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Geghard Monastery description and photos - Armenia

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Geghard monastery description and photos - Armenia

Geghard Monastery description and photos - Armenia. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Geghard.

Photo and description

Geghard Monastery is a famous monastery in Armenia, located in the north-east of the republic, 7 km from the village of Garni, up the gorge of the Azat river, surrounded by majestic nature. The main landmark on the way to the monastery is the figure of a lioness, installed on a high pedestal near a sharp turn in the road, behind which a view of the monastery opens unexpectedly.

The date of the monastery's foundation has not yet been established. There are suggestions that at the beginning of the IV Art. on this place was located a monastery that bore the name Ayrivank, which in translation from the Armenian language means "cave monastery". Ayrivank existed until the 9th century, when the complex was destroyed by the Arabs.

The existing Geghard complex belongs to the XII-XIII centuries. The very first of the ensemble, no later than 1177, the chapel of St. Gregory the Illuminator was erected. The chapel is located quite high above the road, about 100 m from the entrance to the monastery. The external appearance of the chapel is enlivened by khachkars with various ornaments and preserved small fragments of frescoes.

The main and traditionally most revered church of the complex is Katoghike. It was built in 1215 and is located directly opposite the mountain. At its corners you can see chapels with vaults and staircases that protrude from the wall. Ten years later, a four-column vestibule was added to the church. The sacristy attached to the rock - Gavit, erected in the first half of the XIII century, is directly connected with the main church. Gavit was used for teaching, gatherings and for receiving pilgrims.

The completion of work on the first cave temple of the monastery - Avazan - dates back to 1240, it was carved on the site of an ancient cave with a spring that was previously located here.

In the second half of the XIII century. Geghard Monastery passed into the possession of Prince Proshe Khakhbakyan. In a short time, several cave structures, a second cave church, cells, halls for meetings and training were built here. The Geghard monastery complex is especially famous for its relics, the most important of which is the spear of Longinus.

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