GARNI district

GARNI district

Garni village is situated on the ridge of Geghama on Geghasar summit south foot, on the right beach of Azat river. Last time the village was destroyed and became to empty at earthquake in 1679. Again settlement in 1829-30 with settlers.  Garni is a  Armenina locality where there was a life constant from ancient  times until our days.  Garni is rich with cultural  monuments.

The settlement has an ancient history, and is best known for the Hellenistic Garni temple. The area was first occupied in the 3rd millennium BC along easily defensible terrain at one of the bends of the Azat River. In the 8th century BC the area was conquered by the Urartian KingArgishti I. The fortification at Garni was erected probably sometime in the 3rd century BC as a summer residence for the Armenian Orontidand Artaxiad royal dynasties. Later around the 1st century BC the fortress of Garni became the last refuge of King Mithridates of Armenia and where he and his family were assassinated by his son-in-law and nephew Rhadamistus. The fortress was eventually sacked in 1386 by Timur Lenk. In 1679 an earthquake devastated the area destroying the temple.

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Garni village

Monuments and landmarks

Garni is notable for its fortress complex with the 1st-century AD Garni TempleSurb Astvatsatsin ChurchMashtots Hayrapet Church, a ruined 4th-century single-aisle church, a ruined Tukh Manuk Shrine, Saint Sargis Shrine, and a Queen Katranide Shrine.

Nearby is the Garni Gorge with well preserved basalt columns, carved out by the Goght River. This portion of the gorge is typically referred to as the "Symphony of the Stones". It is most easily reached via a road that leads left down the gorge just before reaching the temple of Garni. Another road leads to the gorge through the village, down a cobblestone road, and into the valley.

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Mashtoc Hayrapet church XIIc

Once in the valley, turning right will lead to Garni Gorge, an 11th-century medieval bridge, and the "Symphony of the Stones". Taking a left will lead along the river past a fish hatchery, up to the Khosrov State Reserve, and a little further Havuts Tar Monastery (which may be seen from the temple). Within the reserve is also Aghjots Vank of the 13th century, a church of Saint Stepanos and the fortress of Kakavaberd. Garni lies along the road to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geghard Monastery (further 7 km southeast).

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S.Astvacacin church XIIc

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Khumarajam IVc

 After  excavations were discovered traces of the different cultural epoch. Except fortress and pagan temple were preserved the monuments of art and Armenian Middle Age architectural.

 In the southeast side of Garni are situated the ruins of the church VI c.

 There are three entrance – from west and two from south: Appearance decoration with decorative      system, thank to which building  is considered to be  one of the pre-Christian Armenian architectural links to Christianity.


The statue of the unknown soldier

Visiting Garni at first tourists will face “the statue of the unknown soldier”, who with one hand holds a weapon and with another hand his little child. The monument  symbolizes  peace and solidarity. The monument is dedicated to the memory of the victims from Garni in World War 2nd. 460 soldier took part in WW2 but only 262 of them came back home. In 2011 a cross-stone has been installed near the monument, which is dedicated to those victims who took part in the protection of western Armenia in 1990’s. Every year on 9th of May the Cultural House of Garni with the support of the mayor of Garni organizes a big event in memory of the victims! 

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