (Aparan). However, other researchers, such as A. Khatchatrian, were unconvinced and held that the original church had taken the form of a cross within a square perimeter.
Besides the fragments of the original basilica, remains of older non-Christian buildings, particularly an "Urartian stele and the pyre of a fire temple under the altar of the east apse", were unearthed. The fire temple was possibly dedicated to Sandaramet, an archangel in the Zoroastrian-influenced Armenian mythology.
|The form of the original 4th-century church as proposed by Alexander Sahinian (1966)|
Reconstruction and decline (4th–15th centuries)
According to Faustus of Byzantium, the cathedral and the city of Vagharshapat were almost completely destroyed during the invasion of Persian King Shapur II circa 363. Etchmiadzin was partially renovated by Catholicoi Nerses the Great (353–373) and Sahak Parthev (387–439). In 387, Armenia was partitioned between the Byzantine Empire and the Sasanian Empire. The eastern part of Armenia where Etchmiadzin was located remained under the rule of Armenian vassal kings subject to Persia until 428.
According to Ghazar Parpetsi, the cathedral was rebuilt from the foundations by marzban (governor) of Persian Armenia Vahan Mamikonian in 483, when the country was relatively stable. Historians have concluded that, thus, the basilica was converted into cruciform church and mostly took its current form. The new church was very different from the original one and "consisted of quadric-apsidal hall built of dull, grey stone containing four free-standing cross-shaped pillars disdained to support a stone cupola." The new cathedral was "in the form of a square enclosing a Greek cross and contains two chapels, one on either side of the east apse." According to Robert H. Hewsen, the design of the new church was a mixture of the design of a Zoroastrian fire temple and a mausoleum of classical antiquity.
Although the seat of the Catholicos was transferred to Dvin in 484, the cathedral did not immediately lose it significance. In 618, according to Sebeos, Catholicos Komitas renovated the cathedral, replacing the wooden dome by one of stone. Catholicos Nerses III (640–661) made the last known renovation until the 15th century. During these centuries of neglect, the cathedral's "condition deteriorated so badly that it moved" the prominent Armenian archbishop Stepanos Orbelian to write one of his most notable poems, "Lament on Behalf of the Cathedral" («Ողբ ի դիմաց Կաթողիկէին» Voğb i dimats Katoğikein) in 1300.[c] In the poem, which tells about the consequences of the Mongol and Mamluk invasions of Armenia and Cilicia, Orbelian portrays the Etchmiadzin Cathedral "as a woman in mourning, contemplating her former splendor and exhorting her children to return to their homeland ... and restore its glory."
Revival and additions (1441–1828)
In 1441, the seat of the Catholicos returned to Etchmiadzin, which was then under the control of the Kara Koyunlu. It had previously been located in Sis, the capital of Cilician Armenia, the last independent Armenian kingdom that fell in 1375. The cathedral was restored by Catholicos Kirakos (Cyriacus) between 1441 and 1443. In 1502, Safavid Iran gained control of parts of Armenia, including Etchmiadzin, and granted the Armenian Church some privileges.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Armenia suffered from its location between Persia and Ottoman Turkey, and the conflicts between those two empires. Thus Etchmiadzin was plundered by Shah Abbas I of Persia in 1604, and up to 350,000 Eastern Armenians were forced into Persia by Abbas as part of the scorched earth policy during the war with the Ottoman Empire. The Shah wanted to "dispel Armenian hopes of returning to their homeland," and wanted to move the religious center of the Armenians to Iran. He "planned to dismantle [the cathedral] stone by stone, and have it carried to Isfahan". In the event, only some important stones -- the altar, the stone where Jesus Christ descended according to tradition and relics, including the Right Hand of Gregory the Illuminator -- were moved to New Julfa, Isfahan in central Iran, and incorporated in the local Armenian St. Georg Church, when it was built in 1611.
Since 1627, the cathedral underwent major renovation and expansion by Catholicos Movses (Moses). He repaired the dome, ceiling, roof, foundations and paving. Additionally, a wall was built around the cathedral, making it a fort-like complex. Movses also built cells for monks, a guesthouse and other structures around the cathedral. The renovation works were interrupted by the Ottoman-Safavid War of 1635–36, during which the cathedral remained intact.
