Religious Sites

See & Do

As man appeared in the world, deities and religions appeared as well. Armenia has not only an ancient culture and rich history, but also a centuries-old history of religion.

​Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. The Armenian-Gregorian Church (Armenian Apostolic Church) is one of the oldest Christian churches. The church is called Apostolic in honor of the apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew, who were the first to preach Christianity in Armenia. It is also called Gregorian in honor of Gregory the Illuminator, who convinced the king to convert to Christianity in 301 AD and became the first Catholicos of all Armenians. 

Armenia, also known as the “Land of Churches,” is said to have over 4,000 monasteries and churches, which can be found all over the country. The Christian faith has shaped the Armenian culture so intimately that it permeates the very landscape of the country, with khachkars (cross stone carvings) strewn across even the most remote valleys, and ancient monasteries and churches nestled on the peaks of mountains surrounded by breathtaking nature. 

​​The unique national style of Armenian church architecture came into being by the late 6th or early 7th century, probably becoming the first national style in Christian architecture, long before the Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic styles were completely formed. The first Armenian churches were often built on top of pagan temples, imitating some aspects of Armenian pre-Christian architecture.