Built and consecrated by St. Gregory the Illuminator and St. Trdat the Great in 303 AD, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the most recognizable landmark of the Armenian Church. The cathedral is located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) and is the oldest church in the world to be endorsed by a state.
The architecture of the cathedral is now widely known as the Armenian style, with an emphasis on height, pointed domes, and stone materials.
Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion. The Cathedral is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Armenian Church, as well as the residence of His Holiness Garegin II, the Catholicos and the Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians.
It is said that the idea to build the cathedral came to St. Gregory in a vision where Jesus Christ hit the earth with a golden hammer. Etchmiadzin translates as “the Descent of the Only-Begotten.”
Etchmiadzin Cathedral was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
Source: Armenian Church Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and “Peace Or Bust”