The renovations resumed under Catholicos Pilippos (1632–55), who built new cells for monks and renovated the roof. During this century, belfries were added to many Armenian churches. In 1654, he started the construction of the belfry in the western wing of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. It was completed in 1658 by Catholicos Hakob IV Jugayetsi. Decades later, in 1682, Catholicos Yeghiazar constructed smaller bell towers with red tufa turrets on the southern, eastern, and northern wings.
The renovations of Etchmiadzin continued during the 18th century. In 1720, Catholicos Astvatsatur and then, in 1777–83 Simeon I of Yerevan took actions in preserving the cathedral. In 1770, Simeon I established a publishing house near Etchmiadzin, the first in Armenia. Catholicos Ghukas (Lukas) continued the renovations in 1784–86.
Modern period (1828–present)
In 1828, the Persian-controlled parts of Armenia, including Etchmiadzin and much of the territory of the modern Republic of Armenia (also known as Eastern Armenia), were annexed by the Russian Empire by the Treaty of Turkmenchay. The cathedral prospered under Russian rule, despite the suspicions that the Imperial Russian government had about Etchmiadzin becoming a "possible center of the Armenian nationalist sentiment." Formally, Etchmiadzin became the center of the Armenians living within the Russian Empire following the 1836 statute (polozhenie).
In 1868, Catholicos Gevorg (George) IV added a sacristy to the east end of the cathedral. In 1874, Catholicos Gevorg IV established the Gevorgian Seminary near Etchmiadzin. Catholicos Markar I undertook the restoration of the interior of the cathedral in 1888. In 1903, the Russian government issued an edict to confiscate the properties of the Armenian Church, including the treasures of Etchmiadzin. Due to the great opposition of the Armenians and the personal defiance of Catholicos Mkrtich Khrimian, the edict was canceled in 1905.
During the Armenian Genocide, the cathedral of Etchmiadzin and its surrounding became a major center for the Turkish Armenian refugees. At the end of 1918, there were about 70,000 refugees in the Etchmiadzin district. The Armenian Near East Relief "maintained a hospital and an orphanage within its grounds" as of 1919. After two years of independence, Armenia was Sovietized in the late 1920. In 1921, Toros Toramanian and Alexander Tamanian worked on the collapsed southern apse by replacing it with a "conical structure."
During the 1920s and 1930s, the Armenian Church was persecuted by the Soviet state. The printing press (1924), the fields (1926), the orchards (1928) of the monastery were confiscated by the government. In 1932, after two years of vacancy, Khoren I was elected Catholicos. He was murdered by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, in April 1938 and the Catholicos' position again remained vacant, until the end of World War II. During the Stalinist Purges in the late 1930s, the cathedral was a "besieged institution as the campaign was underway to eradicate religion under Communism." In August 1938, the Armenian Communist Party decided to close down the cathedral, however, the central government's lack of approval left it functioning, but "only minimally, isolated from the outside world" "and its community reduced to some twenty destitute inmates."
The religious importance of Etchmiadzin slowly recovered after the end of the Second World War, under Catholicos Gevorg VI, who was elected in 1945. Wealthy diaspora benefactors, such as Calouste Gulbenkian and Alex Manoogian, financially assisted the renovation of the cathedral. Etchmiadzin revived under Catholicos Vasken I since the period known as the Khrushchev Thaw in the mid-1950s. Archaeological excavations were held in 1955–56 and in 1959; the cathedral underwent a major renovation during this period.
In 2000 UNESCO added the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the churches of Shoghakat, St. Hripsime, St. Gayane and the ruined Zvartnots Cathedral to the list of World Heritage Sites. The statement on the UNESCO website about the significance of these churches says that they "graphically illustrate the evolution and development of the Armenian central-domed cross-hall type of church, which exerted a profound influence on architectural and artistic development in the region." Etchmiadzin underwent a renovation prior to the celebrations of the 1700th anniversary of the Christianization of Armenia in 2001. In 2002, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral complex with over 50 monuments, including many khachkars (cross-stones) and graves located around the cathedral, was listed by the Government of Armenia in the list of historical and cultural monuments of the Armavir Province.
