Cathedral of Saint Gregory the Illuminator

Cathedral of Saint Gregory the Illuminator 1997 – 2001, Yerevan, Armenia. Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral (Armenian: Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչ Եկեղեցի, Surb Grigor Lusavorich Yekeghetsi) is the largest Armenian church in the world and is located in the Kentron District of Yerevan in Armenia. It is adjacent to the General Andranik metro station. It is also considered to be one of the largest religious buildings along with Sameba Cathedral in the South Caucasus. The Cathedral is the symbol of the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as a State Religion in Armenia and house for relics of Saint Gregory the Illuminator (Surb Grigor). The Holy Remains of St. Gregory were brought from Naples, Italy. Shortly after the consecration of the Cathedral Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the Cathedral. The cathedral has been constructed by the initiative of catholicos Vazgen I. The construction started on April 7, 1997 with a ground blessing service conducted by catholicos Karekin I. The church complex was designed by the architect Stepan Kurkchyan and the construction was completed in 2001. The huge Cathedral is a complex consisting of three churches: the Cathedral (Main Church) with 1700 seats and the Chapels of St. Tiridat (Tiridates) III the King and of St. Ashkhen the Queen (both with 150 seats). These two royal figures were the crucial helpers of St. Gregory in converting Armenia to Christianity. The belfry and the court are located at the entrance of the Cathedral. The halls for both the receptions and church-related activities are provided on the lower floor of the Main Church. The Main Church of the complex was built by the donation of AGBU founder Alek Manoukian, along with his wife Mary, and their son and daughter Richard and Louise Simon-Manoukian. On the other hand, the construction of the two chapels of the complex was completed by the donation of Nazar and Artemis Nazarian and Kevork and Linda Kevorkian, while the belfry erected by the donation of Eduardo Eurnekian.