Garni and Geghard
Garni. The pagan temple of Garni, the only monument of its kind dating back to the Hellenistic era, which survived on the territory of Armenia. It is located at a distance of 28 kilometers from Yerevan, in the picturesque gorge of the Azat River. In the 1st c. AD in a fortress located on a triangular hill, Trdat I commands to build a delightful temple dedicated to the Sun God Mithra. After the adoption of Christianity, it is not destroyed, becoming the summer residence of Armenian kings. As a result of a strong earthquake in 1679, the temple was almost completely destroyed. Restoration work began in 1966, lasting almost 10 years. Today, around the temple you can see the remains of an ancient fortress, the royal palace and, of great interest, the royal bath with a multicolored mosaic and a mysterious inscription “worked without having received anything,” concealing the power and power of the past.
Geghard. The famous monastery of Geghard is located in the Kotayk area, 9 kilometers from Garni. The monastic complex was built in the 12th-13th centuries. Initially, it was called Ayrivank (Cave Monastery), but later it was renamed Geghard (Spear), which, according to legend, the Roman legionary pierced Christ. The complex consists of the main church of the Catholic Church, the porch, carved in the rock two churches, a chapel and the church of the Holy Virgin, which is considered the most ancient monument of the complex.