The dual heritage sites of Garni-Geghard outside Yerevan is one of the most rewarding daytrips in Armenia.

The Temple of Garni dates back to the first century AD, a symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. After the country’s conversion from Paganism to Christianity in the early 4th century, all pagan places of worship were destroyed, except Garni – this was possibly because it was a tomb, rather than a temple, or because of its high standing as a work of art.

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It was, however, eventually destroyed in an earthquake in 1679, and what stands today is a 1975 basalt reconstruction of the only Greco-Roman colonnaded building in the whole of the former Soviet Union.

The temple is part of one of the oldest fortresses in Armenia. The site also includes a bath complex, royal summer palace and a church.

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Surrounded by spectacular scenery, the Temple of Garni overlooks a valley of rolling hills, ancient rock formations & a deep gorge. It is a stunning setting, for a monument as illustrious as it is inspiring.

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In a country of churches, this shrine to the sun God Mihr is a refreshing insight into Armenia’s pre-Christian roots, and a sanctuary of peace & reflection.

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Entrance fee:

1000 AMD (US$2) for foreigners

How to get there:

From the city centre of Yerevan, take buses 22, 26 or 36, or marshrutkas (local minibus) 9, 69 or 73 to the Gai Bus Station. Marshrutka’s depart for Garni when full, around every 30 minuted.

Marshtrutka’s cost 250 AMD / US$0.50.

4 Shovels

Easy DIY travel outside city centres using public transport

In an easy day trip from Yerevan, combine a visit to Garni with a trip to The Medieval Monastery of Gerhard

1 August 2013