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Location: Vagharshapat c., Armavir region
Established: 630
From Yerevan: 21km / 26min

St. Gayane church is one of the main shrines of Armenian Apostolic Church. This church of basilica type, surmounted by a dome, is located in Echmiadzin city and is one of the brightest monuments of Armenian architecture. 

St. Gayane church was built by catholicos Yezr in Vagharshapat city, in 630.  In 1652 the walls and the dome were restored. In 1683 a hall was built to the front of the church. St. Gayane church is an example of basilica type domed church of VII century. Window shape is also characteristic to the VII century. The church is significant for its simplicity, architectural design, impressive spatial forms, and exquisite interior. 

Outside the plan is characterized with the same simple architectural solutions, as the interior. On entering the church a solemn, inspiring and fascinating space opens; the design elements: arches, tromps, domes, wall surfaces together with the main altar form internal architectural appearance.

There are graves of outstanding spiritual and social leaders in nearby cemetery. All the elements of the church: arks, columns and others are harmonic and expressive. St. Gayane's grave stone is under the main altar. 

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 Gayane was killed, the church is located.

Since the ancient times the Armenian people are known for their warm hospitality and wonderful cuisine. "Agape" restaurant by all means is trying to prove this statement.

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