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From The Dragon Stone to Christianity through Hellenism Tours in Armenia - Noyantour
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Tours - From The Dragon Stone to Christianity through Hellenism - Garni-Geghard-Dragons


The temple of Garni
The Garni temple is the unique survivor of a vast net of temples dedicated to Greek-Roman gods and Armenian-Persian divinities such as Mihra, Anahid and Ahura Mazda. When Christianity was adopted in 301, these edifices were systematically destroyed… except for the temple at Garni. According to Mo?se de Khor?ne, Tiridate III (287-330) gave the temple to his sister as a kind of “Refreshment house”. The temple was ravaged by earthquake in 1679.
From 1969 to 1975, the architect, A. Sahinian re-erected the temple, using the original stones. Fragments were reassembled with special cement; vanished components were replaced by stones of the same Garni basalt, without the original decorations of course. The pillars bordering the stairway are decorated with superb naked Atlantes, one knee to the ground. Not far from the temple ruins of Thermal baths are located. These are classical baths, as built by the Romans, and also used in medieval Armenia.



Geghard
The Monastery at Geghard is one of the most famous sites in Armenia. It is set amidst incredible scenery, at the mouth of a gorge surrounded by high cliffs.
The history of Geghard began in 1215, with the Zakarian Family. In Armenia, the Zakarians  were one of the powerful families of Middle Ages and  the most prolific builders.The Monastery at Geghard was designed to shelter the “Holy Lance” (Sourb Geghard), used to pierce Christ to verify his death. At present, the lance is in Etchmiadzine.
The main church, which is known, as Katoghik?, was erected in 1215.
In 1240, another family, the Prochians, purchased Geghard from the Zakarians. The Prochians perpetuated the former family’s work by carving the church and its vestibule into the boulders and rocks. Azavan, the first church cut into the boulders, was built in 1240. Within this chapel is a miraculous spring and it is believed that its water has healing power.
The Church of the Virgin (Sourp Adzvadzadzin,) ,which was built in 1283, was probably the Chapel next to the  Proshian  Family grave.
The church has a classical ‘cross and dome’ structure. An opening in the dome lets in the light creating striking contrasts throughout the structure.

Vishapner
*After dinner and a little rest a tour by vehicles (jeeps) to the Geghama mountains – high altitude lake where you can see 2-3 meters long famous stone vishapner which are 4-5 thousand years old, ancient cult carvings of bulls and fish and several other carvings on the rocks



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