Vagharshapat  is the 4th-largest city in Armenia. It is commonly known as Echmiadzin, which is the name that Gurdjieff prefers.

The area of Vagharshapat was once known as Artimed—from the ancient Greek goddess Artemis. Later, it was renamed Avan Vardgesi (Town of Vardges) or Vardgesavan by Prince Vardges Manouk who rebuilt the settlement near the shores of Kasagh River, during the reign of King Orontes I Sakavakyats of Armenia (570-560 BC). The Byzantine historian Procopius refers to the city as Valashabad (Balashabad), named after king Vologases I of Armenia. The town of Vardges was entirely rebuilt and fenced by King Vagharsh I to become known as Norakaghak and later Vagharshapat.