Garni: a hellenistic treasure in a breathtaking landscape
the landscape of Geghard
Not far from Erevan, you find two places, where the people manifestated their belief: the hellenistic Mithras-Temple of Garni, dating back to the first century, and the Geghard Monastery in the gorge of the river Asat.
From the mountains of Mars Kotajk you have a wonderful view over the Ararat Valley and if you are lucky and the air is clear, you can see the majestic Ararat.
Garni is a nice little city, with vineyards and fruit orchards. I enjoyed the pears and the wonderful rosé wine. But the main attraction is the hellenistic temple, where the sun god Mithra was worshipped. This is the only hellenistic temple you can find in Armenia now. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1679 and reconstructed in the 70s.
The temple is erected on a basalt base, on top of the gorge of the river Asat, surrounded by the ruins of the Garni Citadel, which also served as the summer residence of the armenian kings in the third and fourth century.
Anna Mailian accompanied us. She is a singer, and her clear and strong Soprano was a real surprise for me. She enjoyed the place and sang.
For us it was pure joy and delight.
We bought pears, nuts in grape sirup and grapes. Then we left to Geghart.
Khatchkars at Noratous
Garni and Geghard