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Location: Vagharshapat c., Armavir region
Established: 1694
From Yerevan: 20km / 22min

St. Shoghakat is a small church but a wonderful architectural monument. This is the newest construction of the whole church complex in Echmiadzin. The church was built in 1694 by Duke Aghamal Shorotetsi, on the Western side of St. Hripsime

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. According to the legend, St.Shoghakat church was built on the place, where «sun ray came down» on the dead virgins. 

Several constructions on the territory were ruined. Only the Southern facade of the whole complex was left in the 1980-ies; it was ruined in the March of 1982. The parish was located on the Western part; the octagonal rotunda of the belfry is on it. 

Ruins of the small chapel of 6-7 cc was found near the church. Form and parameters of the plan of the church are characteristic to the Early Medieval churches of that kind, which allows assuming that St. Shoghakat was built on the fundament of 6-8 cc church. The dome with octagonal drum is located not in the center of the very construction, but the two pairs of wall columns, like similar ancient churches. 

During excavations on the South-Western side of the church ruins of the one-naved church of 4th, built of polished stone, were found. Outside the semi-sircular apse, probably, the ending of the column hall, is located on the Southern part. There are two exits: from Western and Southern part; the vestries are characteristic to the 4-5th cc.  

The church is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

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