The Monastery of Geghard

The Monastery of Geghard

Geghardavank Monastery (Armenia) – description, history, location. Exact address and website. Tourist reviews, photos and videos.

The monastic complex of Geghard (Geghard) has the ancient name Ayrivank – “cave monastery”. The first buildings here were erected as early as the 4th century B.C. The name Geghardavank is translated as “Monastery of the Spear”: according to the legend, the spear with which Christ was pierced when he was crucified on the cross was kept here.

The Geghard Monastery is one of the most popular attractions in Armenia. A visit to these places is often combined with a trip to the pagan temple in Garni, which lies nearby, just downstream of Azat. Moreover, a tour with the uncomplicated name “Garni-Geghard” will be encountered more than once on the way of the curious tourist in Yerevan.

Geghard is remarkable not only for its sanctuaries, but also for its amazing architecture and nature. Moreover – both the monastery complex and the cliffs of the Gokht Gorge, where it is located, are included in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage – try to imagine the scale of the Lavra! And that’s because some of Geghard’s temples are completely hollowed out inside the rocks, while others consist of walled rooms, the rooms of which are deep inside the cliff. There are also numerous khachkars, Armenian memorial steles with crosses carved into the stone walls.

The name Geghardavank translates as “Monastery of the Spear”: according to legend, the spear with which Christ was pierced when he was crucified on the cross was kept here.

The main attractions of this amazing complex are, of course, the ancient churches. For example the church of Katoghike (1215), the sacristy of Gavit (1215-1225), the cave church of Avazan with a spring carved on the site of an ancient pagan cave, the chapel of St. Gregory the Illuminator, rock churches and much, much more. It’s difficult to put into words the impressions of Geghard: strength of faith reigning here, fantastic craftsmanship and inhuman labor used in construction, astonishing nature, bright and kind atmosphere surrounding every pilgrim and tourist.

Address: Kotayk Marz, the gorge of the mountain river Goht (the right part of the river Azat), about 40 km south-east of Yerevan.


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