The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church. The Mother Cathedral, founded by the Descent of Christ, built by St. Gregory the Illuminator and King Trdat III, has stood as a symbol against time of the Armenian faith, nation and people. No other silhouette is so instantly recognized by Armenians the world over. The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin is a blend of our past, present and future.
Preserving the past are the numerous museums, libraries and the Mother Cathedral itself, all holding a vast richness of history and treasures. The Mother See is responsible for the preservation of artifacts, both those created by the Church and those given to the church as gifts over time. Pieces from our five museums will be featured and new items will be displayed each month.
The most important relics of the Armenian Apostolic Church are kept in the Mother Cathedral of Etchmiadzin: the Holy Lance ‘Geghard’; the Right Hand of St. Thaddeus the Apostle; the Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator; the relics of the Noah's Ark and the True Cross; the relics of St. Hovhannes Karapet, Peter and Andrew the Apostles, Matthew and Mark the Evangelists; the relics of St. Gayane and St. Hripsime; the Right Hand of the Patriarch James of Nisibis; relics of the St. Gevork the Warrior.
In this section, you have the opportunity to get acquainted with the activities of the administrative departments, offices and structures of the Mother See.
Today, with the Blessings and under the grace filled leadership of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin implements spiritual, social, cultural and educational programs in Armenia and the Diaspora.