Cathedral Museum


Etchmiadzin's main museum houses precious objects and relics, including the Holy Lance (Surp Geghard), the weapon allegedly used by a Roman soldier to pierce the side of Christ while he was nailed to the cross. The spearhead is set into an ornate gold-and-silver casing. There are also clerical vestments and crowns, illuminated manuscripts, processional crosses, a reliquary of St John the Baptist, and a beautiful beaten-gold reliquary from 1300 that is said to contain a relic of the True Cross.

Buy your ticket from the office behind Mayr Tachar church (look for the 'Museums' sign).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Armenia attractions

1. Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin


Etchmiadzin is the Vatican of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the place where Surp Grigor Lusavorich saw a beam of light in a divine vision, and where he…

2. Rouben Sevak Museum

0.11 MILES

In the grounds of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, this museum displays paintings collected by Mr Sevak. It's poorly lit and not particularly noteworthy.

3. Surp Gayane


A short walk from Komitas Sq past the main gate of the Holy See, St Gayane was the prioress of the 32 virtuous maidens who accompanied St Hripsime to…

4. Surp Shogahat

0.84 MILES

Slightly less interesting than Vagharashapat's other churches but still worth a visit is Surp Shogahat, a sturdy stone structure with simple, elegant…

5. Surp Hripsime

1.04 MILES

Constructed in 618, this church is on the site where St Hripsime was slain after she refused to marry the pagan King Trdat III, choosing instead to stay…

6. Zvartnots Cathedral

2.42 MILES

Catholicos Nerses III (known as 'the Builder') sponsored construction of the 'Celestial Angels Cathedral' in the 7th century. Destroyed in the 10th…

7. Karmir Blur

7.84 MILES

The Urartian king Rusa II moved his capital from Erebuni to this nearby site in the 7th century. Sadly, few traces of his fortified citadel remain.

8. Karmravor

10.29 MILES

Across from Pascal & Diodato and up a short staircase is a tiny 7th-century church with a roof of red clay tiles and an octagonal cupola. From the door,…