PARIS (PanARMENIAN.Net) — Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley will be granted an Enhanced Protection status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), according to a decision adopted by the organization. Enhanced protection is a mechanism established by the 1999 Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in […]
Medieval Armenian site to be granted UNESCO enhanced protection status
With over 4,000 churches and monasteries, some of which are Unesco World Heritage Sites, Armenia is variously described as the ‘cradle of Christianity’ and the ‘land of churches’…
When my father told me that we were going to Armenia, I have to admit, I had never heard about the country except for a brief mention in a few Elif Şafak’s books. I quickly googled and learned that the Republic of Armenia is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia and is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran to the south.
A little about the history of this country for those of you giving me company living under the rocks ; Armenia is one of the world’s oldest countries and the first country to have adopted Christianity as its state religion in 301 AD.
Though I knew nothing about the country, I had pictured Armenia to be a predominantly Muslim country. However, my first stint of research about the country admonished all those notions because this country was sprawling with Christian Monasteries! Beautiful Christian Monasteries to be precise.
Built in 301 by St. Gregory the Illuminator, it is a testament to both Armenian and universal history.
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral, in the city of Vagharshapat, is the main church of the Armenian Apostolic Church. According to both historians and archaeologists, it is the first cathedral built in Armenia. This means Etchmiadzin shares a place of honor with the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, the Rotonda of St. George in Thessaloniki, and the Church of Dura-Europos in Syria among the oldest churches in the whole world.