Echmiadzin Monastery

The complex of Echmiadzin Monastery comprises the refectory (17 th century), the hotel (18 th century), the residence of Catholicos (1738-1741), the school (1813), the stone reservoir (1846) and other structures. On the left from the entrance leading to the monastery territory is Echmiadzin printing house (the first one in Armenia ) established in 1772, and on the right – monks' cells.

The most noticeable objects in the monastery courtyard are two ancient khachkars. Khachkars are the so-called cross-stones which were put to commemorate every significant event.

The first khachkar was cut in the 13 th century the other - in the 17 th century. Both are covered with the intricate ornament and the images of animals and birds. There is also the modern monument-khachkar to Armenians the victims of genocide.

In 2001, the year of the 1700 th anniversary of adoption of Christianity, the new monument in the shape of a big open book, the so-called “Open altar”, was placed in front of the entrance to the monastic complex court yard. On that day the Catholicos of all Armenians Garegin II and Pope John Paul II conducted the Mass.