MOSCOW (ArmRadio)—President Serzh Sarkisian and First Lady Rita Sarkisian who visited the Russian Federation Tuesday participated at the ceremony of the consecration of the Armenian Cathedral in Moscow and the opening of the Church grounds, the president’s press office reported.
The ceremony of the consecration of the Cathedral was conducted by Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Garegin II. The ceremony was attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill, who gave his blessings, the President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakian, state and public figures of the Russian Federation, heads of major Armenian Apostolic Church dioceses from Armenia and abroad, representatives, and benefactors.
The construction of the Church compound, which is located in the center of Moscow and built in accordance with the Armenian national architectural traditions, began in 2006. It is comprised of the Cathedral, the Holy Cross Church, the diocese office, educational, cultural, administrative and hostel units, reception and festivity halls, and a museum. The compound is built with light apricot colored tufa. The Cathedral is built with rose tufa, brought from а stone quarry from the vicinity of the medieval Armenian capital of Ani and is decorated with crosses, bas-reliefs and the Armenian alphabet.
The compound, through its appearance and reliefs, relates to the citizens of Moscow and guests of the Russian capital about the Armenian people, presenting momentous pages of our history – the invention of the alphabet, adoption of Christianity, our struggle for faith and motherland, the Golden Age, etc. The ornaments and reliefs are harmoniously connected with the numerous cross-stones scattered over the church grounds – symbols of the Armenian sculptural art.
After the official ceremony of the consecration of the Cathedral, President Serzh Sarkisian along with the organizers, benefactors and guests, watched “The Armenians in Moscow: An Historical Road” exhibition in the church’s reception hall, which was organized by the Russia and Nor Nachijevan Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, National Archives of Armenia, Russian Federal Agency of Archives, the General Department of Moscow Archives, and State Central Archives of Moscow.
The rich exhibition presents the almost five-century long history of the Armenian community of Moscow starting from the end of the 14th century up to the beginning of the 20th century. The exhibition is called upon to enhance the understanding of the role of the Church and community in the life of the Armenian nation and the processes of mutual enrichment of the Armenian and Russian cultures.
The President of Armenia visited also the educational and cultural units, as well as the church hostel. Later, in the courtyard of the Church he was present at the unveiling ceremony of the Love and Brotherhood memorial fountain dedicated to the friendship of the Armenian and Russian peoples.