The “Treasury of Echmiadzin” museum was designed by architect Baghdasar Arzumanyan and opened to visitors on October 11, 1982. The treasury-museum is a vivid example of new and unique elements in classical Armenian architecture. The “Treasury of Echmiadzin” is named after philanthropists and patrons of art Alec and Maria Manukyans, thanks to whose donations this wonderful project was successfully fulfilled. The bodies of the spouses now rest in the courtyard of the museum.
The museum keeps the relics of the Armenian Church, and also there is a library of Catholicos Garegin I. The samples exhibited in the treasury were brought to the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin from different parts of the world and Armenian communities. These samples testify the skill and high creative spirit of the Armenian masters of different eras, as well as the unique perception of beauty. The treasury contains many valuable church relics and samples of applied art: bowls, chandeliers, altar curtains, holy relics, patriarchal crosses and wands, church robes embroidered with gold and pearls, ancient Armenian carpets, wooden engravings and numerous ritual objects of gold, silver and ivory delicately decorated with precious stones. Among valuable exhibits of the treasury are manuscripts with their unique miniatures and thinly embroidered bowls. The museum holds a collection of images of Holy Mother of God, which were created by Armenian masters in different epochs of historical Armenia. Also noteworthy are the 17th-century thrones of Catholicos, decorated with pearls and ivory. The treasury features unique sacred relics, including St. Gegard - the sharpest spear with which the centurion pierced the crucified Jesus.
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