Architecture and significance
Since the late 19th century, a number of authors have cited Etchmiadzin as the oldest cathedral (and less commonly, the oldest monastery) in the world. According to Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East (2008), it is "generally regarded as the oldest [cathedral] in the world."
Etchmiadzin holds a unique position in Armenian and non-Armenian architecture history, because it reproduces the features of different periods of the Armenian architecture. It today "incorporates more than one styles of architecture". Despite the fact that the cathedral was renovated many times through the centuries, it retains the form of the building constructed in 483. The 5th-century building is the core of the cathedral, while the stone cupola, turrets, belfry, and rear extension are all later additions. Today, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral "has a cruciform plan with a central cupola, four free-standing piers, and four projecting apses which are semicircular on the interior and polygonal on the exterior. The central piers, cruciform in section, divide the interior space into nine equal square compartments." The northern wall is the oldest remaining wall. There are two reliefs on the northern wall—of Peter and Thecla and a cross—with several Greek inscriptions. "The rich ensemble of sculpture on the exterior of the church is of more recent times. It includes geometric and floral motifs, as well as a blind arcade and medallions with saintly figures."
The cathedral complex is often called the "Armenian Vatican". Although it "hardly allows comparison with the Vatican, or even with St. Peter's Cathedral. It possesses nothing to make a visitor feel insignificant." Historian Robert H. Hewsen also notes that it is "neither the largest nor the most beautiful of Armenian churches", nevertheless, "the overall impression presented by the ensemble is inspiring, and Armenians hold the building in great reverence."
The design of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, termed by French art historian Jean-Michel Thierry as "a four-apsed square with ciborium", was not popular in Armenia—the early 7th century Cathedral of Bagaran being the only known church with a similar plan. Among others, art historians Josef Strzygowski and Alexander Sahinian suggest that the Armenian church architecture was spread in Western Europe in the 8th–9th centuries by Paulicians, who migrated from Armenia after being suppressed by the Byzantine government during the Iconoclasm period. The 9th-century church of Germigny-des-Prés in France (built by Odo of Metz, probably an Armenian) "has been cited in connection" with the Etchmiadzin-Bagaran type "because of the similarity in plans." Several other medieval churches in Europe, such as the Palatine Chapel of Aachen in Germany and San Satiro of Milan, Italy, have also been suggested to have been influenced by the cathedrals of Etchmiadzin and Bagaran and by Byzantine decorative arts.
In the 19th century, during an architctural revival that attempted to look back to Armenia's past, the plan of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral began to be directly copied in new Armenian churches. Some notable examples from this period include the narthex of the St. Thaddeus Monastery in northern Iran, dating from 1811, and the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shusha, dating from 1868.
Interior and frescoes
The early frescoes inside the cathedral were restored in the 18th century. Stepanos Lehatsi illustrated the belfry in 1664. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Armenian painters created frescoes of scenes from the old testament and Armenian saints. Naghash Hovnatan painted parts of the interior between 1712 and 1721. His paintings on the dome and the painting of the Mother of God under the altar have survived to this day. Other members of the prominent Hovnatanian family (Hakob, Harutyun and Hovnatan) created paintings throughout the 18th century. Their work was continued by the succeeding generations of the same family (Mkrtum and Hakob) in the 19th century.
The wooden doors of the cathedral were carved in Tiflis in 1888. The paintings were moved out of the cathedral by the order of Catholicos Mkrtich Khrimian in 1891 and are now kept in various museums in Armenia, including the National Gallery of Armenia. The frescoes inside the cathedral were restored by Lydia Durnova in 1956. In the 1950s, the stone floor was replaced with one of marble.
- The Etchmiadzin weekly («Էջմիածին» ամսագիր), the official periodical of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin founded in 1944, features the cathedral on its cover page as newspaper logo.
- In the 1991 film Mayrig, directed by French-Armenian director Henri Verneuil, actual footage of the cathedral is shown when Azad Zakarian, the main character and a son of Armenian Genocide survivors, is being questioned about his faith in a catholic school.
