Hripsime Church was built by the order of the Catholicos Komitas in 618. The legend of Hripsime dates from the early days of Christianity. Hripsimeh fled to Armenia to escape persecution by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. A beautiful but totally devoted follower of Christ, Hripsime refused to marry the pagan Armenian King Trdat III and chose the death of a martyr. A small chapel was erected over the spot where she was murdered. In the 7th century a wondrous church — a masterpiece of Armenian architecture — was built in its place by order of Catholicos Komitas. The dating of this church is confirmed by Catholicos Komitas’ two dedication signatures (one inside the building over the eastern apse, the other outside over the western entrance to the cathedral), and also by Sebaeos, a contemporary 7th century historian. The architectural forms, decorative motifs, window ledges and numerous marks of master masons place St. Hripsimeh Church with its 6th-7th century counterparts.