The 4th century marked an important historical event in the life of the Armenian people. In 301, under King Trdat III, Christianity was proclaimed state religion. Armenia became the first country to have officially adopted Christianity. In 303, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the spiritual centre of Armenia, was founded in the capital Vagharshapat.

After the loss of statehood and under the conditions of continuous threat of foreign conquests, the sole means of preserving spiritual and cultural independence was the creation of the Armenian alphabet and literature. In 405, Mesrop Mashtots, actively supported by King Vramshapuh and Catholicos Sahak Parthev, created the Armenian alphabet.

The Exhibition presents:

  • unique examples of Christian Armenian art of the 4th-9th centuries: sculptural reliefs, memorial steles, winged crosses
  • four-sided steles of the 4th-6th century with the sculptural reliefs, depicting Bible narratives, with diverse variants of the iconography of the Crucifixion and the Virgin, the earliest of which are dated from the end of the 4th century
  • the 7th-century capital of Dvin, one of the earliest unique examples of the

Crucifixion in general Christian art

  • photographs of classic examples of the Armenian architecture formed in the 4th-7th centuries.