- The cathedral is depicted on the obverse side of 50,000-dram banknote (2001). See image
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Etchmiadzin Cathedral.|
- The city has been called Vagharshapat for the most part of its history. It officially bore the name Etchmiadzin between 1945 and 1995. Nowadays, the terms Etchmiadzin and Vagharshapat are interchangeably used.
- 301 AD is the traditional date. It was first calculated by historian Mikayel Chamchian (1738–1823). A growing number of authors argue that the correct date is 314 by citing the Edict of Milan.
- The complete title is "Allegorical prosopopoeia on the holy cathedral at Vagharshapat" («Բան բարառնական ոդեալ դիմառնաբար ի դիմաց Վաղարշապատու ս. Կաթուղիկէին» Ban barařnakan vodeal dimařnabar i dimats Vagharshapatu s. Katoğikein). It was first printed in Nor Nakhichevan in 1790, later in Kolkata in 1846 and in Tiflis in 1885.
- Sahinian, Zarian & Ghazarian 1978, p. 71.
- Hewsen, Robert H. (2001). "The Monastery of Ējmiatsin". Armenia: A Historical Atlas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 259. ISBN 0-226-33228-4.
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- Wainwright, Geoffrey; Westerfield Tucker, Karen B., eds. (2005). The Oxford History of Christian Worship. Oxford University Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-19-513886-3. "In a vision, Gregory was shown to build the first church in the country, in Etchmiadzin..."
- Stokes, Jamie, ed. (2008). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-4381-2676-0. "Etchmiatzin is located in the west of modern Armenia, close to the border with Turkey, and its fourth-century cathedral is generally regarded as the oldest in the world."
- Adalian 2010, p. 128.
- Jaloyan, Vardan. "Էջմիածնի կաթողիկոսության հիմնադրման քաղաքական և աստվածաբանական հանգամանքները [Theological and political circumstances of the foundation of the Etchmiadzin Catholicosate]" (in Armenian). Religions in Armenia. Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. "1441 թ. Էջմիածնում հաստատվեց կաթողիկոսություն, որը հետագա դարերում վճռական դեր պետք է կատարեր հայ ժողովրդի ոչ միայն հոգևոր, այլև քաղաքական, տնտեսական և որոշ չափով մշակութային կյանքում:
translation: In 1441, catholicosate was established in Etchmiadzin, which played a decisive role in the spiritual, but also political, economic and to some extent, cultural life, of the Armenian people in the later centuries."
- Azadian, Edmond Y. (1999). History on the Move: Views, Interviews and Essays on Armenian Issues. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-8143-2916-0. "... the centuries-old buildings and the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin."
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- Burchard, Christopher (1993). Armenia and the Bible: papers presented to the international symposium held at Heidelberg, July 16-19, 1990. Atlanta: Scholars Press. ISBN 978-1-55540-597-7. "This was the era of Stalin in the Soviet Union. Echmiadsin was a besieged institution as the campaign was underway to eradicate religion under Communism ..."
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- Dhilawala, Sakina (1997). Armenia. New York: Marshall Cavendish. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7614-0683-9. "Echmiadzin Cathedral is the spiritual center of the Armenian Church and the seat of the Catholicos of all Armenians. It is also the oldest cathedral and Christian monastery in the world."
- Baker, Randall (1997). "An Armenian Diary". Indiana University. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. "This makes it the oldest monastic foundation in the entire Christian world."
- Bauer-Manndorff, Elisabeth (1981). Armenia: Past and Present. Lucerne: Reich Verlag. "Etchmiadzin, with the world's oldest cathedral and the seat of the Catholicos, draws tourists from all over the world."
- Utudjian, Édouard (1968). Armenian Architecture: 4th to 17th Century. Paris: Editions A. Morancé. p. 7. OCLC 464421. "... he also wanted to contribute to the restoration of the oldest cathedral in Christendom, that of Etchmiadzin, founded in the 4th century."
- Horne, Charles Francis (1925). The World and Its People: Or, A Comprehensive Tour of All Lands. New York: I.R. Hiller. p. 1312. "A far more interesting relic in this Russian section of Armenia is the old monastery of Etchmiadzin. It has been in constant use since the founding of Christianity in Armenia in the third century of our era, and is thus the oldest Christian monastery in the world today."
