Year Visited: 2018 – July
I visited Garni-Geghard during my five plus months backpacking trip through Central and Eastern Europe. After few days of walking around the capital city of Yerevan, we arranged a Taxi to take us visit Garni-Geghard; the pagan temple of Garni and a medieval monastery of Geghard.
Geghard is a medieval monastery partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave. The monastery was originally named Ayrivank meaning “the Monastery of the Cave”. The name commonly used for the monastery today, Geghard, meaning “the Monastery of the Spear”, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude, locally known as Thaddeus, and stored here among many other relics.
Next stop on the trip was Garni. The Temple of Garni is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union. it is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. The temple is believed to have been completed in 77 AD.
After a wonderful day visiting beautiful monasteries, we came back to Yerevan in late afternoon.