Vagharshapat Armenia


Vagharshapat is most populous town in the Armavir Province of Armenia, located about 18 km (11 mi) west of the capital Yerevan, and 10 km (6 mi) north of the closed Turkish-Armenian border. The city is also known as Ejmiatsin, which was its official name between 1945 and 1995. It is still commonly used colloquially and in official bureaucracy. The city is best known as the location of Etchmiadzin Cathedral and Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is thus unofficially known in Western sources as a "holy city" and in Armenia as the country's "spiritual capital" (հոգևոր մայրաքաղաք). It was one of the major cities, and a capital of ancient Armenia. A small town by the early 20th century, it experienced large expansion during the Soviet period becoming effectively a suburb of Yerevan. However, its population now stands just over 37,000 based on 2016 official estimates.