- Bryce, James, Viscount (1896). Transcaucasia and Ararat, being notes of a vacation tour in the autumn of 1876, by James Bryce. London: Macmillan and Co. LTD. p. 311. "... the famous monastery of Etchmiadzin, which claims to be the oldest monastic foundation in the world ..."
- Sahinian 1966, p. 71: "Նրա կառուցվածքը ակնհայտորեն վերարտադրում է հայկական ճարտարապետության կազմավորման հանգուցային մի քանի կարևորագույն շրջանները, որով և բացառիկ տեղ է գրավում Հայաստանի (և ոչ միայն Հայաստանի) ճարտարապետական-կառուցողական արվեստի պատմության մեջ:"
- Chahin, M. (2001). The Kingdom of Armenia: A History (2nd revised ed.). Richmond: Curzon. p. Z-72. ISBN 978-0-7007-1452-0. "The building is of immense architectural interest, especially because of the many alterations and additions that have been made to it since its foundation. Thus, at the present day, the cathedral building incorporates more than one styles of architecture."
- Adalian 2010, p. 298.
- "Index for volume XXVIII". The National Geographic Magazine (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society) 28: ix. 1916.
- Kaplan, Robert D. (2000). Eastward to Tartary: travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus (1st ed.). New York: Random House. p. 311. ISBN 978-0-375-50272-9.
- Hermann, Rainer (2007). "The Catholicos of All Armenians: His Holiness Karekin II (Echmiadzin)". In von Voss, Huberta. Portraits of Hope: Armenians in the Contemporary World (1st English ed.). New York: Berghahn Books. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-84545-257-5.
- Thierry & Donabedian 1989, p. 599.
- Thierry & Donabedian 1989, p. 66.
- Buxton, David Roden (1975). Russian Mediaeval Architecture with an Account of the Transcaucasian Styles and Their Influence in the West. New York: Hacker Art Books. p. 100 Reprint of the 1934 ed. published by the Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-87817-005-0.
- Thierry & Donabedian 1989, p. 308.
- Chorbajian, Levon (1994). The Caucasian Knot: The History & Geopolitics of Nagorno-Karabagh. London: Zed Books. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-85649-288-1. "Thus when it was decided to construct the Cathedral of Our Savior, called Ghazanchetsots (one of the grandest churches in all of Armenia), in 1868–1888 in Shushi, it was to Etchmiadzin, the most important sanctuary for Armenians, that they looked for inspiration, at least for the plan."
- Sahinian, Zarian & Ghazarian 1978, pp. 72–73.
- Sahinian, Zarian & Ghazarian 1978, p. 73.
- ""Էջմիածին" ամսագիր [Etchmiadzin monthly]" (in Armenian). Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014.
- "Mayrig/Mother (Full Movie in French)". YouTube. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Banknotes in circulation - 50000 drams". Central Bank of Armenia. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014.
- Hatityan, A., ed. (1962). «Էջմիածին» ալբոմ [Album Etchmiadzin] (in Armenian). H. Hekekyan (photographer). Yerevan: Armenian SSR Culture Ministry. OCLC 76790686.
- Sahinian, Alexander (1966). "Էջմիածնի Մայր տաճարի սկզբնական տեսքը [The Original Shape of the Cathedral of Echmiatsin]". Patma-Banasirakan Handes (in Armenian) (Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences) (3): 71–94.
- Sahinian, Alexander (1978). "Մոդուլային համակարգը Էջմիածնի Մայր տաճարի V դարի գմբեթակիր կառուցվածքում [The Module System in the 5th Century Cupola Structures of the Cathedral of Echmiadzin]". Patma-Banasirakan Handes (in Armenian) (Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences) (2): 140–158.
- Sahinian, Alexander; Zarian, A.; Ghazarian, M. (1978). "Էջմիածնի Մայր Տաճար [Etchmiadzin Cathedral]". In Hambardzumyan, Viktor ed. Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia (in Armenian) 4. Yerevan: Armenian Encyclopedia Publishing. pp. 71–73.
