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Photographer's Note

This photo is surely no masterpiece but depicts an interesting detail in the history of armenian christianity.

An interesting detail, rarely noticed by the herds of visitors.

The Echmiadzin church (the spiritual centre of Armenia and at most times in the past and present the residence of the katholikos) in its present form was built in the 17th century on the exact spot of the first christian church in Armenia, which was itself built above a pagan temple.
That first church (basilica form) was built in the 4th century, shortly thereafter destroyed again and rebuilt in the 4th century, now in the cruciform plan with a cupola which was to become the standard for armenian churches. The present north wall is stil originally from the 5th century and still holds two stones with reliefs with GREEK inscriptions. At that time the armenian alphabet had not yet been elaborated...

Greek was the religious language at that era, taken over later by armenian language and alphabet. You can find some more greek inscriptions still on other frescoes here and there in the country.

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Additional Photos by Marc Tailly (haybelg) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 57 W: 19 N: 103] (631)
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