St. Hripsime Cathedral
In 618 the Catholicos Komitas Aghtsets II founded a splendid St. Hripsime church out of the walls of the historic Vagharshapat. According to the inscriptions of the old altar, the Catholicos attributed himself with the term “builder” of St. Hripsime and it should be noted that this term was used in the meaning of an architect, which was very typical of the above-mentioned period. As the legend goes, King Tiridates and Gregory the Illuminator built Hripsime church on the relics of virgin nuns. A semi-ground canopy tented with four stone pillars was destroyed by the Persians in the 7th century, and later a new one was built by Gregory the Illuminator. Catholicos Komitas founded Hripsime cathedral on that very site.
In 1653 Catholicos Philipos II fully renovated a dilapidated cathedral and built an open narthex at the entrance of the building which was later surrounded by impregnable brick walls and towers. Hripsime Cathedral internally a cross-shaped, spacious, brief and slender is of high earthquake endurance and the most advanced type of medieval Armenia ecclesiastical structures. Externally it is enclosed in a rectangular with rooms in four corners, which are linked with the chapel by angular frames. The hollow space left between the domes and their rooves contributed to the excellent acoustics of the church and served as caches.
The chapel hall had a very expressive spacial solution and eight massive vertical outlines give a cathedral a soaring image. In 1958 the damaged plaster of the interior of Hripsime Cathedral was renovated. During the excavations around the church pre-Christian and early Christian period funerals and an early medieval church were found.