Saint Hripsime Church is located in Etchmiadzin town. It was built at the beginning of the 7th century in the place where Virgin Hripsime was martyred. According to the legend, Hripsime, who was famous for her beauty, rejected the proposal of the Emperor Diocletian. Together with prioress Gayane and other 37 virgins, she ran away from Rome. They eventually settled down in the capital of Armenia – Vagharshapat. But Armenian King Tiridates III on request of Diocletian found her. Charmed with her beauty, Tiridates also fell in love with Hripsime. But the virgin rejected the Armenian king as well. In a rage, the king ordered to kill Hripsime and the 37 virgins. Gayane was killed the last. After adopting Christianity, the king repented and ordered to build a church atop the grave of the Saint Virgin. Saint Hripsime Church is considered to be one of the best examples of the Armenian medieval cross-domed churches and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Plan your visit in advance, so that your car can approach the front entrance. There is one 10-cm stair up at the entrance and another similar stair is inside the church right past the door. We recommend visiting the church with a friend or helper.