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Location: Vagharshapat c., Armavir region
Established: 618
From Yerevan: 19km / 22min

St. Hripsime church was founded by catholicos Komitas A Akhtsetsi outside the fortress walls of Vagharshapat city, in 618.  
St. Hripsime church is one of the excellent examples of spiritual structures of medieval Armenia and one of the most difficult architectural compositions. St. Hripsime is a cross-domed structure. It has altars and apses, which provide unique style. Inner space is holistic, spacious and elegant. It has rectangular form; there are four rooms in the corners, which are linked to the prayer hall with corner apses. 

It was destroyed in the 5th century by Persians; Sahak Partev built a new one. In the 7th century catholicos Komitas built st. Hripsime church on the place of the chapel. In later centuries the temple was surrounded by fortress walls and towers (1776); a belfry was built above the parish (1880); Western and Southern walls of hewn stones, living house and additional structures were constructed in 1894. During excavations near the church a burial of pre-Christian and Christian period, as well as single-naved church of Middle Ages were found in the territory. 

According to Agathangelos, Roman emperor Diocletian, a pagan, wanted to marry Christian Hripsime. Nun Hripsime, mentor Gayane and thirty other nuns run from Diocletian’s persecutions to Armenia.  Having learnt about virgin’s escape, the emperor sends a letter to Armenian king Trdad III (Tiridade III) with a request to find them and execute, and send Hripsime back. Nevertheless, Trdad III decided to marry Hripsime himself, but he wasn’t able to persuade her. In anger he ordered to isolate the virgins and kill them. On the place where Hripsime was killed, there is a church and her crypt in it. 

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