Treasury Museum of Etchmiadzin

To preserve the relics and valuable gifts donated to the Armenian Apostolic Church, three more rooms were added to the main Cathedral yet in 1869. Through the sponsorship of the American philanthropists Alex and Marie Manougian, a building, which now houses the Treasure Museum of Etchmiadzin, was built in 1955. The museum collection of rarities includes church accessories of historical and artistic value, costumes embroidered with gold and pearls, crosses and staffs of Catholicoi, numerous ritual objects made of gold, silver and ivory, decorated with filigree and precious stones. Rare antique coins and ancient manuscripts are also displayed in the museum. The 17th-century Catholicoi armchairs – inlaid with mother of pearl and ivory, decorated with silver heads and paws of lions – are of particular interest. There are also unique holy relics kept in the museum, such as Saint Geghard – the spear with which the centurion Longinus pierced Jesus Christ and the splinter of Noah’s Ark.