Echmiadzin is the center of the Armenian Church. It is the oldest church in the world. Ejmiatsin cathedral is the most ancient Christian temple. It was built in 301-303 by Grigor Lusavorich, the founder of the Armenian Gregorian church. Echmiadzin is a traditional Armenian design with a belfry and the composition of the cathedral has come down to our day almost unchanged.
The word "Ejmiatsin" means the coming of the only-begotten, when Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) dreamt Jesus Himself descended to from heaven to show him where He wanted the church to be built. One of the secrets is the Manoogian Museum. This structure contains numerous valuable paintings, religious artifacts, and illuminated manuscripts. Another secret is a fire pit beneath the altar, where pagans worshipped fire before Christianity. The most valuable of Ejmiatsin's manuscripts is the world famous "Ejmiatsin Gospel" of 989, now in Matenadaran (Ancient Manuscript Research Institute of the Armenian Academy of Sciences).