Geghard monastery - Golden Apricot Tour

Geghard monastery

Geghardavank is a masterpiece of Armenian architecture located in the Kotayk Province, 35 km east of Yerevan. According to legend, the name Geghardavank is associated with the fact that for centuries a spear (called “geghard” in Armenian), which wounded Jesus on the
cross, was kept here. In medieval sources, the monastery complex is also mentioned as Ayrivank. Many connect the meaning of the word with the term “ayr” (cave), as there are indeed carved churches in the rocks and caves here. However, the word Ayrivank may have
another origin – “Arivan-Ariavan” – the dwelling of the brave (from the Armenian word “Ari”). Considering the fact that there were several pagan temples in Geghardavank and, according to ancient Armenian beliefs, Armenia was the homeland of brave tribes, this interpretation seems more logical. Indeed, in Ayrivank, symbols and structures symbolizing the cult of the gods Vaagn, Anaith, Tsovinar, Tir, and Migr of Armenian mythology are still preserved.

In any case, the church was founded in Geghard in the early 4th century, immediately after the official adoption of Christianity. Geghardavank was one of the largest spiritual, cultural, and scientific centers of medieval Armenia. Its current appearance dates back to the 12th13th centuries when the Zakaryans and their vassal princes, the Vachutyans, improved the complex. The oldest monument preserved is a chapel from the 12th century, located outside the walls, on the western side. The main group of monuments was formed in the 13th century, including the main church (katoghike), an adjacent courtyard, two churches carved into the rock, a chapel-mausoleum, and cells located within the 17th-century walls.

Geghardavank is a unique example of rock-cut architecture among similar monuments in Armenia. Next to the main church, on various heights of the northern massive rock, a whole group of monuments has been carved out: two small churches, one gallery (on top), and a
colonnaded chapel-mausoleum (at the bottom). Surrounding the monastery are many beautifully carved stones with cross-shaped engravings (khachkars) and cells carved into the rock. Armenian medieval historians have transmitted numerous beautiful and
interesting legends associated with the history and structures of Geghardavank. Many renowned scholars still consider Geghardavank the eighth wonder of the world… In 2000, the complex was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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При заказе тура с гидом до конца сентября 2023 года

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