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From Hellenism to Christianity Tours in Armenia - Noyantour
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Tours - From Hellenism to Christianity - Garni-Geghard


Garni

The Temple at Garni
The Temple at Garni is the unique survivor of a vast net of temples dedicated to the Greco-Roman gods and such Armenian-Persian divinities 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 Movses of Khor?ne, Tiridate III (287-330) gave the temple to his sister as a kind of “Refreshment house”. The temple was ravaged by an earthquake in 1679.
From 1969 to 1975, the architect, A. Sahinian re-erected the temple, using the original stones. Fragments were reassembled with unique 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 the superb Atlantes in the nude with one knee on the ground. Not far from the temple ruins are the Thermal Baths Built by the Romans, these classic baths were also used in Medieval Armenia.



Geghard
Monastery of Geghard is one of the most famous sites in Armenia. It is set amidst incredible scenery, at the root of a gorge surrounded by high cliffs.
The history of Geghard began in 1215, with the Zakarian family. In Armenia, the Zakarides were one of the powerful families of the middle-ages and most prolific builders. Geghard was designed to shelter the “holy lance” (Sourb Geghard), used to pierce Christ and verify his death. At present, the spear is in Etchmiadzine.
The main church (A), 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 actually carving the rocks to erect the church and the vestibule.Azavan, the first church cut into the rock was built in 1240. Inside the chapel is a miraculous running fountain. The water is believed to have healing properties: drinking or applying them to wounds cures illnesses.
The Church of the Virgin (Sourp Adzvadzadzin,) built in 1283 was probably the Chapel,
adjacent to the Proshian graveyard.The church has a classical ‘cross and dome’ structure. An opening in the dome lets in the light and creates a striking contrast throughout the building.



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