Most folk think of there being two distinct branches of Christianity: Catholic and Protestant. Sophisticates will be aware that there is a third, Eastern Orthodox. But how many know that Oriental Orthodox, as represented by the Armenian Apostolic Church, is yet a fourth distinct branch? It split from the West--meaning both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox--back at the Council of Chalcedon

 Armenia can also lay claim to being the oldest Christian nation.

Old Plovdiv features an Armenian Quarter, which centres around the old Armenian Church of St. Kevork. Visitors are welcome, 10 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Friday, and 10 am to 1 pm Satudray and Sunday--although, like everything in Bulgaria, the reals hours of operation are a bit flexible and not entirely predictable.

The Church is a little gem, light and bright, full of oil paintings, and fascinating to compare with the churches of the other denominations. Surprisingly, it looks more like a Catholic than an Eastern Orthodox church: there is no iconostasis. Can the Orthodox have been the liturgical innovators? 

In the churchyard, don't miss the war memorial to the many ethnic Armenians who fought and died for Bulgaria in her wars; and a beautiful monument to the 1,500,000 killed in the "first genocide of the twentieth century," the massacre of Armenians by the Young Turks starting in 1915.