- Torossian, R.; Kerkyasharian, S. (1971). "Հնագիտական նորույթներ Էջմիածնից [Archeological Findings from Echmiatsin]". Patma-Banasirakan Handes (in Armenian) (Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences) (4): 286–290.
- Adalian, Rouben Paul (2010). Historical Dictionary of Armenia. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7450-3.
- Hacikyan, Agop Jack; Basmajian, Gabriel; Franchuk, Edward S.; Ouzounian, Nourhan (2005). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the eighteenth century to modern times 3. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-3221-4.
- Harutyunyan, Varazdat (1978). Էջմիածին [Ējmiatsin] (in Armenian). Yerevan: Sovetakan Grogh. OCLC 19983186.
- Harutyunyan, Varazdat; Société pour la protection des monuments historiques et culturels de la RSS d'Arménie (1985). Etchmiadsin (in French). Yerevan: Hayastan. OCLC 78980119.
- Harutyunyan, Varazdat (1988). Եկայք շինեսցուք: Պատմութիւն Ս. Էջմիածնի Մայր Աթոռի շինարարական գործունէութեան Ամենայն Հայոց Կաթողիկոս Վազգէն Առաջինի գահակալութեան շրջանում (1955–1988) [History of construction activities at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin during the reign of Vazgen I (1955–1988)] (in Armenian). Los Angeles: Erebuni.
- Kazarian, Armen (2007). Кафедральный собор Сурб Эчмиадзин и восточнохристианское зодчество IV-VII веков [Cathedral of Holy Ejmiacin and the Eastern Christian architecture of the 4th-7th centuries] (in Russian). Moscow: Locus Standi. ISBN 978-5-94428-041-1.
- Khatchatrian, Armen (1962). "Données historiques sur la fondation d'Edjmiatsin à la lumière des fouilles récentes [Historical data on the foundation of Edjmiatsin in the light of recent excavations]". Handes Amsorya (in French) (Vienna: Mechitharisten-Congregation) (1-2). ISSN 0017-7377. OCLC 26019166.
- Miller, Julie A. (1996). "Echmiadzin (Armenia)". In Ring, Trudy; Salkin, Robert M.; La Boda, Sharon. International Dictionary of Historic Places: Middle East and Africa 4. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. pp. 250–253. ISBN 978-1-884964-03-9.
- Panossian, Razmik (2006). The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-51133-9.
- Parsamian, Vardan (1931). Էջմիածինն անցյալում: Պատմական ուսումնասիրության փորձ [Etchmiadzin in the past: An attempt of historical research] (in Armenian). Pethrat: Yerevan.
- Sahinian, Alexander (1978). Ս. Էջմիածին / Св. Эчмиадзин / St. Etchmiadzine (in Armenian, Russian, French). Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. OCLC 47168540.
- Strzygowski, Josef (1918). Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa [The Architecture of the Armenians and of Europe] (in German) 1. Vienna: Kunstverlag Anton Schroll & Co.
- Thierry, Jean-Michel; Donabedian, Patrick (1989). Armenian Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 978-0810906259.
- Toramanian, Toros (1910). Էջմիածնի տաճարը: Ճարտարապետական եւ հնագիտական հետազօտութիւններ [Etchmiadzin Cathedral: Architectural and Archaeological Studies] (in Armenian). Tiflis: Aganiants Publishing.
- Նկարագրութիւն Սուրբ Էջմիածնի Մայր տաճարի [Description of the Holy Etchmiadzin Cathedral] (in Armenian). Vagharshapat: Holy Etchmiadzin Cathedral Publishing. 1890. OCLC 861620582.
- Ս. Էջմիածին 303-1903: Պատկերազարդ նկարագրութիւն [Holy Etchmiadzin 303-1903: Illustrated description] (in Armenian). San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice: Mechitarist Order. 1903. OCLC 35048877.
- Սուրբ Էջմիածին: 1600-րդ տարեդարձ (303-1903) [Holy Etchmiadzin: 1600th anniversary (303-1903)] (in Armenian). Saint Petersburg: Pushkinean Aragatip. 1903. OCLC 46338801.